‘Outer Banks’ Character: Denmark Tanny, Explained: What Happened To Him? How Is He Related To Pope? 

Born in 1806, Denmark Tanny is a very important figure in “Outer Banks.” His name is often repeated in the series, and although he’s not physically present, Tanny’s character gives more narrative and meaning to the show. Tanny is the main instigator of everything that happens in the Outer Banks. He first discovered the treasure and then preserved his knowledge of it until the Pogues deciphered it. Tanny had spent his life as a slave and was even employed as a cook on the Royal Merchant. Call it fate or coincidence, the shipwreck changed his life and made him the richest man for miles. He used the gold to free his sons from prison and to purchase the “Tannyhill estate,” which later belonged to Ward Cameron. This estate was specifically for the slaves who had no place to live. Although he had managed to free himself, Tanny couldn’t bear to leave behind others like him to spend their lives in the service of the rich.


Tanny stole the cross of Santo Domingo for the servants of the Tannyhill plantation. John B couldn’t help but notice his painting in Ward’s house. He was curious about his stories and later understood that his father, Big John, had been following Tanny all along. Tanny was a very smart person and never misused the gold for evil intentions. However, his success became a nuisance to many who wished for his immediate death.

Moreover, Tanny tried to free his wife and daughter from their slave owners but the authorities didn’t accept his offer. After he buried their bodies, the Limbrey family hanged him to death as well. At that time, people were very racist; they classified the colored people as slaves and made them strive for food. With each season, the Pogues discovered more details about him that eventually led them to the golden city of El Dorado. For some reason, Tanny knew the right way to the hidden city. He left the translation key in his diary that Carlos Singh had been looking for. 


Tanny had left those details for his daughter Clarice. Clarice never read the letter; she never knew of Tanny’s existence, and he never had the opportunity to meet his daughter. To make things easy for her, Tanny left the letter with the right information to find the golden city. This letter was later found by Pope, the direct descendant of Tanny. He searched his belongings to find Tanny’s letter and was the first to open it. The letter contained various signs and symbols that were somehow necessary to pass through the entrance of El Dorado. He had left the whole clue for his daughter to find, but Pope was the one to get it instead.

In the end, Tanny was hanged for inciting the slaves to fight the law. Pope’s connection to Denmark Tanny gave the story a different twist, and Pope learned about it when he met Carla Limbrey in Charleston. The fact that Ward was the owner of Tannyhill was enough to understand that after Tanny’s death, things went back to normal as usual, and the slaves would have been evicted from the plantation. All along, Pope was expected to inherit the plantation, as he was part of Tanny’s family tree. Meanwhile, Pope is the smartest character in the series who works to reclaim his family’s inheritance. Pope had sacrificed his studies and scholarship to find the gold, only to be stranded on an island for an entire month.


The story of Denmark Tanny was inspired by the true story of Denmark Vesey, a carpenter from Charleston, South Carolina. At the age of 32, Denmark Vesey won a lot of money, which he later used to escape slavery. He had tried to rescue his wife and children, but the authorities did not accept his payment. Vesey decided to fight against the upper class to free people from slavery. He was falsely accused of inciting a rebellion, and Vesey was killed at the age of 55.

Many Africans were enslaved in America until things began to change after the Civil War. His journey was not easy because Vesey had to deal with the people in his community who were loyal servants to the elite. These servants informed the upper class about his plans, which caused even more problems for Vesey. In the end, Vesey fought to improve the lives of some slaves, but things did not go according to his plans. The Outer Banks did a great job of adapting Denmark Vesey’s story by making him a treasure hunter. They mixed the real story of the slave rebellion with the legendary tales of El Dorado. The Pogues struggled with the same problem, while the Kooks constantly mocked them for their lower status and standard of living until they turned everything around and found El Dorado.


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Raschi Acharya
Raschi Acharya
Raschi Acharya is a Mass Media graduate and she is currently working and living in Mumbai. From a very young age, Raschi was heavily interested in reading and writing. She prefers to write everything that her mind nurtures her to do as shaping up her imagination is her forte!

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