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Pairing: Arthur/Ariadne
Alternative name(s): Ariadne/Arthur
Gender category: Het
Fandom: Inception
Canonical?: No; although they do share a kiss (purportedly as a distraction technique, however their reactions may suggest otherwise.)
Prevalence: Most popular het pairing, approximately 12% of fic produced and 11% of tagged prompts in the inception_kink delicious archive.[1]
Archives: Arthur/Ariadne LJ Community
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Arthur/Ariadne is the most popular het ship and second most popular ship overall to arise from the 2010 movie Inception. Based on the relationship between Arthur, the point man to Dominic Cobb's extractor, and Ariadne, the architect recruited to build the elaborate maze levels required for their dream based work.
Much of their attraction is seen to hinge on their kiss in the second dream level [2] along with the interaction between the two characters as opposed to their scripted dialogue. Most commonly noted is the amount of eye contact which takes place between them, as well as the observation that Arthur is rarely more than a metre away from Ariadne when they appear in scenes together, that he is frequently the person who wires her in to the PASIV device as well as apparently taking the role of instructing her in shared dreaming and the work she will be required to do.[3]

Popular Tropes

  • Arthur acting as Ariadne's teacher and/or instructor as she enters the world of extraction.
  • Ariadne as the ingénue to the more experienced Arthur, often reliant on the perceived age difference between the characters.[4]
  • Repression of their attraction for the good of the team or their shared work.
  • Fear that their relationship will develop into one similar to Dom and Mal's.
  • Cock blocking Eames (a popular use of Eames as a third character, basing him in a more humorous role).
  • Separation due to Ariadne's rejection of the criminal lifestyle of extraction or Arthur's fears of intimacy or hurt being caused to Ariadne.
  • Ariadne having a suit kink (sometimes paired with Arthur having a kink for Ariadne's scarves and bohemian style wardrobe).
  • Matchmaking or intervention by a third character (often Eames or Cobb).
  • hurt/comfort, character death and fluff.
  • Established relationship fiction, centering either on their career post movie as extractors or away from mind crime.
  • AU's, variously showing them as college students, vampires or career professionals of different backgrounds.
  • Crossovers, notably with (500) Days of Summer (Tom Hansen), Brick (Brendan Frye, both played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Whip It! (Bliss Cavendar, played by Elliot Page).


As the second most popular ship in a fandom which is almost exclusively dominated by the slash pairing of Arthur/Eames, some fans feel that their ship is sidelined and sometimes even denigrated to the benefit of the most popular OTP. In the period directly following the release of the film, amendments to the Wikipedia and Wikiquotes articles covering the film giving overt reference to Arthur/Eames were met with upset and disappointment. More recently the inception kink meme has seen prompts originally posted for Arthur/Eames reposted specifying Arthur/Ariadne (among others) and this has fuelled speculation of a backlash occurring against the dominance of the slash section of the fandom, who are perceived as not being respectful or considerate of others' preferences in favour of their own. (references?)

Other difficulties have often centered on the portrayal of Ariadne, who canonically is a forthright and sometimes unsubtle character, as a more innocent and sexually naive woman in opposition to Arthur's greater experience. While this is often exploited as part of a kink, some fans have argued that Ariadne, at the age she is perceived to be as well as as a college student, would not be lacking in experience and find such depictions of her unrealistic and not in character. (references?)

Notable Writers, Artists and Example Fanworks

Noted writers for Arthur/Ariadne include clckwrk_strlght, duckcrab, eustacia_vye28, humanracing, kore_rising, queen_haq, [1] vinylroad and weatheredlaw. To date the most prolific authors on livejournal are eustacia_vye28, followed by kore_rising.[5]

Among the noted fan artists are nami86 and selene 231.

Canon based:


Archives, Resources and Links


  1. ^ Accessed 12-30-2010- Of the 14,674 prompts currently tagged, 1488 are for Ariadne/Arthur
  2. ^ Seen at 1:29:06 in the digital download edition of the film.
  3. ^ The most notable exception to the proximity observation is during the montage ending in Eames' demonstration of a kick (from 0:50:07 to 0:52:46 in the digital edition.)
  4. ^ Ariadne is most often depicted as late college age at approximately 23 years old, the same age as Elliot Page himself, while Arthur is often shown as approximately six years her senior, the same age as Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
  5. ^ eustacia_vye28 has 40 tagged journal entries, not including Ariadne/Arthur/Eames; kore_rising has 24.