The Da Vinci Code: Character Profiles

Robert Langdon: “Harrison Ford in Harris tweed” (p. 10), Langdon is a scholar in the obscure and complicated field of religious and mythic symbology, but he also possesses physical attractiveness and personal charm. He is an intellectual action hero, capable of brilliant flashes of insight, with a wealth of detailed information at his command—yet he is personable, approachable, and possesses a dry wit. For all his learning, he has not lost the sense of wonder that first drew him into his study of the Grail, for at the novel’s end, he falls to his knees in a “sudden upwelling of reverence” at his quest’s conclusion (p. 489).
Jacques Saunière: A celebrated curator at the Louvre Museum in Paris, Saunière is murdered in the novel’s prologue. He nevertheless functions as an important character in The Da Vinci Code, “speaking” through the various puzzles, riddles and ciphers he leaves behind as clues to the secret of the Holy Grail. “Jacques Saunière… was a frighteningly clever man” (p. 422). He was also Grandmaster of the Priory of Sion, a secret society dedicated to worshiping the sacred feminine and preserving the truth about the royal bloodline of Mary Magdalene and Jesus.
Sophie Neveu: Saunière’s granddaughter, from whom he has been estranged for a decade as the novel opens, is a cryptologist working for the Paris police. She is also a blood descendant of Mary Magdalene and Jesus—she is, literally, what her grandfather nicknamed her when she was a child: “Princess Sophie.” She is also named for the ancient goddess of wisdom, the icon of the divine feminine, Sophia; appropriately, then, she displays wisdom at many points throughout the novel—although the author never quite allows her to outshine Robert Langdon for long!
Captain Bezu Fache: A captain of the Paris police, Fache is both a devout Roman Catholic and a relentless enforcer of justice. One of his literary antecedents is no doubt Inspector Javert from Victor Hugo’s Les Misèrables, although, unlike Javert, Fache proves himself, despite his dogged pursuit of his fugitive quarry, capable of admitting error and redirecting his efforts toward truth.
Andre Vernet: The president of the Paris branch of the Depository Bank of Zurich is introduced as a sympathetic character caught between wanting to do what is right and wanting to do what is best for himself: “Jacques was a friend, and my bank does not need this kind of press, so for those two reasons, I have no intention of allowing this arrest to be made on my premises” (p. 201). His reason for helping Sophie and Langdon is a very pragmatic one; and though he ultimately betrays them, readers who have been caught in their own difficult situations can nonetheless more than likely identify with Vernet. While not ultimately reliable, neither is he ultimately a villain.
Silas: A monastic member of the Roman Catholic organization Opus Dei, Silas is throughout most of the novel little more than the “evil albino” (a common villainous stereotype in literature and cinema). He may find some redemption by the novel’s end, however, as he learns in his dying moments to accept and extend God’s mercy and forgiveness.
Bishop Manuel Aringarosa: The president-general of Opus Dei, Aringarosa is a man who is motivated by a personal quest for status and power. When he learns that Opus Dei’s favored status with the Vatican is endangered, he feels the threat to his own person and prestige. His grab for power, therefore, is ultimately grounded in his great fear—fear that “the Teacher” is able to exploit for his own ends. Like his disciple Silas, however, Aringarosa, too, finds some measure of redemption by the book’s conclusion. Unlike Silas, Aringarosa survives the book, perhaps an indication that he will amend his ways and become a true servant of his Church and his God.
Sir Leigh Teabing: An eccentric, crippled Knight of the Realm, Leigh Teabing is, like his former student Langdon, a living font of information about the lore of the Holy Grail. Unbeknownst to readers for most of the novel, however, Teabing is also the villainous “Teacher” who is orchestrating the conspiracy to steal the keystone of the Priory of Sion and learn the location of the Holy Grail. Teabing believes the Priory has forsaken its duty to reveal the truth about the Grail to the world, and he takes it upon himself to perform that duty for them.
Rèmy: Sir Teabing’s personal manservant, Rèmy is also the only person in the conspiracy who knows the Teacher’s true identity. He is the only one who can identify Teabing as the Teacher—thus he becomes a liability to Teabing when he reveals his face to Langdon and Sophie at the Temple Church, a liability Teabing murders by exposing him to peanut allergen. Unlike other characters in the book who are motivated by a quest for truth, Rèmy is motivated only by the chance to secure his personal pleasure and comfort.