The Da Vinci Code | Study Guide

Dan Brown

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The Da Vinci Code | Chapters 97–Epilogue | Summary

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Summary

Chapter 97

Langdon and Sophie seek a guide (docent) to direct them to Isaac Newton's tomb, but the Teacher is already at the tomb. He is looking for the orb mentioned in the cryptex message. He sees a huge, elaborately engraved orb above the tomb, but he can't figure out how it solves the riddle. He sees Langdon and Sophie approaching. The Teacher decides to bait them into helping him solve the riddle and hides as the pair nears.

Chapter 98

Langdon and Sophie find the tomb covered with engravings of orb-like astronomical objects. Langdon is sure they are irrelevant. Then Sophie finds a note at the foot of the tomb. It's from the Teacher. It states that he has Teabing and they should go the abbey's Chapter House to save him. Langdon is relieved Teabing is alive. Langdon and Sophie leave the abbey for the gloomy Chapter House. They are astounded to find Teabing there, holding a gun.

Chapter 99

Teabing points the gun at Sophie and Langdon. He explains that he needs the Grail to make its story public. He thinks the Priory had no intention of releasing it because they were "compromised" by the Church. Teabing explains that that's the reason he had Saunière murdered along with the other three Priory members. He tells Sophie that her parents were murdered by the Church as a warning to Saunière not to release the Grail. Sophie is shocked. Teabing gives Langdon the black cryptex to open, but Langdon doesn't know the code. Teabing admits he directed Silas's mission and involved Opus Dei in murder. Therefore, Teabing is the Teacher who has also killed Rémy and the altar boy. Sophie refuses to help her grandfather's killer.

Chapter 100

A weeping Silas looks for a hospital. He is carrying the wounded Aringarosa. Silas apologizes to the bishop, who admits it was his fault and says that there shouldn't have been any violence in the search for the Grail. Aringarosa realizes he and Opus Dei were puppets of the Teacher. Aringarosa remembers that his dealings with the Vatican led to his involvement in this terrible mission. The Church had decided to cut all ties with Opus Dei, paying millions in compensation. The Teacher preyed on Aringarosa's anger to involve him in the Grail conspiracy. Silas carries Aringarosa into a hospital and swears to kill the Teacher.

Chapter 101

Teabing insists Langdon swear allegiance to him. Langdon seems to think about it, then turns and gazes out a window at some apple trees. When Langdon turns back, he says he knows where on Newton's tomb to find the cryptex password. Teabing says if Langdon sets the cryptex down, he will not kill Sophie. Langdon bends toward the floor. As he rises Langdon tosses the cryptex up into the air. Teabing fires his gun wildly and then lunges to save the cryptex. In doing so he drops the gun and his crutches. He grabs the cryptex, but it shatters as he falls and his hand hits the floor. The vial of vinegar in the cryptex shatters. Teabing sobs, but sees the cryptex slices arranged to spell APPLE. Teabing realizes Langdon had already opened the cryptex. He insists Langdon give him the message that was inside. "Tell me!" Teabing screams. Langdon instead pockets the message he has extracted. Fache bursts into the room and arrests Teabing. Teabing is the Teacher and mastermind behind the conspiracy. He is the one who ordered so many murders.

Chapter 102

A bloody and badly injured Silas prays for forgiveness and for the recovery of Bishop Aringarosa. In his mind he hears the bishop's words about God's mercy.

Chapter 103

Fache has been interrogating Teabing. Teabing claims he is completely innocent. He pleads insanity, but Fache knows how he manipulated the Church and Opus Dei to carry out his mission. He can't be insane as he had plotted multiple murders and bugged numerous powerful French figures. The scene changes to the hospital where Aringarosa learns that Silas has died from his wound. He prays for forgiveness. He realizes he and Opus Dei have been manipulated and betrayed. Fache brings the bishop his case full of Vatican bearer bonds. Aringarosa asks that the money be used to compensate the families of those murdered. A television broadcast announces that Langdon and Sophie have been cleared of all charges.

Chapter 104

Langdon and Sophie explore Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland. The chapel is aligned with the Rose Line and is said to hold the Grail. Part of the message found in the small cryptex contained the phrase, "The Holy Grail 'neath ancient Roslin waits." They enter the chapel and find it covered with carved symbols, especially roses and a Star of David. They meet the young man who is the chapel docent. He directs their gaze to the numerous symbols carved on the ceiling. The ceiling brings back Sophie's memory of her childhood visit with her grandfather. Langdon stands with the young man who asks about the rosewood box Langdon is carrying. He says his grandmother has one just like it. When the young man says that his grandfather made an identical box for his grandmother, Langdon sees a connection. He asks about the young man's parents, and the guide tells him they died in a car accident. Sophie remembers the house nearby. She enters the house and sees a photo of her grandfather as a young man. The woman in the house is her grandmother, Marie Chauvel. Sophie learns that she and Saunière had been married but had lived separately for their grandchildren's safety. Sophie weeps as she realizes she has found her brother and grandmother.

Chapter 105

Langdon learns from Marie Chauvel that the family bloodline is Merovingian. They are descendants of Mary Magdalene and her children with Jesus. For centuries the family protected itself from the Church, which did not want the true story revealed. She tells Langdon that the Star of David symbol in the chapel contains the blade and chalice mentioned in the cryptex message, but the message also hints that the Grail is people—the descendants of Mary Magdalene. The location of Magdalene's tomb and its documents remain a mystery. Sophie stays with her family, and Langdon leaves.

Epilogue

Langdon is asleep in a Paris hotel. He awakens suddenly, dresses, and follows the Rose Line through Paris to the Louvre Pyramid. However, he is more interested in La Pyramide Inversée (The Inverted Pyramid) located nearby. He peers down into it. Then he goes into this part of the museum and sees the inverted pyramid—a chalice shape—suspended above. Beneath it is a smaller upright pyramid. Together they form the "blade and chalice" mentioned in the cryptex message. Langdon leaves. He is certain that the Grail—Magdalene's tomb and the papers it holds—lies buried beneath this spot.

Analysis

Langdon and Sophie must solve a final puzzle before finding the Grail. They enter Westminster Abbey, looking for the tomb of Sir Isaac Newton, but the Teacher has already found it. Unfortunately the Teacher cannot solve the puzzle of the orb. Newton's tomb is decorated with numerous orbs, and the Teacher cannot figure out which one holds the vital clue to the Grail.

When Sophie finds the Teacher's note directing them to the Chapter House, they see Teabing there brandishing a gun. It is clear Teabing is the Teacher and the mastermind behind the conspiracy to find the Grail. Teabing explains the reason he conspired to steal the Grail: he feared that the Priory would never reveal it. He felt that the Grail's spiritual truth had to be made public. This is why he murdered Saunière and the other Priory members, and why he will do anything to be the first to find the Grail.

Still, Teabing continues to blame the Church for forcing him into his violent conspiracy. He insists the Priory "sold out" to the Church. Teabing rationalizes his conspiracy with lies that convince him he is undoing the Church's conspiracy. He implies that he doesn't want power but seeks only to publicize the truth. In desperation he invites Sophie and Langdon to become part of his mission.

Teabing gives Langdon the small cryptex because he is unable to figure out the five-letter code that will safely open it. It is another puzzle, one that is beyond Teabing. Langdon solves the puzzle as he gazes out the window at the apple trees in the garden. He recognizes the symbols associated with the apple tree. Apple blossoms have five-petaled flowers, as do roses. The five-pointed shape is a symbol of the divine feminine and a reference to Eve in the Bible. In ancient times she was an example of the sacred feminine. Apple trees produce fruit, which solve the part of the message referring to a "seeded womb." Apples are also "orbs." Langdon realizes the five-letter word that solves the cryptex puzzle is APPLE. In secret, with his back turned, Langdon uses this code to open the cryptex and remove the clue within. He has solved the final puzzle.

The injured Bishop Aringarosa thinks, "The Teacher was never going to deliver us the Holy Grail." He clearly sees that he, Silas, and Opus Dei were lied to by the Teacher. The lie made them pawns in the Teacher's (Teabing's) conspiracy to find the Grail. Aringarosa was willing to be part of the conspiracy after learning that the Church was cutting its ties to Opus Dei. If Opus Dei possessed the Grail, it would have power over the Church. Aringarosa has been conned into taking part in the conspiracy to gain power for Opus Dei.

Teabing's sexism reveals itself one last time when he thinks of Langdon: "On the verge of unveiling one of history's greatest secrets, and he troubles himself with a woman who has proven herself unworthy of the quest." Teabing's sexism blinds him to the sacred feminine Sophie embodies. She is, in fact, the most worthy of the Grail's secret. At Rosslyn Chapel, it is revealed that some Grand Masters of the Priory of Sion were women.

The final clue in the small cryptex leads Sophie and Langdon to Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland. There they are overwhelmed by the numerous symbols of the divine feminine. The pentacle, the chalice, and the Star of David are everywhere as symbols of the sacred feminine. The chapel itself is located on the Rose Line. The rose is a symbol of Mary Magdalene and the Grail.

At Rosslyn, most of the pieces fall into place. Sophie realizes the young man in the chapel is her brother, and the woman living in the house nearby is her grandmother, who was married to Saunière. Sophie has found her family. They are of Merovingian descent, so the symbol of blood, as in the bloodline of Magdalene and Jesus, includes Sophie and her family. Despite all these amazing revelations, Marie Chauvel (Sophie's grandmother) denies that the Grail is at Rosslyn Chapel.

Back in Paris Langdon follows the Rose Line to the Pyramid at the Louvre, drawn more to the Inverted Pyramid. When he enters the museum beneath the Inverted Pyramid, Langdon sees a small upright pyramid rising from the floor just beneath it. Together, the two pyramids form the "blade and chalice" also mentioned in the cryptex puzzle. They are the symbols of the union of the male (blade) with the sacred feminine (chalice). Langdon remembers another line from the last message: "The blade and chalice guarding o'er Her gates." He knows this refers to Mary Magdalene's tomb and the Grail. The novel ends with Langdon's certainty that the Grail lies buried deep beneath these pyramids under the Louvre.

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