Authors: Neil Gaiman
Beowulf draws his sword and plants it in the sand, point down. He walks toward the Frisian.
Give the king a weapon!
THANE IN THE CROWD
YET ANOTHER THANE
Kill him with my sword!
A number of swords are held out, but Beowulf turns down them all. As he approaches he keeps his eyes focused on the Frisian, who has an axe in his hands and a growing smile on his face.
Then, Beowulf does the most unexpected thingâ¦he begins to strip himself of his armor, letting it drop to the sand as he approaches. His torso is horribly scarred and hacked, as if he's taken a thousand sword cuts in his time on this earth, and all of them have healed.
The Frisian's smile turns into an expression of confusion.
You think you're the first to try to kill me? Or the hundredth? Let me tell you something, Frisian, the gods won't allow me death by your feeble blade. The gods won't let me die by a swordâ¦or be taken by the sea. The gods won't allow me to pass in my sleepâ¦ripe with age.
Beowulf has removed all of his armor, revealing his white tunic underneath. He rips it open, exposing his chest.
BLUE Rev. 2005-09-11 84.
KING BEOWULF (CONT'D)
Plant your axe here, Finn, of Frisia. Take my life.
Beowulf holds open the fabric as he approaches him. The Frisian, holding the axe up, begins to step backwards.
Take a sword and fight me like a man.
I don't need a sword. I don't need an axe. I need no weapon.
(starting to really get intimidated and nervous)
Someone give him a swordâ¦or I'llâ¦
You'll what?! Kill me?
(suddenly Beowulf SCREAMS with rage)
Kill me! Kill me! Do it! Kill me!
Beowulf has pushed the Frisian back to the waterline. The man is standing ankle deep in the ocean.
The Frisian is holding the axe above his shoulders, shaking nervously. He tries to raise it further to strike the death blowâ¦but fear holds him back. He drops it into the sand and then falls to his knees, defeated.
KING BEOWULF (CONT'D)
You know why you can't kill me, friend? Because I died years agoâ¦when I was a young man.
Beowulf closes his tunic and looks at the man, piteously.
KING BEOWULF (CONT'D)
(to his war captain)
Give him a piece of gold and send him homeâ¦he has a story to tell.
BLUE Rev. 2005-09-11 85.
65 EXT. CASTLE ARCH-BRIDGE DAY
Beowulf stands on top of a massive stone arch-bridge, rising 100 feet above Castle Herot, it spans two turrets, the large one is Beowulf's quarters.
He leans over the stone wall, looking out at the grey winter sea. Flakes of snow are dizzying down.
URSULA, King Beowulf's young mistress, comes up behind him. He does not register her presence.
Your majesty? Are you hurt?
Not a scratch.
he kisses her)
You know, Ursula. When I was young, I thought being King would be about battling every morning, counting the golden loot in the afternoon, and swiving beautiful women every night. And nowâ¦nothing's as good as it should have been.
Not even the “swiving a beautiful woman every night” part, your majesty?
Well, some nights, Ursula. Some nights.
(a rueful laugh)
Tonight I feel my age upon me. Tomorrow. After the Celebration. We can't forget what tomorrow is? Can we now?
Your Day. When the Saga of Beowulf is toldâ¦of how you lifted the darkness from the land. And the day after, we celebrate the birth of Christ Jesus.
BLUE Rev. 2005-09-11 86.
He smiles, and tenderly strokes her face.
I see you've survived.
Beowulf turns to findâ¦
Queen Wealthow and a PRIEST (in long cardinal robes and a large gold cross) coming across the bridgeâ¦
Alas, my queen. The Frisian invaders have been pushed into the sea. And you are not a widowâ¦yet.
She smiles sweetly and saysâ¦
How comforting, my husband.
WE HEAR A HORN BLOWâ¦
66 INT. HEROT VILLAGE -- MORNING
In the frosty cold, breath steaming, Old Wiglaf stands on a stone plinth calling out an announcement:
On this dayâ¦in honour of our glorious Kingâ¦let us tell the saga of King Beowulf. How our fearless lord slew the demon Grendel, and the demon's hag motherâ¦
THE CAMERA PULLS BACK, GLIDING HIGH ABOVE Castle Herot, it is Herot of Beowulf's eraâ¦larger, more fortified, impressive with it's two stone turrets.
In the distance King Beowulf stands alone on the arch-bridge.
WIGLAF'S VOICE ECHOES beyond the castle keepâ¦
OLD WIGLAF (CONT'D)
Let his deeds of valor inspire us. On this day, let fires be lit and sagas toldâ¦
BLUE Rev. 2005-09-11 87.
About a half-mile from Herotâ¦THE CAMERA FINDS the tall steeple ofâ¦
67 EXT. UNFERTH HALL -- SAME
Unferth hall is an impressive manor built of stone and timber. Its newest addition is the huge cross which adorns the steeple. THE CAMERA BOOMS down to findâ¦
OLD UNFERTH hobbling out to his court yard.
OLD WIGLAF (O.S.)
I declare this dayâ¦BEOWULF'S DAY!
CLOSE ON OLD UNFERTH
Where the hell is that fool with the horses? Cain? Hurry it up!
Unferth's son, GUTHRIC (35) and LADY GUTHRIC, AND THEIR SIX CHILDREN are climbing into a primitive sled, waiting for their horses. It begins to snow.
Guthric bears the same cantankerous attitude as his father. He also wears a large cross.
Beowulf's Day. Bloody, stupid, old fools day more like. He's as senile as father.
He is the king.
Do you know how bloody sick I am of hearing about bloody Grendel and bloody Grendel's bloody mother? What the hell was Grendel anyway? Some kind of giant dog, or something? And what was Grendel's mother? She doesn't even have a name!
Can we just go.
(approaches the sled, yelling)
BLUE Rev. 2005-09-11 88.
(taking up the cry)
CAIN! WHERE THE BLOODY CHRIST ARE Yâ¦
WHACK! Unferth hits Guthric with his walking stick.
(now yelling at Guthric)
Don't you blaspheme in my presence!!
At that moment two of UNFERTH'S HOUSE GUARDS appear, dragging OLD CAIN through the snow.
He ran off again, my lord.
OLD CAIN, ragged, shivering, wearing a tattered blanket to keep out the cold. He's dragged before old Unferth.
â¦we found him on the edge of the moors.
The two guards push Cain to the ground. As he falls, his blanket flips openâ¦something golden GLINTS.
What have you got there?
Cain curls to try and hide his treasure, but it's too late.
OLD UNFERTH (CONT'D)
(raising his walking-stick, to strike)
Show me, damn youâ¦
Cain holds upâ¦the GOLDEN DRAGON HORN.
Old Unferth's eyes open wide as saucersâ¦
CLOSE ON THE HORN. It glints and glitters in the light. And then the ENTIRE IMAGE surrounding the horn FADES TO BLACKâ¦LEAVING ONLY THE HORN ON SCREENâ¦
WE HEAR Wealthow's voice, ghostlike, ECHOING in the darknessâ¦
QUEEN WEALTHOW (O.C.)
So it's come back to you, Beowulfâ¦
Now the SURROUNDING IMAGE FADES INâ¦
BLUE Rev. 2005-09-11 89.
And we findâ¦QUEEN WEALTHOW HOLDING THE GOLDEN HORN.
68 INT. ANTEROOM NIGHT
Wealthow stands at the foot of the stairs in the king's anteroom, along with King Beowulf, Wiglaf and Old Unferth.
This is where the first scene from the movie left off.
â¦After all these years.
Wealthow hands the horn to Beowulf. He takes hold of the horn very gingerly, as if it where somehow taintedâ¦
Where is this slave who found it?
OLD CAIN is roughly thrown to the floor by Unferth's guards.
Pleaseâ¦please don't kill me?
(shows Cain the horn)
Where did you find this treasure?
CAINIâ¦I'm sorry I runned away, master. Please don't hurt me no more.
Old Unferth viciously kicks Cainâ¦
ANSWER YOUR KING!!!
Beowulf bends down and holds the golden horn before the terrified slaveâ¦
Iâ¦I didn't steal itâ¦I swear.
BLUE Rev. 2005-09-11 90.
Uâ¦upâ¦on the moorsâ¦
69 EXT. THE MOORS - FLASHBACK NIGHT
Cain is running like hell across the moors. The SOUNDS OF A SEARCH PARTY are HEARD in the distance.
Cain! Cain! Can you hear me! You don't want to stay out on the moors! There are things out here that'll eat your heart for breakfast!
Cain passes the rock shaped like a reptile skull, near Grendel's cave, when suddenly, the ground gives way beneath him and he is seemingly swallowed into the Earth.
70 INT. THE BARROW - NIGHT
Cain is under the ground. It's darkâ¦but Cain realizes that we are somewhere that glimmersâ¦. that glimmersâ¦
It's a treasure horde: rings and bracelets, necklaces torques and plates, coins and statues and goblets, piled all around. Helmets and mail-shirts, swords, daggers and spears, shields and harps, statues of hawks and horsesâ¦the
world glows in gold.
Cain moves through the gold like a dark shadowâ¦.
Then he sees something so wonderful that it takes his breath awayâ¦
CAIN reaches out, tentatively, for
THE GOLDEN HORN
71 INT. ANTEROOM - NIGHT
OLD CAINâ¦but I was going to bring it backâ¦I swear.
BLUE Rev. 2005-09-11 91.
That's all? No demon? No witch?
Cain shakes his head.
KING BEOWULF (CONT'D)
Wealthow's eyes flash in Beowulf's direction.
Again, Cain shakes his head.
Beowulf standsâ¦and walks away.
72 INT. HEROT - BEOWULF'S CHAMBERS - NIGHT
CLOSE ON: King Beowulf, he stirs in his troubled sleep. He's tangled in his sheets, and in his hand he clutches the dragon horn.
Ursula is beside him, watching him toss and turn. Then she pulls on a robe of fur, and walks out ontoâ¦
72A EXT. THE ARCH-BRIDGE - NIGHT 72A
She steps out into the moonlight, but stops shortâ¦
Wealthow is standing in the middle of the bridge. She also wears a heavy fur cape.
(looking at the stars)
Another restless night?
Ursula nods, terrified. Wealthow turns to her.
QUEEN WEALTHOW (CONT'D)
It's all right, girl. I'm not going to eat you.
He has bad dreamsâ¦they've been coming more often.
He's a king. Kings have a lot on their conscience.
There's an awkward pause in the conversion. Ursula is frightened to actually look at the queen.
BLUE Rev. 2005-09-11 92.
He calls your name in his sleep.
I believe he still holds you in his heart.
Another long pauseâ¦
I often wonder. What happenedâ¦
(finishes Ursula's question)â¦to us?
Ursula barely nods, suddenly dreading the answer.
(turns back to the stars)
Too many secrets.
Then, as if on que, we hear a LOUD RUMBLEâ¦andâ¦
FIRE LIGHTS UP THE NIGHT SKY!!!
Ursula and Wealthow look to seeâ¦A STREAM OF FLAME!
In the distance, A GUSH OF FIREâ¦RAINING FROM THE SKY!!!
The flames hit the ground, and a village BURSTS INTO FLAMES.
God helps us.