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Sir Leigh Teabing

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Are you with me, or against me?
~ Sir Leigh Teabing

Sir Leigh Teabing, aka the Teacher, is the hidden main antagonist of The Da Vinci Code and its film version. He is an Historian whom he set his goal in getting the Grail and to kill everybody who wants to keep its identity hidden.

He is portrayed by the Academy Award nominated actor Sir Ian McKellen, who also portrays Magneto, the Toad and Gandalf the Grey/White.


Sir Leigh Teabing and Robert Langdon have an academic history together, possibly from the same university. Sir Leigh introduced Robert to the Grail legend of the Grail being a woman rather than a Chalice. Robert didn't believe him but Sir Leigh wanted the world to believe his view and so he decided to hunt down and kill the members of the Priory of Sion who were protectors of the Grail. Sir Leigh got in contact with the Church, and hired a bishop named Manuel, as well as his servant, Silas, an assassin, whom Sir Leigh got to kill the Priory members for him.

He was successful in his first murders, however the murder of Jacques Sauniere, the final member, caused a problem. Sauniere managed to leave clues about da Vinci in his dying hour, and he left a clue for his granddaughter, Sophie, to find Langdon. Unfortunately, the police believed Langdon to be the killer, and Sir Leigh orchestrated this, telling Manuel, the bishop, to tell the police Langdon was bad. Langdon and Sophie escaped police and turned up at Sir Leigh's villa.

Sir Leigh welcomed them (in an eccentric fashion, with "three questions of honor" i.e. whether to have coffee or tea) and then told Sophie about the Grail. Sir Leigh was shocked she didn't know the real story, calling her a "virgin" (a name amongst academics for individuals who don't know the truth). Sir Leigh pointed out the features in the Last Supper painting which had Mary in the crowd. Sir Leigh convinced Sophie that it was about the female, that the Church was borne through a woman.

Having contacted Silas before, the monk appeared at the mansion at that moment, holding Sophie hostage and trying to kill Robert, but he was knocked out by Sir Leigh after some negotiation. Sir Leigh was about to call the police because his servant Remy saw Langdon and Sophie on the Most Wanted, but Robert told Sir Leigh about Sauniere being Sophie's grandfather and saved them. Sir Leigh got them out from police and he drove out to his private jet to fly to London in England for the final clues.

In a church, Remy seemed to double-cross Sir Leigh and Silas attacked again, but Sir Leigh was thrown to the ground, kidnapped by Remy, and taken with Silas to a dockyard. There, Remy convinced Silas that he was the Teacher and left at a clerical house. However, Remy was seen conversing with the real Teacher, congratulating them both. The Teacher, however, poisoned Remy and left him to die, betraying him.

The Teacher ambushed Sophie and Robert at the Westminster, revealing himself as Sir Leigh Teabing, to their amazement. Sir Leigh claimed he was honorable, and wouldn't kill them so long as they gave him the map to the Grail. Langdon saw the device he held was the map and tried to work out the clue while Sir Leigh held them at gunpoint. Sir Leigh said he wanted to stop the Church in their efforts to cover up the clue. Sir Leigh confessed to hiring Silas to kill Sauniere and the other four men. Sir Leigh waited for Langdon to work out the clue, but Langdon decided to smash the cryptex device and make Sir Leigh ignorant forever. Sir Leigh screamed when the cryptex smashed and was left grovelling madly on the floor until the police arrived, having been told by Manuel that he was blackmailed by Sir Leigh.

The police took Sir Leigh off to jail as he was told by Langdon "only the worthy find the Grail. You yourself told me that."

Later, Sir Leigh is shown at jail trying to bluff his way out, but Manuel sees him on television and knows he is the Teacher and that Sir Leigh killed the guardians. Manuel knows Sir Leigh won't be able to bluff his way out of this one.

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