Guest Author - Deanna Joseph
In the wild lands of 6th century Denmark, there lived a great king who went by the name of Hrothgar. King Hrothgar was a good king, and his people were kept happy. But this happiness had disturbed a great monster who lived outside the kingdom. Grendel, who was a giant (and some say had dragon blood flowing in his veins) hated hearing the sounds of celebration and joyfulness that were constantly coming from Heorot, home of the King.
So one night Grendel snuck into the great hall after everyone had gone to sleep, and he killed 30 of Hrothgar’s warriors. He then took their bodies and devoured them. This happened again the next night, and then again. The King, who could not defeat such a foe, was forced to take his court and flee the castle to the safety of the nearby village.
Beowulf, a great warrior from Scandinavia had heard of King Hrothgar’s troubles, and so journeyed with 14 men to the Kingdom of the Danes. Here he was most heartily welcomed, for the King saw no end to the torment of the monster Grendel.
That night Beowulf and his men stayed in the castle and made merry. Then late into the night, Grendel, hearing the noises of celebration, came again into the castle and managed to devour one of Beowulf’s men before they could react. Beowulf and his men fought bravely though, and managed to mortally wound the great giant, who managed to escape to his cavern beneath the lake to die. Beowulf, who had severed one of the creature’s arms, hung it in the rafters as proof to the King that the monster had been destroyed.
The King and his court return to Heorot, to celebrate and honor Beowulf. However that night as they sleep, another monster, even more horrifying than Grendel, comes into the castle and carries off one of Hrothgar’s men. It is Grendel’s mother, come to avenge the death of her son.
Beowulf follows the monster’s mother to her dwelling beneath the lake, where they do battle. However, she seems impervious to Beowulf’s sword. However, just as things seem as though they can get no worse for Beowulf, he finds a magic sword that was forged by the giants themselves. He takes this sword and cuts off the head of the monster mother, and returns to Heorot.
The kingdom of Hrothgar thrives, and Beowulf returns to his homeland where he eventually becomes king and rules for 50 years. However, Beowulf, the mighty warrior, is called for one last adventure as a great dragon comes to destroy his kingdom. There is not much to tell at this point, only that Beowulf was wounded when he killed the dragon. His body was burned on funeral pyre by his tribesmen, but his bravery and courage live on.