Thanks to a slightly related comment elsewhere I was recently reminded of the third (and final) Indiana Jones movie. At the end of the movie it turns out that while the Grail does grant eternal life, any attempt at removing it from the temple causes

the latter to collapse.

Assuming that mechanism makes it absolutely certain the Grail's cup cannot be removed from the temple (and even if it could, the other half, the "water" which certainly wasn't pure water, was still inside the temple), were Indiana Jones' actions mostly in vain (aside from saving his father)? It seems all the Nazis could have achieved was

living forever inside the temple

which was not exactly useful...

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The water, as far as I'm aware, is simply that: water. It may not even be Holy Water, but I don't believe there is ever anything explicitly mentioned about having to drink from that particular font for the grail's powers to work.

The Temple of the Sun does indeed collapse when the grail is removed, but I think this is because the structure draws some sort power from the grail, and removing its power source removes this stability: hence stepping over the Great Seal causing the collapse.

Even if the grail couldn't be removed (which they only learn when meeting the Grail Knight), it still has incredible restorative powers that remain in effect when the user leaves the temple (as proven by the healing of Henry Jones). There is no reason this wouldn't heal deadly conditions such as Cancer, or any other ailments.

The Nazi's didn't know of the Grail's limitations until meeting the grail knight, and even with limitations it is still an incredibly powerful artifact.

  • 4
    The last two paragraphs of this answer are the important points here. Whether or not Indy's actions were unnecessary doesn't make then less valid. the Nazi's might have succeeded and you can't take the chance that they might. "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." is the sentiment here. – Paulie_D Oct 3 '17 at 13:41

It seems to me that you're partially correct but...

I recall somewhere in the film that one of the other 'grail-guarding' brothers had 'stumbled out of the desert and died of extreme old age'.

This would infer that the effects of drinking from the grail would give you:

  1. Immortality within the temple
  2. An extremely long life outside the temple
  3. Healing of wounds

So, one uses could be:

  • Visit the temple every so often to get a top up of 'life'.
  • Visit the temple to be healed of a wound.

There's also no indication of whether water decanted from the grail and removed from the temple would have any life giving properties. But, imagine it did... It would basically become a 'healing' 'life-giving" potion that anyone could use.

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