Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) Ending Explained – Who finds the original Grail out of the lot?

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) Plot Synopsis

In 1938, Indiana Jones’ father, Professor Henry Jones Sr. disappears while in search of the Holy Grail. As Indy sets off to rescue his father, his finds himself up against the Nazis again.

Later in his expedition, when friends turn to foes, Indy realizes he needs to do a lot more than just finding his father and outrunning the Nazis. Will Indy deliver again or the trickeries and cryptic powers will prove too much to overcome?

What is the Holy Grail?

Holy Grail is a special clay cup that was used to collect Jesus’ blood. The biblical artefact is desired by Nazis because it is capable of granting immortality. After Henry disappears, Indiana Jones meets with a businessman, Walter Donovan who shares important information regarding the Grail.

Later, Jones finds his father’s diary containing the details regarding his research into the Holy Grail. Guided by the information, Jones travels to Venice with his friend Marcus Brody in quest of answers.

What happens in Venice?

Jones meets Elsa Schneider, his father’s colleague. They go to the library where Henry was last seen. Beneath the library, they discover a network of oil-filled tunnels where they spot a tomb adorned with a shield with details of the Grail’s location.

While they are still in the tunnel, they are attacked by the members of society entrusted with protecting the Grail called Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword. Indy gets to know from the leader of the group that his father is held a prisoner in the castle Brunewald in Austria.

When do Nazis get involved?

Nazis have been after the Holy Grail for a long time. However, despite their incessant efforts to find it, Jones has an edge in terms of information and skills even though he is only looking for his father. Indy sends Marcus with a map from the diary to meet Sallah. But, the Nazi forces capture Marcus and take the map.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

What happens in Austria?

Jones and Elsa find Henry in Castle Brunewald, however, Indy is forced to surrender after Elsa is captured.

The Joneses find themselves stunned when they find out Elsa and Donovan double-crossed them. They get to know that Donovan had been using them all along to get his hands on the Grail and achieve immortality. Donovan and Elsa fly to Germany to present Henry’s diary to Hitler.

Meanwhile, the Joneses manage to escape. Upon inquiring about the diary, Henry reveals that his diary contains details of the traps in the path to the Grail and methods to overcome them. Subsequently, the two trek to Berlin. Indy confronts Elsa and retrieves the diary.

The two reach Hatay where Indy rescues Marcus. Sallah updates him that Donovan and Elsa along with the Nazis are following the map and are close to getting to the Grail. Now, it’s a race against time for Indy.

How does Indiana Jones find the Holy Grail?

Indiana, Henry, Marcus, and Sallah reach the resting place of the Grail, the canyon of the Crescent Moon. Despite being on the location, Donovan, Elsa, and the Nazis are unable to get any further due to the cryptic traps. Donovan shoots Henry in a bid to get Indy to obtain the Grail.


With nothing but his father’s life in mind, Indy uses the details in the diary to get to the room filled with Grails. According to a 700-year-old knight who guards the Grail, drinking from any Grail other than the original one would result in immediate death. The problem: nobody is certain which is the real Grail.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

Who finds the original Grail out of the lot?

Elsa picks up a posh-looking Grail from which Donovan takes a sip. Within moments, Donovan ages into a rotten skeleton and then bursts into pieces. Aware of Grail’s appearance, Indy picks up the right Grail, a simple clay cup.

The knight warns Indy that for the boon to hold water, the Grail should not go beyond the premises of the temple. Indy acknowledges. Then, after taking a sip himself, Indy uses the Grail to heal his father.

Overtaken with greed, Elsa tries to take the Grail with her despite the warnings. However, just as she crosses the holy seal, the temple begins collapsing causing her to fall to her death.

Indy attempts to get hold of the Grail, but Henry persuades him to let go it. As the temple turns into dust, Indy along with Henry, Marcus, and Sallah ride off.

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