The Da Vinci Code: Chapter 64

Summary: While Teabing examines the cryptex, Langdon examines its wooden box, suddenly realizing that the phrase “The key to the Grail is hidden beneath the sign of the Rose” may literally refer to the inlaid rose on the box’s lid. Momentarily distracted by the sound of a bump elsewhere in the house, Langdon turns his attention to the lid’s underside, where he notes a tiny hole that does not pass completely through. Inserting an unbent paper clip into the hole, Langdon successfully removes the inlaid wooden rose. Four lines of text in a Semitic-looking language, yet whose characters Langdon does not recognize, are exposed, engraved beneath. An abrupt blow to the back of his head renders Langdon unconscious.

Analysis: Another level of the Priory’s puzzle is solved in this chapter—and the action takes another step forward as Silas attacks Langdon. This chapter is also of note, however, for its relation of part of the action from Teabing’s perspective, the first time this narrative shift takes place. Readers are afforded some of the old knight’s thoughts, giving us a more intimate look at his motivations—not, perhaps, so much for what he has done to this point, but for what he is about to do: “Teabing had questioned whether his life’s quest would ever be rewarded. Now these doubts were gone forever” (p. 297). The chapter thus emphasizes Teabing’s decades-long devotion to the Grail, so that it will be a character trait remaining fresh in the readers’ mind as the action continues to unfold.