Beowulf

Norse - A warrior prince. Son of Ergtheow. Nephew of Hygelac, king of Geatland. He and his friend Breca swam, fully clothed in mail armour, across the sea from Denmark to Geatland for a dare. When the monster Grendel made raids on Heorot, the palace of the Danish king Hrodgar, Beowulf volunteereed to try to kill the monster. It ate his companion Hondscio, and since it was invulnerable to weapons Beowulf tackled it with his bare hands when he trapped the monster on its next attack. Unable to break Beowulf's grip, Grendel pulled away leaving one of its arms behind and later died from the wound. The monster's mother carried off Hrodgar's retainer Aeschere, and when she emerged to avenge Grendel's death Beowulf dived into the lake with the sword Hrunting which proved useless against her. He snatched up a huge sword that the monster had acquired earlier and used it to cut off her head and also that of Grendel. After this triumph, Beowulf was handsomely rewarded with, amongst other things, the necklace Brisingamen which is normally said to be the necklace of Freya. In some versions he became king of Denmark; in others, he returned to Geatland where he acquired land and set up his own kingdom. When his uncle Hygelac, king of Geatland, was killed, Beowulf raised the king's son to be the next ruler, but when he too was killed Beowulf himself took the throne. In old age he killed a dragon, the Firedrake, which lived beneath a burial mound guarding a hoard of treasure, and which was ravaging the countryside. He was mortally wounded, but before he died he gave his armour and weapons to the youth Wiglaf, the only one of his retainers to have stood with him in the fight with the dragon. In some references, referred to as Beowulf, Bee-hunter, Bee-hunter, Beowolf, Beowolf, Nagelring, Nagelring, Hrunting, Naegling or Naglring.
Anglo-Saxon - An epic poem of over 3,000 lines. Describing the exploits of Beowulf. Sometimes referred to as Beowulf, Bee-hunter, Bee-hunter, Beowolf, Beowolf, Nagelring, Nagelring, Hrunting, Naegling or Naglring.

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