The Da Vinci Code: Chapter 104

Chapter 104

Summary: At Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland, the so-called “Cathedral of Codes,” Langdon and Sophie seek the ultimate answer, the final goal of their quest: the location of the Sangreal documents and Mary Magdalene’s remains. Saunière’s final message, inside the second cryptex, promised: “The Holy Grail ‘neath ancient Roslin waits.” As they enter the nearly empty sanctuary, Sophie has the sense that she has been to Rosslyn before. She remembers that, in fact, she has: her grandfather brought her here a year or so after her family’s death. He had had to meet with a woman who lived near the chapel. While she waited for him, Sophie had fallen asleep studying Rosslyn’s rich, symbol-covered archway, striving to decipher its famous, secret, supposedly indecipherable code. Now, they speak to the young male docent at the chapel; curiously, he notes Saunière’s rosewood box (which Fache had returned to Langdon and Sophie) and states that his grandmother has one exactly like it. He further reveals that he was raised by his grandmother after his family was killed in a car crash. Amazingly, the young man and Sophie are brother and sister. The woman whom Saunière had visited all those years ago is Sophie’s grandmother, and now head of the Rosslyn Chapel Trust. Following a tearful reunion, Sophie’s grandmother, Marie Chauvel, promises to at last tell her the truth about her family.

Analysis: Although this chapter introduces much information regarding the rich symbology of Rossyln Chapel and why some Grail aficionados regard it as the Grail’s true location (while, we are told, “Grail academics agreed that Rosslyn was a decoy,” p. 466), its true significance rests in its revelation of Sophie’s brother and grandmother. Sophie’s grandmother’s words—“No more secrets, princess. It’s time you learn the truth about our family” (p. 475)—form a pleasing symmetrical bookend with the frantic message that Saunière had left for his estranged granddaughter earlier in the book.