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So after the slaying of the monster Grendel, Hrothgar hosted a gigantic banquet in my honor. (*sniff* I was so touched) He piled gift after gift after gift on me, so I had a boatload (literally…cause, you know, we came in boats) of treasures to take back home. After the scop sang a ballad or two, Wealhtheow came forward and expressed her hope that I would be a friend to her sons as they grew older.
Later that night, I was rudely awakened by angry screeches and screams. By the time I got to the hall, the monster, who just so happened to be Grendel’s mother, she was gone. And so was Aeschere, Hrothgar’s trusted advisor, whom she had attacked.
She also stole my arm.
No, not my arm, Grendel’s arm. Sheesh.
Even though I didn’t need to be asked twice, Hrothgar begged me to go after Grendel’s mother and avenge Aeschere’s death by killing her. I told him, “Gladly.”
After all, she stole my trophy/arm.
Hrothgar promised me tons of gold, and I assured him that it would be a piece of cake to track down the demoness and slay her. So we all mounted our horses and merrily rode along through the woods to Grendel’s mother’s mere of despair. (I’m getting tired of referring to her as “Grendel’s mother.” Let’s just call her Bertha.)
So once we got to Bertha’s mere of despair, we found poor Aeschere’s severed head lying on the ground. It was gross, man. Being the noble person I am, I prepared myself for combat with the she-devil. Surprisingly, Unferth loaned me Hrunting, a sword that has never known defeat. (BTW, thanks for that, buddy! IOU one.) I told Hrothgar he should send all my stuff back to my king Hygelac if I was killed.
I began my descent into the depths of Bertha’s lair. *shudders* But no, I wasn’t scared. I’m Beowulf, after all.