Is The Golden City Of El Dorado Real? How Do The Pogues Find It In ‘Outer Banks’ Season 3?


The legend of El Dorado is probably the world’s most famous question after Atlantis. We remember reading somewhere a long time ago that there was a conflict of opinion as to whether El Dorado meant a golden man or a golden city. The man in question is the king of the city, who covered himself in gold dust. Well, some paltry gold dust is not enough to satisfy human greed. Hence El Dorado was decided to be a city made entirely of gold that we must find and make money off of. Countless expeditions across centuries have set out to find this mythical city, but no one has even come close.

We have often wondered what it must mean to be a city of gold. Has the gold been used as bricks for construction, or are the walls coated with it? What does it say about the aesthetic sense of people at that time? But jokes apart, a safe analogy would be that a “city of gold” means a place of unimaginable riches, which usually indicates a forward-thinking government that prioritizes trade. But if that is the case, then it wouldn’t be just a single city unless it is located somewhere that is cut off from the rest of the world. If that is not the case, then it must be a massive empire, or, let us say, a group of cities, because abundant wealth is seldom contained in one place. There are always people who benefit from being in the vicinity, sometimes enough to reach equal heights of prosperity on their own. This brings us to the myth of the “seven cities of gold,” which first emerged around the 16th century. These seven cities were supposed to be on an island named Antillia in the Atlantic Ocean, and El Dorado was one of them.

It is true that there is no smoke without fire, but there is also no limit to human imagination. Who is to say that it was not just one myth, with different versions in different places leading people to believe there are multiple treasures? It is a personal opinion, but with the kind of technology we all have now, we believe that if such a treasure existed, it would have been found. Maybe El Dorado and Atlantis were the same, and in fact, some people believe that Atlantis and Dwarka were the same places. The quest for these places is fueled not just by greed but by a fantasy. Would we be willing to accept that the fabled riches of a place are just the exaggerations of a bedtime story and not real wealth? The El Dorado we saw at the end of “Outer Banks” Season 3 was just so underwhelming for a 500-year-old mystery. It was a lot of gold, but it wasn’t enough to live up to the fantasy of El Dorado. Either way, the ponies faced a lot to just get there, so let us take a look at their journey from “Outer Banks” Season 1, which led them to the treasure.

The Treasure Hunt Of The Pogues

It all started when, in “Outer Banks” Season 1, the Pogues chanced upon a shipwreck, from which they retrieved a compass that belonged to John B’s father. The compass had “Rayleigh” written on it, which John believed was his father’s way of communicating with him. Initially, he thought it meant a lighthouse, and the keeper told him where he thought the “Royal Merchant” must be, a ship that had drowned almost a hundred years ago and was rumored to be carrying gold worth $400 million. While this is a clue, John B figures out that “Rayleigh” must mean his ancestor, and true to his suspicions, he finds an envelope containing a map when he inspects it. The map leads them to the Royal Merchant, but disappointingly, it does not contain the gold.

However, John B comes to know through Sarah about Denmark Tanny, a mysterious man who shows up on the island with enough money to buy his freedom and the estate, around the same time the Royal Merchant sank into the ocean. John B deduces out that he must have been the sole survivor of the ship and asks to look at his previous writings or documents. This leads them to the state archives at Chapel Hill, where he finds a letter written by Denmark Tanny. John B has it translated by his professor and comes to know the spot the gold is buried in. Sarah brings him an old map of the island, and John B figures out that the gold is buried in a well in Mrs. Crain’s house—an old woman rumored to have killed her entire family with an axe. The gold is taken out by Ward Cameron, and the Pogues never see it but come “Outer Banks” Season 2, there is a new artifact for them to find.

A new character is introduced by the name of Clara Limbrey, who tells Pope that she wants the key to the Cross of Santo Domingo. The key has supposedly been in Pope’s family for generations, and this information leads Pope to the fact that they are the descendants of Denmark Tanny. With some vested personal interest, Pope finds an inscription on the key that says that the way to the cross can be found in the island room. Well, the island room is in Sarah’s house, which leads them to an old tree. However, Renfield and Rafe have beaten them to it, though they do not find the treasure. After they leave, the Pogues restore Cecilia’s desecrated grave and find a clue that Rafe and Renfield had missed. The clue in the tree tells them to look in a church, and true to that, they found the cross in one of the beams. That was the first and last time they had it in their possession because a medical emergency forced them to leave it behind, and it was taken away by Clara’s henchmen. The artifact is melted down by Rafe in “Outer Banks” Season 3, and that is the end of it. But it never had anything much to do with El Dorado except make Pope wonder where the gold on the Royal Merchant came from. If they stole it all from a Spanish ship, where was the origin of it? We get the answers in “Outer Banks” Season 3.

John B finds that his father is alive, and both of them retrieve the first half of the “Signpost of Orinoco,” the key to the location of El Dorado, from an antique trader on the island. Big John reveals that the merchant’s gold was just the first step to his ultimate quest: El Dorado, and they have to find it now. They stole the second half of the signpost from a museum, and now, they must translate it. Pope finds the translation key in Denmark Tanny’s belongings that he had left for his daughter, and they take it with them when they go to rescue Big John in South America. Big John, John B, and Sarah find the location where the signpost must be placed, which gives them the next directions they must follow. They go further into the jungle and find a cave, which they realize must lead to El Dorado. True to their deductions, they find a water body in that cave, which clearly has a different source. They follow it and find the golden city of El Dorado in all of its glory, protected by the mountains for so long. The Pogues’ quest to find El Dorado was a result of them protecting their loved ones and trying to build a better life for themselves, and it ultimately led them to solve a centuries-old mystery.

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Divya Malladi
Divya Malladi
Divya spends way more time on Netflix and regrets most of what she watches. Hence she has too many opinions that she tries to put to productive spin through her writings. Her New Year resolution is to know that her opinions are validated.

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