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Beowulf

It starts with King Hrothgar celebrating the


construction of his new mead hall, Heorot. The
noise of the celebration echoes into Grendel's
cave and torments him. In a mad fury, Grendel
breaks into the hall and kills many people. After
being challenged by Hrothgar, Grendel runs off
into the night. Back at his lair, Grendel is
admonished by his unseen mother for attacking
the humans and possibly inviting retribution.
She calms down after Grendel tells her that he
did not harm Hrothgar.
Meanwhile, Hrothgar closes Heorot and
proclaims that he will give half of his kingdom in
gold to any man who can defeat Grendel.
Beowulf and his men arrive by ship from
Geatland and convince Hrothgar to reopen Heorot. Beowulf's credibility is
challenged by Unferth, the King's most trusted advisor. Beowulf proceeds to
tell a tale to convince the people of Heorot that he is capable of killing
Grendel. Hrothgar offers Beowulf his Golden drinking horn, a trophy taken
after a battle with the dragon Fáfnir, in the event that Grendel is destroyed.
Later Hrothgar and Queen Wealtheow argue. Hrothgar states that he needs a
heir. Wealtheow refuses to comply due to Hrothgar's earlier involvement with
Grendel's mother.
That evening, Beowulf asks his men to sing loudly. Grendel is agitated once
again and attacks the hall in a blind fury. While fighting Grendel, Beowulf
discovers an external eardrum and begins to attack it. This disorients
Grendel who then tries to escape. Beowulf traps him with chains and later
slams the door on his arm breaking it off. Beowulf is proclaimed a hero and
Grendel's arm is nailed above the door of Heorot.
After Grendel returns to the cave to die, Grendel's mother cries out in grief
over the loss of her son. Determined to avenge his death, she flies to Heorot
in a murderous rage. She initially appears to Beowulf in a dream disguised as
Wealtheow. When Beowulf wakes from the dream he finds that all of his men
are dead except for Wiglaf, who had elected to forego the festivities and tend
to the ship. Beowulf confronts Hrothgar, whose evasive answers imply that
he knows more of Grendel's past than he will state openly, tells Beowulf how
he can find Grendel's mother. Unferth, who has by this time converted to
Christianity, appears before Beowulf and apologizes to him for his previous
behavior, offering him the use of his ancestral sword Hrunting, which Beowulf
accepts.
Beowulf and Wiglaf find the cave. Beowulf enters it alone, eventually
confronting Grendel's mother. She appears to him as a beautiful nude woman
with golden liquid dripping from her skin. She promises him fame and power
if he gives her a son. She also demands the Horn of Hrothgar with the
promise that as long as it is in her safekeeping, Heorot will be safe. As she
entices Beowulf, she melts Hrunting with her bare hands. Beowulf gives in to
her temptations.
Beowulf returns to Heorot with Grendel's severed head and tells a
disbelieving Hrothgar that he killed Grendel's mother. Hrothgar states that
his curse has been lifted and then publicly proclaims Beowulf heir to his
kingdom — and its queen. Hrothgar then proceeds to throw himself from the
balcony and falls to his death. Stunned, Beowulf is duly crowned king and
marries Wealtheow.
Many years pass. King Beowulf is now old and disillusioned a shadow of his
former glorious self. One day, Unferth's servant, Cain, now grown up, finds
the Horn of Hrothgar upon a stretch of moors. Unferth proceeds to present it
to the king. Beowulf is furious to see it and realises Grendel's mother has
reneged on their bargain. That evening Beowulf dreams of a man in gold
threatening both the old Queen Wealtheow and Beowulf's young mistress,
Ursula. The next day, a fierce dragon attacks a village outside Heorot. The
dragon slays Unferth's wife and children before his eyes, and leaves a
message with Unferth for Beowulf. Unferth, badly burned and mad with rage
from seeing his family burned alive, gives Beowulf the dragon's simple
message: 'The sins of the father!'
Beowulf, intending to break the cycle of the female demon's curse, rides with
Wiglaf to the cave of Grendel's mother to kill the dragon and end the
madness. Beowulf tells Wiglaf that he has instructed the heralds to proclaim
Wiglaf king should Beowulf fall in the coming battle. Beowulf also tries to
confess his past sins to Wiglaf, but his old friend refuses to listen and
provides encouragement for the King. Beowulf enters the cave alone and
attempts to mollify Grendel's mother by returning the Dragon Horn to her. To
his dismay, the demon tells him it is too late. The demon then sends the
dragon to attack Heorot. The dragon overcomes a desperate attempt by
Beowulf's army to hold-off and kill it. The dragon fails to drown Beowulf by
diving into the sea. The dragon proceeds to the castle and attempts to attack
Queen Wealtheow and Ursula. Beowulf kills it by a daring maneuver,
remembering advice on dragon-slaying given to him by Hrothgar. Beowulf,
while dangling from the dragon on a chain, is unable to reach the dragon's
heart with his sword. Beowulf severs his own arm in order to be able to reach
the dragon's heart. As Beowulf is feeling through the dragon's chest to reach
its heart, the dragon jostles the sword from Beowulf's hand. Beowulf rips the
heart from the dragon with his bare hand. Wealtheow and Ursula survive.
Beowulf and the dragon fall to the shores far below. The dragon reverts to
the golden man of Beowulf's dream, whom Beowulf realizes is his son.
Beowulf then dies in Wiglaf's arms. The latter, still refusing to believe his
friend is anything but a hero, finally listens to Beowulf's confession.
Wiglaf later prepares a traditional Viking funeral for Beowulf. As he watches
the burning boat loaded with Beowulf's treasure that serves as a funeral
pyre, he sees Grendel's mother kissing the corpse amidst the flames shortly
before the boat sinks. The Dragon Horn washes ashore at Wiglaf's feet. As he
picks it up, Grendel's mother emerges from the sea, beckoning him. The
movie's ending is ambiguous about what Wiglaf will do next. Wiglaf is now
king and had a hand in slaying the golden dragon.

Reaction on Beowulf
I think, this film is not the poem. My visualization of Grendel’s mother
is not a gold painted nude Barbie doll in stiletto heels. In my highschool
notes, Beowulf killed the witch and he did not have some malicious acts with
her. This film has impressive special effects and would be okay as an
adventure fantasy but it should not be marketed as the epic poem. There are
so many changes. Grendel was not Hrothgar's son. The dragon was not
Beowulf's son and had no connection with the witch. Beowulf was not made
Hrothgar's heir, nor did he marry his widow and become king of the Danes. In
the poem, Beowulf returned to Geatland after slaying Grendel. He remained
the Geat king's best warrior, supporting him and the son who succeeded him.
Only after the new king died did Beowulf become king of the Geats until his
own death in later years. Also, why all the nudity in this film?

This 2007 film missed the opportunity to bring the epic poem to life.