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Silas, wounded by a bullet in his chest, sits in Kensington Gardens. He prays for Bishop Aringarosa and for forgiveness and mercy. Before he dies, he feels in his heart that his Lord is good and merciful.
Fache, leaving an interrogation of Teabing, goes to visit Aringarosa. Aringarosa is despondent at Silas’s death and the news that he killed the four brothers and the nun in Paris. Aringarosa asks Fache to distribute the money he planned to pay the Teacher amongst the families of the five people that Silas killed.
Sophie and Langdon arrive at Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland. The inside of the cryptex contained a phrase directing them to Rosslyn, which had been built by the Knights Templar. For years, people have thought that Rosslyn might be where the Grail is held, but it’s never been proven. In the chapel, Sophie looks up at one of the arches. She knows she has seen it before. When she was very young, she fell asleep looking at the arch and woke up in time to see her grandfather saying goodbye to somebody who was on the porch of a nearby house. Sophie wanders toward the house.
The docent asks Langdon where he got the box, saying his grandfather made the same one for his grandmother. The docent lost his grandfather, parents, and sister in a car accident.
Sophie enters the house and finds her grandmother. The two women embrace. Sophie’s brother, the docent, comes into the house and embraces them both.
Marie Chauvel tells Langdon the story of how the family separated. Sophie’s parents were of the blood line of Jesus and Mary, but they had changed their names for safety. Supposedly, they were in a car accident, but the grandparents suspected it was not actually an accident. They faked the deaths of the grandmother and Sophie’s brother, both of whom went into hiding in Scotland.
Langdon wants to know whether the Grail is really at Rosslyn, and Marie reads him the verse again. She says she doesn’t know whether or not it is, and she says the secret is not necessarily meant to be revealed. One day, she says, the meaning of the verse will dawn on Langdon, and he will then have to keep the secret. In the meantime, the Priory is ready to appoint new brothers to the brotherhood and start guarding the secret anew. She goes back inside and Sophie comes out. Sophie and Langdon go to walk in the fields. They kiss and agree to meet in Florence in a month.
Back in Paris, Langdon realizes the meaning of Saunière’s poem. He runs to the Louvre, where a giant inverted pyramid hovers over another, smaller pyramid built into the floor of the museum. He realizes that these two pyramids represent the Chalice and the Blade, the ancient symbols of female and male mentioned in the lines of the poem. In his manuscript, he had described the smaller pyramid as similar to the tip of an underground vault. He now realizes that his speculation was actually the truth, and that is why Saunière must have told Sophie to find him. He falls to his knees in front of the smaller pyramid.
Even Opus Dei, which has had a totally negative image throughout the novel, is redeemed when Silas experiences a feeling of purity and knowledge of mercy. Now that it’s clear that the Teacher, and not Bishop Aringarosa, told Silas to kill, Opus Dei has shed some of its taint of blood.
The fundamental goodness of the Bishop and Fache, like Silas’s experience praying before death in the Garden, portrays religious people in a good light. Though the Church has come in for quite a beating in the rest of the novel, in the end, Brown makes it clear that some aspects of religion are positive, and some religious people are good people.
The bucolic setting of the chapter set at Rosslyn Chapel, when contrasted with the darkness of the novels’ other settings, echoes our satisfaction at emerging from the darkness of confusion into the light of understanding. For hours now, Sophie and Langdon have been in dark places: the Louvre in the middle of the night, cars racing through darkened parks and fields, a bank after hours, Teabing’s chateau at three o’clock in the morning., and the forbidding Temple Church. Rosslyn Chapel, with its springtime feeling and country setting, parallels Sophie’s happy discovery that some of her family is, after all, alive.
Unlike Teabing, who let the quest for the Grail take over his life and drive him to murder, Sophie never expressed a need to see the Grail. She was more concerned with the desire to see her family again than with the specific location of the documents and sarcophagus. Marie Chauvel had been able to live close to the secret of the Grail—in the form of her husband—for years, without having to see it for herself. Langdon has always stood in contrast to those in the story who are obsessed with the location of the Grail, but in these final chapters, he shows that he is not immune to the mystery and charm of the Grail. When he finally finds the place where the Grail must be hidden, he falls to his knees in worship. It is a striking departure from the sort of professorial interest he shows in the rest of the novel. In the presence of the Grail, Robert Langdon seems to have discovered the value of faith.
Ace your assignments with our guide to The Da Vinci Code!