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Roy Batty recalls his memories of the Tannhäuser Gate

The Tannhäuser Gate was the location of a campaign in which Roy Batty participated, having "flown gypsy ships with the Russians" there.[1]

In November 2019, during his final moments, Roy recalled watching C-beams near the Tannhäuser Gate.[2]

Behind the scenes[]

In the 1982 film Blade Runner, the replicant Roy Batty (played by Rutger Hauer) refers to the gate while recounting his experiences as an off-world commando:

"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe: attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those... moments... will be lost in time, like... tears... in rain".

The speech, including the mention of the Gate, was added by David Peoples in a 1981 draft of the script. Rutger Hauer made minor cuts to the speech and added the famous "tears in rain" line.[3]


The comic's panel describing Batty's missions, possibly portraying a battle at the Tannhäuser Gate

The Tannhäuser Gate is never described in any detail during the film, but the comic book adaptation adds a minor detail of Roy flying "gypsy ships" with the Russians.

In a deleted scene from the 1998 film Soldier (written by David Peoples as a "spin-off sidequel-spiritual successor" to Blade Runner), it was a warp station. The battle and Tannhäuser Gate itself are shown on-screen in one of the film's deleted scenes, and it is mentioned in-film in Todd's service history as being a battle he participated in.

The name is possibly a reference to German folklore, where there are several stories about both a knight named Tannhäuser and a bard named Tannhäuser. In one such story, the knight named Tannhäuser is on a journey to an underworld fairy-like kingdom to see the pagan queen. The last step into the kingdom requires that he has to pass a set of swinging giant iron doors from which come the sound of the wind or 1000 voices. Later in the story, the iron doors are called "The Gate."

References in popular culture[]

  • Perhaps in a reference to Blade Runner or through an independent resource, the Japanese animation series Gunbuster created by Gainax makes several references to space travel through a Tannhauser Gate.
  • The Heavy Gear series of games and fiction make use of the term to describe "a fault in the space-time continuum where two normally distant points of space touch one another".
  • In the computer game Homeworld, the player must save the Bentusi from Taiidan forces at a place called Tenhauser Gate.
  • Tannhauser Gate is the name of a Poland-based games design and development studio.[1]
  • Tannhauser Gate is the title of a song by The Electric Hellfire Club on the album Electronomicon, and the title of a song by Fightstar on the album "One Day Son, This Will All Be Yours".
  • Tannhäuser Gate is the title of a Demoscene demo by the group Cubicle, which features a few Blade Runner inspired 3D scenes
  • Tannhauser Gate is the name of a book the main character is reading in the last panel of Chapter 10 of the online comic Gunnerkrigg Court [2]
  • The space trading and combat game Elite Dangerous, some of whose design aesthetics are inspired by the Blade Runner movie, features a starport by the name of Tannhauser Gate.
  • The web comic "The Whiteboard" made a reference to a new Paintball marker manufacturer called Tannhauser Gate in the last panel of the strip posted on July 8th 2015.
  • "The Shoulder of Orion", a short story in Nature magazine, describes a space-ship travelling through a "Tannhauser Gate," which is described as a "jumpgate".
  • Science fiction video game Rebel Galaxy contains a purchasable ship similarly named Tennhausen.
  • The 4X grand strategy game Stellaris has a unique star system, which contains "completely burned out attack ships" and the Tannhauser gate. There is an excavation site on a planet that refers to Roy Batty's monologue.
  • The German band Tocotronic sings the line "Nahe dem Tannhäuser Tor" (en: near the Tannhauser Gate) in their song "Spiralen" (en: spirals) and even did an official post on Facebook in 2015 titled "NAHE DEM TANNHÄUSER TOR"
  • In Season 1, Episode 8 of Marvel's WandaVision series which first aired February 26, 2021, there is a flashback scene where grief-stricken Wanda transforms the town of Westview into a 1950s sitcom utopia. A wave of energy changes the marquee of the Coronet theatre which before the wave reads "TANNHAUSER GATE" on the top line and "PUT THE FUN 1N DYSFUNCTION" on the bottom line.
  • Owen Wilson's character Bob "Drillbit" Taylor quotes Roy Batty's Tannhäuser Gate line in an attempt to spook the boys who are hiring him as a body guard in the 2008 movie Drillbit Taylor. The smallest boy, Emmitt, however recognizes the quote from the film instantly.
  • In season one, episode 8 of the live-action Netflix adaptation of the anime Cowboy Bebop (Sad Clown A-Go-Go), Jett Black mistakenly assumes Spike Spiegel had previously served in the armed forces and specifically mentions the Tannhäuser Gate and the Shoulder of Orion.
  • Tannhäuser Gate Helles Lager is a craft beer made by Pomona Island Brew Co, based in Salford, England.
  • In their single Red Alert (Boss Metal Zone), Rock band Clutch mention Tannhaüser Gate among many other Blade Runner references.
  • The Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game references Blade Runner with a Spell card named "Tannhauser Gate."
  • British band Fightstar has a song named Tannhäuser Gate on their second album, One Day Son, This Will All Be Yours.
  • In the Animated TV show Transformers: War for Cybertron, the characters Ultra Magnus and Megatron fought together at a location called the Tarn-Hauser gate.
  • Dogfighting video game House of the Dying Sun features a mission called "Slaughter at Tannhauser Gate", in which the player must destroy transport ships and their military escorts near a warp gate.
  • The DUST short movie "The Beacon" has a poem mentioning Tannhauser Gate, quoted from the Book of Ash, seen at the Proteus lost ship memorial.