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The Da Vinci Code Ending, Explained

November 30, 2020
6 min read

There is a reason that ‘The Da Vinci Code’ appears on our list of favorite films. The plot combines mythology, history, and conspiracy theories while creating an out-of-the-ordinary treasure hunt for the protagonists, Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu. The item in question? The Holy Grail! Directed by Ron Howard, the story takes some liberties, but it also reels you in as the mysteries associated with the Priory of Sion, the Templar Knights, and the Holy Grail are revealed.

Apart from all the intrigue and mystery in the plot, the film features a stellar cast that includes Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Sir Ian McKellen, Alfred Molina, Jürgen Prochnow, Jean Reno, and Paul Bettany. So, without further ado, let’s talk about the plot and the ending, shall we? SPOILERS AHEAD.

The Da Vinci Code Plot Synopsis 

Jacques Saunière is a curator at the Louvre museum. One night, he is murdered by an albino monk named Silas, who is associated with a religious organization named Opus Dei. However, in his final moments, Saunière leaves behind clues and summons the famed American symbologist, Robert Langdon. The police call Robert to examine the body.

However, unbeknownst to Robert, the authorities suspect him of the murder. Soon, Sophie Neveu, Saunière’s granddaughter and a police cryptographer, enters the picture. One clue leads to another, and the two then embark on a journey that eventually has them uncovering the truth behind the Holy Grail. Needless to say, they meet many dangerous obstacles and people along the way.

The Da Vinci Code Ending

At Westminster Abbey, Robert destroys the cryptex that contains the location of Mary Magdalene’s sarcophagus. His colleague, Sir Leigh Teabing, is absolutely sorrowful since the location of the Holy Grail is seemingly lost forever. The police come, and Captain Bezu Fache arrests the Englishman.
However, it turns out that Robert had cracked the code and retrieved the papyrus before breaking the cryptex.

This leads Sophie and him to the Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland. She realizes that she had visited the site a long time ago when she was just a kid. Eventually, they find a small, secret room and learn that Mary’s sarcophagus has been shifted to a secure location. Their hunt for the Holy Grail seemingly ends at the chapel. In the meantime, a member of the church notes their presence. Nonetheless, Robert determines that Saunière was not Sophie’s grandfather.

Instead, she is the last living descendant of Christ, and he was protecting her. After all, a newspaper clipping reveals that her actual last name is Saint Clair. It further alleged that her entire family had died in the car crash that night, even though Sophie is alive. Outside, the members of the Priory of Sion gather, and Sophie’s grandmother is also present. She vows not to give the girl up again and states that she will protect the cryptographer henceforth.

After an honest and deep conversation about religion and faith, Robert and Sophie part ways. Back in his hotel, Robert is shaving, which is when he cuts his cheek. As his blood takes on a particular shape in the sink, he thinks of the Rose Line and bloodlines and discerns that Mary’s tomb is right here in Paris, underneath the Louvre. He goes to the Pyramide Inversée, and kneels at the holy site, just as the Templar Knights did once upon a time.

Is Robert the Next Sénéshal? 

Before we launch this discussion, we just want to clarify that “sénéchaux” is the plural of the word “sénéshal,” which means the protector or the guardian. The Priory of Sion is the fabled group that has been charged with the protection of the Holy Grail, which the movie argues is Mary Magdalene and her tomb. Historically, it is only the grandmaster who knows the location of her sarcophagus, but in the end, Robert Langdon is able to crack the code.

This prompts the question – is Robert the new guardian? The answer is both yes and no. Yes, because he is the only one who knows where the revered tomb of Jesus’ presumed wife is. In the end, he even goes and kneels at the Louvre, just like the Templar Knights before him did. In this sense, Robert becomes the guardian of the secret of the location of the tomb. He is exactly like those knights who vowed to protect the enigma of the Holy Grail that the Opus Dei wants to destroy.

It does seem to be the case that Robert is the ideal candidate for the next grandmaster. There’s the fact that Jacques Saunière, the previous sénéshal, trusts the academic with solving the mystery of the Holy Grail, a facet that merits high praise. At one point in the movie, Robert also tells his colleague that “only the worthy” can find the revered artifact’s location. It’s almost as if he’s prophesizing the end. However, as far as the Priory of Sion is concerned, we don’t think that Robert assumes the role of the grandmaster.

Firstly, there is no mention of him joining the organization in either the book or the movie. Furthermore, he seems to be quite content with his life as an academic and scholar. He is never seen pursuing the all-powerful post. (There’s also the fact that he goes on other adventures in other novels by Dan Brown, although we do acknowledge that there are continuity issues in the literary universe). So no, in our opinion, Robert Langdon does not join the long list of influential figures (that includes Sir Issac Newton) who protect the secret behind “the greatest lie ever told.”

Instead, he understands the long history of violence and bloodshed that is associated with finding the treasure, aka the Holy Grail. Keeping quiet would be his way of ending the historic battle on a positive note. Alas, there is nothing that Robert can bring to the table in the larger scheme of things. Furthermore, as far as Sophie (or Christ’s last living descendant) is concerned, the Priory of Sion knows the truth and will carry out their duties accordingly.

Read More: Is The Da Vinci Code a True Story?

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