Authors: Neil Gaiman
It is no shame to accept aid that is freely givâ¦
(cutting off Wiglaf)
I am Beowulf, and I have come to kill your monster.
BLUE Rev. 2005-09-11 26.
The Watch lifts his spear, he looks over Beowulf's men with questioning eyes.
You'll need horses.
23 EXT. KING'S ROAD/BRIDGE/RAVINE DAY
The storm has subsided, but the sky is still very dark and ominous.
Leading from the massive wooden bridge is a rocky road of shale stones, perhaps recycled tombstones, set into the mud and lined by large stone monoliths. The lone turret of Castle Herot can be seen in the distance.
BEOWULF'S MEN are riding along on shaggy ponies, following the Scyldings' Watch.
SCYLDING'S WATCH reins his horse at the threshold of the bridgeâ¦
This is as far as I go. I must return to the cliffs. The sea must not be left unguarded. The stone path is the king's road.
(with a smile)
It was built in better times. Follow it to great Herot, where my King waits.
I thank you for your aid.
Our monster is fast and strong.
I too am fast and strong.
So were the others who came here to fight it. They're all dead. I thought no more heroes were foolish enough to come here and die for our gold.
If we die, it shall be for glory, not for gold.
BLUE Rev. 2005-09-11 27.
The watch kicks his horse, and heads back the way they came. And then he reins in his horse and calls--
Beowulf turns, and looks back at him.
SCYLDINGS' WATCH (CONT'D)
The creature took my brother. Kill the bastard for me.
24 INT. HROTHGAR'S ANTEROOM/OFFICE DAY
HROTHGAR stares out the window at the angry sea. He looks even older and grayer than he did when last we saw him. Unferth sits at the desk organizing treasure.
My lord? My lord?
My lord. There are warriors outside, Geats. They are no beggars -- and their leader, Beowulf, is a--
Beowulf? Edgethow's little boy?
UNFERTH'S eyes narrow at the mention of Beowulf's name.
Not a boy any longerâ¦but I knew him when he was a boy. Strong as a grown man he was, back then. Yes! Beowulf is here! Send him to me! Bring him in!
25 EXT. HEROT - STOCKADE - DAY
There is a stir inside the village stockade, as the VILLAGERS gather around Beowulf and his 14 thanes.
BLUE Rev. 2005-09-11 28.
BEOWULF AND HIS MEN sit astride their mountsâ¦perfectly stillâ¦hands hovering near their sword hiltsâ¦their eyes scanning the crowd.
YRSA is eating a large plum, letting its juice run down her chin and cleavage. She has her eye onâ¦
HONDSHEW, an ornery Thane, and almost as big as Beowulf himself. He wears a large winged helm and has an oversized broadsword slung over his back.
He stares at Yrsa and her plum, and licks his lips..
WULFGAR appears, also on a horseâ¦
Hrothgar, Master of Battles, Lord of the North Danes, bids me say that he knows you, Beowulf son of Edgethow. Knows your ancestry, and bids you welcome. You, and your men, will follow meâ¦your helmets and armor are approvedâ¦but your shields and weapons will remain here until further notice.
WIGLAF gives Beowulf a lookâ¦he doesn't like this.
I assure youâ¦they won't be disturbed.
Hondshew and the others look at Beowulf for guidance.
CLANK! Beowulf's sword and spear hit the ground. He pulls a dagger from his belt and throws it so the blade sticks in the ground.
His men copy him. Their weapons fall to the ground.
HONDSHEW'S giant broadsword CLATTERS to the groundâ¦
Myâ¦that's a big one you've got there, outlander.
Hondshew swallows with an almost audible GULP.
Wiglaf pulls his horse up and glares at Yrsaâ¦
Woman! Have you nothing better to be doing?
BLUE Rev. 2005-09-11 29.
She makes no reply, but with her little finger, wipes the drip of plum-juice from her breast, and licks it from her finger.
26 EXT. MEAD HALL CLOSE HROTHGAR DAY
The WHOLE COURT assembled on the stone steps in front of the shuttered and barred mead hall. Queen Wealthow and THE QUEEN'S WOMEN, GUARDS and COURTIERS. Unferth is there, but he is standing in the shadows. RAYS OF SUNLIGHT briefly appear streaming though the clouds
Hrothgar hugs Beowulf to him, proudly.
Beowulf! How is your father?
He died in battle with sea-raiders, two winters back.
He was a brave man. Need I ask why have you come to us?
I've come to kill your monster.
The sheer arrogance of this statement sends a LOUD MURMUR through the crowd. Even Hrothgar is taken aback.
Beowulf smiles, having stirred things up.
â¦and taste that famous mead of yours.
Hrothgar LAUGHS with a hearty ROAR. The tension in the crowd is eased.
Now Wealthow steps forwardâ¦
And there have been many brave men who have come here, and have drunk too much of my Lord's mead, and have sworn to rid his hall of our nightmare.
BLUE Rev. 2005-09-11 30.
WEALTHOW (CONT'D) (MORE)
And the next morning, there was nothing left of any of them but blood to be cleaned from the floorâ¦and the benchesâ¦and walls.
Beowulf and Wealthow lock eyesâ¦a long, penetrating look.
I have drunk nothing. Yet. But I
kill your monster.
He will kill the monster! Did you hear that? Grendel will die!
The monster is called Grendel.
Then I shall kill your Grendel. I, Beowulf, killed a tribe of giants in the Orkneys. I have crushed the skulls of sea-serpents. And thisâ¦this troll of yours shall trouble you no longer.
The Queen is about to say something, but Hrothgar announces to the assemblageâ¦
A hero! I knew that the sea would bring us a hero!
A weary, half-hearted CHEER comes from the crowd. They heard all this before. Wealthow looks doubtful. Unferth glares.
Then, Hrothgar raises an eyebrowâ¦
Will you go up to the moors, then, to the cave by the dark pool, and fight the monster in its den?
Beowulf steps forward and waves his hand.
I have fourteen brave Thanes with me. We have been long at sea.
BLUE Rev. 2005-09-11 31.
I think it is high time, mighty Hrothgar, to break open your golden mead, famed across the world; and to feast in your legendary mead hall.
Unferth steps forwardâ¦
The mead hall has been sealedâ¦by his lord's order. Merry-making in the hall brings the devil Grendel.
Beowulf gives Unferth a long, cold look. Then like a politician on a soapboxâ¦
(loudly, to the multitude)
Has closing this hall
Nay, the demon-murderer killed three horses and a slave in the stable a fortnight ago.
Beowulf says nothing, but a huge Cheshire smile spreads across his face. A smile that's much too huge.
Hrothgar nods and smiles back. He raises his arms in a dramatic gestureâ¦
OPEN THE MEAD HALL!!!
27 INT. HEROT - MEAD HALL - DAY
CLACK! CLACK!! TWO THANES turn a large crank, pulling a chain to lift the huge timber that bars the mead hall door.
SPLASH!! Water is poured over one of the long feasting tables.
SLAVE BOYS lay fresh straw on the floor.
AN OLD WOMAN blows on some embers to start a fire in the great fire-pit.
BLUE Rev. 2005-09-11 32.
BEOWULF'S 14 THANES are gathered around a table in the corner, strapping on their weapons and adjusting their gear.
BEOWULF wanders though the hall, checking it out. He sizes up the huge entrance door with its complicated security bar and heavy iron strapping
HONDSHEW is staring at Yrsa, the plum girl. She bends over a table, scrubbing it. Her breasts straining her halter.
WIGLAF kicks Hondshew in the assâ¦
(lecturing his thanes)
We don't want any trouble with the locals. So, just for tonight, no fighting, and no swifan. Okay?
OLAF, a hulking, muscle-bound thane with a speech impediment, draws his dagger and strikes a combat stanceâ¦
I waâ¦waâ¦wasn't pâ¦p.. planning on doing any swiâ¦swiâ¦swiâ¦swifan.
Hondshew flashes a lascivious, yellow-toothed smile at Yrsaâ¦
Hondshew. Make me feel like you're pretending to listen to me. It's only been five days since you waved your wife goodbye.
Five days!! In the name of Odinâ¦no wonder my loins are burning!!
Yrsa sticks her tongue out at Hondshew. The thanes ROAR with laughter.
28 INT. THE GREAT CAVE - GRENDEL'S LAIR -- SAME
CLOSE ON A LAMPREY SUCKING MOUTH
BLUE Rev. 2005-09-11 33.
As it grabs a chunk of fleshâ¦
GRENDEL is feeding bits of a dead thane to a school of blind white MORAY EELS. The horrible sea snakes teem in the cave's black pool.
Grendel SINGS to itself, a slow, sad, tuneless sort of noise. It holds a spike topped with a decapitated warrior's head, playing with it as if it were a puppet.
(pretending he's the voice of the Thane's head)
Da-dee-da! Da-dee-da! Who's laughing now?!
If Grendel were human, it would be considered retarded, perhaps brain-damagedâ¦it's actually sweet and gentleâ¦except in the matter of eating people, and then only when driven mad with noise.
AN EEL leaps out of the water striking the warrior's head, tearing off an earlobeâ¦
GRENDEL LAUGHS delightedly at the eels.
No more. You get fat! Fat fish! More tomorrow.
A LOUD HISS burbles from somewhere in the poolâ¦
GRENDEL is alarmed; It jumps up. Its fingernails shoot out and become sharp claws. Its deformed torso begins to expand and enlarge. Its eyes narrow.
EXTREME CLOSE ON: GRENDEL'S MOTHER'S LIPSâ¦wet, full, with golden scalesâ¦cold-blooded.
(a bodiless whisper)
GRENDEL soothes a little, its nails recess back into its fingers. Its torso begins to shrink back to “normal” size.
GRENDEL'S MOTHER'S POV: The CAMERA emerges from the water and slowly floats toward Grendel. Grendel's mother WHISPERS.
BLUE Rev. 2005-09-11 34.
I had an evil dream, my son. You were hurt. I dreamed that you were calling out for me, and I could not come to you. And then they butchered you.
I am not dead. I am happy. Look, happy Grendel.
Grendel does an awkward, shuffling dance around the cave, SINGING as he does.
Happy happy, happy happy, happy happy, happy happyâ¦
You must not go to them tonight. You have killed too many of them.
Grendel strong. Grendel big. Grendel will eat their flesh and drink their blood and break their bones.
Please, my son. Do not go to them.
(makes a whining sound)
Please. Promise me this.
Grendel sulks, defeated.
I swear. I shall not go to them.
Even if they make the noises?
Grendel hesitates, then nods, reluctantly, as if it's being jerked out of him, an awkward little boy promising his mother something.
GRENDEL'S MOTHER (CONT'D)
Gut. Man medo.
BLUE Rev. 2005-09-11 35.
29 INT. HEROT - MEAD HALL - SUNSET
A giant copper vat, brimming with golden mead is carried into the hall. BEOWULF'S THANES CHEER!!