Summary: Back in Paris, Langdon returns to the Louvre, with its infamous glass pyramid entrance. Line by line, Langdon reflects on Saunière’s final message: “The Holy Grail ‘neath ancient Roslin waits”—a reference to the earth’s original prime meridian, which ran though Paris. “The blade and chalice guarding o’er Her gates”—the miniature pyramid inside the larger one. “Adorned in masters’ loving art, She lies”—the Louvre being the home of the art of so many Priory Grandmasters, Da Vinci not least among them. “She rests at last beneath the starry skies”—Langdon looks up through the glass pyramid at night, sees the stars, and falls to his knees in homage to the Sangreal.
Analysis: While it might be argued that the novel’s epilogue undercuts to some extent Marie Chauvel’s statements on both the importance of keeping the Sangreal’s location a secret and its overriding significance as a symbol of an ongoing quest for wholeness, this brief scene in Paris, where Langdon at last finds himself in the actual resting place of Mary Magdalene and the Grail documents, does provide readers with a certain amount of emotional closure and satisfaction. No knight wants to abandon a quest without having fulfilled it, after all—whether ancient Grail-seekers or modern novel readers! And Langdon’s simple act of reverence, rather than some public revelation of the truth of the Grail, actually emphasizes and reinforces Marie’s conviction regarding the Grail’s true nature. For Langdon, the journey has been at least as important, if not more so, than the destination. So long as a broken humanity stands in need of spiritual healing, the quest for the Grail will continue.