Sir Leigh Teabing is the main antagonist in The Da Vinci Code, acting behind the scenes as The Teacher, yet helping Langdon and Sophie in their search for the Holy Grail. In the film adaptations, Teabing is portrayed by Sir Ian McKellen.
Teabing was a British Royal Historian, a Knight of the Realm, Grail scholar, and friend of Harvard professor Robert Langdon. He is said to have been a descendant of the first Duke of Lancaster, from whom he inherited his huge wealth.
He was a known historian, whose speciality was in the area of the Holy Grail. It is assumed he was an Oxford University student, and may have taken part in the Henley sport. Teabing, at some point in his life, contracted polio, which caused Teabing to wear metal braces on his legs and use crutches. Although his residence is in France, Teabing often travels to Great Britain for his medical support courtesy of the British National Health Service (NHS), as he does not trust the French health system.
As the Teacher
Teabing's first action as the Teacher was contacting Opus Dei's leader, Bishop Manuel Aringarosa. Teabing offered Aringarosa a helping hand, as the Vatican informed it will stop supporting Opus Dei. Aringarosa took Teabing's offer to help, who claimed that Opus Dei shall regain its power through obtaining the Holy Grail. Aringarosa commanded Silas, his educated monk, to serve the Teacher, although their communications had to be cut off for a time, due to the Teacher's fears about his plans being exposed. The Teacher, without Aringarosa's knowledge, instructed Silas to kill the four leading members of the Priory of Sion, hoping they will reveal the secret location of the Keystone, which would lead them to the Holy Grail.
After the murder of her grandfather, Grand Master of the Priory of SIon, Sophie Neveu met Langdon, who was recruited by the French police. Through a series of codes and clues left by the late Saunière, Landgon and Sophie eventually retrieved an old object, which was rumoured to reveal the location of the Holy Grail. The couple could not solve the puzzle the cryptex presented, and so the two faced the only source of Grail knowledge - Teabing.
Sophie and Robert, now fugitives after their escape from the Louvre, attracted the police to Teabing's residence. There, they met Teabing and his butler, Rémy Legaludec, who is fully aware of his employer's secret identity. It was at his residence that Teabing revealed the truth about the Holy Grail; contrary to popular belief, the Grail was not the fabled chalice that Jesus and all his disciples drank out of during the Last Supper and later caught Jesus' blood when he was crucified, but rather, Mary Magdalene herself, who was married to Jesus. They were alleged to have had children, and the Priory of Sion was founded to protect the descendants of the couple.
Wealth & Influence
Due to allegedly being a descendant of the first Duke of Lancaster, Teabing is very rich, living in a palatial French chateau. He is also rich enough to afford a butler, a private jet and regular trips to the United Kingdom, if only to use the NHS for his polio treatment.