Authors: Neil Gaiman
GRENDEL lets out the SCREAM OF A CAGED HOWLER MONKEY!!
(holding the door shut on the flailing arm)
Your days of blood-letting are finished, demon!
Beowulf is shocked!!!
Iâ¦notâ¦monster here! Kill Grendelâ¦man can't! Whatâ¦thing are you!?
Beowulf presses the door against Grendel's arm and leans in close to its mangled earâ¦
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I am ripper and tearer and slasher and gouger. I am the teeth in the darkness and the talons in the night. I am all the things you believed yourself to be.
Mine is strength and lust and POWER!
I AM BEOWULF!!
GRENDEL'S eyes become racked with fear.
BEOWULF SMASHES the door with great furyâ¦the iron door frame cutting Grendel's arm like a knife-edgeâ¦
GRENDEL SHRIEKS!! Its sinewy tendons to begin to SNAPâ¦its bones CRACK!!!
Think you now of the Thanes whose lives you've stolen!
For emphases, Beowulf SLAMS the door against Grendel's arm!! Grendel SCREAMS!!!
Think of themâ¦
as you dieâ¦
And with one powerful lungeâ¦
BEOWULF SLAMS the door shut!! GRENDEL'S ARM lands on the floor with a satisfying MEATY THUD.
BEOWULF stands there, staring at the arm for a momentâ¦when suddenly it grabs his foot. He kicks wildly at it, finally shaking it loose.
THE ARM FLOPS around on the stone floor for a few moments like a beached fish and then suddenly seizes into a contorted position of agony.
BEOWULF stands against the door, breathing heavily. For the first time, he seems freaked.
SEVERAL THANES, swords drawn, cautiously approach the arm.
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WIGLAF pushes himself to the frontâ¦
Grendel's arm! You've done it!
(turning to the other men)
He's done it! He's torn the limbs from the beast! BEOWULF HAS KILLED HIM!!!
They all begin CHEERING.
Beowulf wipes the demon's green-black blood from his face.
41 INT. HEROT - HROTHGAR'S QUARTERS - NIGHT
Hrothgar is in his bed, wide awake. Wealthow stands by the window anxiously clutching a scarf.
WE HEAR the CHEER coming from the mead hall.
Hrothgar sits upâ¦
Is that a cheer? Could that be a cry of victory?
The door suddenly BURSTS open and Wulfgar runs in, eyes glowing with delightâ¦
My lord! Beowulf has killed the demon!
Small tears of joy form in Wealthow's eyes.
Call the scops. Spread the word! Tomorrow will be a glorious day of rejoicing!
Wulfgar quickly leaves.
Hrothgar walks up behind Wealthow. He puts his hand on her shoulder -- almost a paternal gesture.
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Our nightmare is over.
(he slides his hand toward her breast)
Come to bed, my sweet.
Wealthow whacks his hand away.
Do not touch me.
My kingdom needs an heir. I need a son. It's time you do your duty.
How can I ever lay with youâ¦knowing you laid with
Hrothgar looks very uncomfortable.
I should never have told you.
We hear HAMMER BLOWS, rhythmic as sex.
42 INT. HEROT - MEAD HALL - NIGHT
CLOSE ON: Grendel's arm is being NAILED into a massive wooden beam in the mead hall
BEOWULF wields the massive blacksmith's hammer. Beowulf laughs, strangely, almost maniacal.
WIGLAF turns to look at the four dead thanesâ¦laid-out on their shields, covered with their capes. He looks back at Beowulf hammering and cackling. He looks concernedâ¦who is the monster?
43 INT. THE GREAT CAVE - NIGHT
Grendel comes stumbling into the safety of the cave, making a DREADFUL, SOBBING SOUND.
Grendel falls into the pool, black blood from his missing arm, pumps into the water, until everything is blackâ¦thenâ¦
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GRENDEL'S MOTHER (O.C.)
Oh Grendel, my son. My poor son.
GRENDEL'S MOTHER'S P.O.V.
THE CAMERA comes up from the pool, skimming the surface of the water, gliding toward Grendel.
Mamaâ¦mamaâ¦he hurt meâ¦mama..
Grendel is dying -- nearly dead.
GRENDEL'S MOTHER (O.C.)
I warned you. You must not go to themâ¦
He killed me, mother.
GRENDEL'S MOTHER (O.C.)
Who killed you, Grendel my son?
He tore my arm awayâ¦it hurts soâ¦Grendel hurts so badâ¦
GRENDEL'S MOTHER'S GOLDEN HAND enters frame and strokes its forehead. It's a beautiful hand, with webbed fingers and golden scales, and long golden fingernails.
GRENDEL'S MOTHER (O.C.)
I know. Sleep now, my sweet son. Sleep forever. Mother is here. WE SEE GRENDEL'S MOTHER'S GOLDEN REFLECTIONâ¦rippling in the water. Is she humanoid? Reptilian? It's hard to tell.
Mama? He was so strongâ¦so strong. He hurt me.
GRENDEL'S MOTHER (O.C.)
He shall pay, my darling. Who was this man?
He wasâ¦so strongâ¦soâ¦strongâ¦heâ¦his nameâ¦
Her hand suddenly stops stroking Grendel's head.
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The life has gone from Grendel's eyes. They have misted over, like the dead eyes of a rotten fish.
EXTREME CLOSE ON: Grendel's mother's lips.
44 EXT. HEROT - STOCKADE RAIN DAY
CLOSE ON BEOWULF
He stands in the pouring rain with Wiglaf, watching a burning funeral pyre. On the pyre are the four bodies of Beowulf's thanes. The CRACKLING FIRE gets LOUDER as the flames consume the dead.
Beowulf's 10 surviving thanes are present, along with a few of Hrothgar's subjects.
They were great warriors.
Wiglaf's eyes begin to tear.
They died a most foul death.
They were murdered by a foul creatureâ¦from the depths of hell.
Wiglaf takes four daggers out from under his capeâ¦
I've got their knives. We'll take them homeâ¦for their widows.
They will not be forgotten. The bards will sing of their glory forever.
(Beowulf takes Wiglaf by the shoulder)
Come. Let's drink to their memory. I want you to raise the first cup.
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Nay, I'm not in the mood for merrymaking. I'll ride down to the mooring, to prepare the boat.
Wiglaf gives Beowulf a lookâ¦
We still leave tomorrow, on the tide? Do we not?
45 INT. MEAD HALL DAY
HROTHGAR is standing on his portable throne, positioned under GRENDEL'S ARM. He's making a speech to BEOWULF.
BEOWULF'S THANES, WEALTHOW, UNFERTH AND THE ENTIRE COURT are assembled. The great doors are open, and outside, the rain is POURING down in sheets
This hall has been a place of sadness and misery and blood. But today the monster's reign has ended. And we owe thanks to one man and one man alone: Beowulf. Come here, lad.
He puts his arm around Beowulf's shoulders. Beowulf grins out at the crowd. It's hard to believe that this grinning, friendly guy is the same naked lunatic who ripped Grendel's arm off the night before.
Beowulf, I love you like a son. With Grendel dead, you
a son to me. And a son deserves his reward.
Come on -- bring it out!
A couple of thanes haul a closed chest though the crowd.
YRSA, GITTE and Wealthow, off to one side, stare up at Grendel's arm.
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(whispers to Gitte)
They say Beowulf ripped it off with his bare hands.
Mm. I wonder if his strength is only in his arms, or in his legs as wellâ¦all
Yrsa and Gitte GIGGLE like schoolgirls.
Well, after the feast tonight, I'm sure you can find out, Gitte.
Me? It's not
he wants my queen.
Wealthow looks from one to the other. Yrsa agrees with her eyes. Wealthow says nothing.
Opens the wood chest. Then, with a dramatic flourish, lifts the Royal dragon Horn -- the one we saw at the beginning, and hands it to Wealthow.
(with a touch of sarcasm)
Why don't you do the honors, my queen?
Wealthow reluctantly takes the horn and presents it to Beowulf.
For youâ¦my lord.
The royal dragon horn is very beautiful. It glints and glitters. For a moment, Beowulf is awed: He raises the Horn on high, and the crowd goes wild.
Then, suddenly serious, Beowulf raises his hand, and like a politician or a statesmanâ¦
I find it hard to find in my heart the words I should say to thank you, great king. And all of you, I wish you could have been there last night, when I killed the monster. I was asleep when he arrivedâ¦
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As Beowulf tells them the story of his genius and ability we TRACK BACKWARDS out into the POURING RAINâ¦and findâ¦
46 EXT. HEROT - STOCKADE RAIN DAY
WIGLAF OUTSIDE IN THE STOCKADE
He sits on his horseâ¦watching his friends' bodies burn in the CRACKLING PYRE.
Then Wiglaf kicks his horse, and gallops off, toward the bridge.
47 INT. HEROT - LONG HALL - NIGHT
Beowulf, the gold chain around his neck and the golden horn on his belt, sits on the dais, watching his SURVIVING TEN THANES with pride as they drink and wench and celebrate their acquisition of dark age bling-bling.
Yrsa and Olaf stumble into frame, drunkenly groping each other. Apparently, now that Hondshew is dead, Yrsa has shifted her attentions to a very happy Olaf. He proudly announces to Beowulfâ¦
Yrâ¦Yrâ¦Yras here, pâ¦promised to give my helm a waâ¦waâ¦waxin'
Good for you, Olaf.
y..y..you know. This whole Death or Glory thing. The glory part is buhâ¦buhâ¦better.
Beowulf smiles and nods in agreementâ¦ain't that the truth.
Olaf! Come on!
Yrsa takes Olaf by the hand and walks him into the shadows, where they kiss. Beowulf gets up and walks over to the kings anteroom.
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48 INT. ANTEROOM SAME
Beowulf steps out onto the balcony. In the moonlight, he looks at the Royal Dragon Horn, stroking its surface, tracing the dragon with his fingertip.
You are not celebrating?
Beowulf turns to find Queen Wealthow standing in the open doorway. He raises the horn to her.
I'll never let it go. I'll die with this cup of yours at my side.
Nothing that is gold ever stays long. Is that all you wanted?
Beowulf looks at her with the eyes of a man who is sure that he can have whatever he wants in the world.
Steal away from your husband in the night. Come to me.
First driven by greedâ¦now by lust. You may be beautiful, Lord Beowulf, but I fear you've the heart of a monster.
Beowulf is taken aback by her statement. She smiles politely and gives the stunned Beowulf a kiss on the cheek. Then, after a seductive glance she turns and leaves Beowulf standing there alone.
49 INT. THE GREAT CAVE NIGHT
CLOSE On Grendel's very dead body, floating on the black water of the cave.
Grendel's Mother's claw-like arms glide the corpse in the pool, her reptilian form reflecting in the water.
She SINGS WORDLESSLY, a song of mourning, a WOEFUL DIRGE.
The once mightly Grendel, now nothing but a small and withered carcass, is laid out on an ancient stone slab.
The slab is adorned with pieces of gold treasure and human bones.
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Grendel's Mother breaks off her songâ¦