Originally Posted by TheFedora
Makes me wonder how she would have behaved had she not accidentally stepped over the seal. I mean...you have all the German Soldiers still there. So I think if Indy had said something to her about the seal, I am not sure what might have happened. Honestly, I don't really know.
In response to sheffsteve's original question, I think it's mostly agreed that Elsa intentionally gives Donovan the most gaudy looking (and therefore incorrect) cup on the premise that Jesus would've drank from something more humble. Plus she gives Indy that look and a small shake of her head, as if to say "nope!" Whether or not this action redeems her character is another debate.
As for "accidentally" stepping over the seal, the knight had warned Indy and Elsa that it was the boundary and "price" of immortality before they went back to Henry. Elsa either didn't process the warning or refused to believe that it had any validity. That said, I always wondered what might've happened if Elsa hadn't stepped back so slowly over the seal. She seemed to be moving in slow motion, like her boots were made of stone. Perhaps she was just so caught up in the moment of finally holding the grail. If the seal was just another trap - the final one in the sequence - then she might've had a chance to sprint for the exit and secure the grail. Of course, the religious interpretation of the scene is that the power of God would've prevented anyone from leaving with the grail regardless of their actions.
In my mind, she eliminated Donovan out of revenge for shooting Henry and also to get herself closer to obtaining the grail. As the cliche goes: Two birds with one stone!