Summary: The results of the computer search at King’s College eventually yield a promising—and startling—solution to Saunière’s puzzling poem. The Pope referred to in the verse proves not to be the Roman Catholic pontiff, but the British poet Alexander Pope, who presided over the funeral of Sir Isaac Newton. “In London lies a knight A. Pope interred.”
Analysis: Aside from finally revealing the answer to Saunière’s riddle, this chapter further develops the sense of reality that Brown creates by tying elements of his fanciful conspiracy theory to everyday cultural touchstones that readers can quickly grasp. By describing the Tarot as a “flash-card catechism” of the true Grail story, and by linking the suits of ordinary playing cards to the supposedly coded suits of the Tarot deck (p. 420), Brown invests his plot with that air of plausibility that has excited so much interest in and controversy around the novel since its publication.