Who will come to the aid of beleaguered King Hrothgar, whose warriors have become the prey of the vengeful outcast monster Grendel?
A grand and glorious story that has endured for centuries, the ageless classic adventure takes on a breathtaking new life in a remarkable new version for a modern era. Brilliantly reimagined by acclaimed, award-winning author Caitlín R. Kiernan, based on the screenplay by #1 New York Times bestseller Neil Gaiman and Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Roger Avary, it is the tale of a noble liege and a terrible creature who has cursed his kingdom with death, blood, and destruction—and of the great hero, Beowulf, who is called to a land of monsters to triumph where so many have failed . . . or to die as so many of the brave before him.
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About the Author
Neil Gaiman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books, including Norse Mythology, Neverwhere, and The Graveyard Book. Among his numerous literary awards are the Newbery and Carnegie medals, and the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Will Eisner awards. Originally from England, he now lives in America.
Read an Excerpt
The Age of Heroes
1 Ext. Herot—Day
Extreme close up on: The face of King Hrothgar. He is a man past the prime of his years, but still a mighty warrior, and a charismatic leader of men. As he bombastically talks, with full volume, to a large audience, we slowly pull back.
A year ago I, Hrothgar, your King, swore that we would celebrate our victories in a new hall, a mighty hall and beautiful. Craftsmen from all over the land of the Danes, and from all the civilized world have worked on this hall to make it the finest mead-hall on the face of the earth.
Pull back to reveal that Hrothgar is atop his horse in front of a huge mead hall, which is called Herot, and that around him are a huge band of Danes—closest to him are Warriors, and advisors, including Esher, an elderly man, and Unferth (with long black hair streaming out from his winged helm and intense black eyes).
Further away are the merchants and the women and children and dogs. Everyone is Filthy. For that matter everyone in the film is filthy.
The queen, Wealthow (who is less filthy than everyone else), stands a little behind the King, with a couple of her ladies. Wealthow is over thirty years younger than Hrothgar, his second wife, and is radiantly beautiful. Her chief lady is Yrsa, a girl with intense blue eyes and contrasting black hair to the queen's blond locks.
The King is happy, shouting loudly enough to be heard by the furthest dog.
In this hall I shall have my throne. In this hall we shall feast and tell of victories. In this hall shall the scops sing their sagas. And in this hall we shall divide the spoils of victory, the gold and treasure. This shall be a place of merrymaking and joy from now until the end of time.
Hrothgar holds out a huge bejewelled cup to a page, who pours mead into it from a jug. Hrothgar holds up the cup.
I name this hall...
He takes a huge swig of Mead. His eyes are bright. Then he pours the rest of the mead on the doorway.
And the crowd cheers.
2 Int. Herot—Mead Hall—Night
Everything is golden and burnished. The crowd are noisy and cheering and happy. We see golden mead being poured from jugs into goblets. One warrior sticks out his helmet, mead is poured into it and soon he is drinking from it. A brace of golden roasted geese are brought out on wooden serving platters. The fire is burning golden-orange in the fireplace. It's noisy and riotous.
Hrothgar is sitting at a huge throne, and beside him is a pile of golden treasure—wristbands, rings, neck-rings, helmets and the like.
3 Ext. Herot—The Moors—Night
We are a short distance away from Herot. All is blue-grey and still. Mists hang low on the moor. Smoke and Muffled Jubilation come from the Hall. A door opens and a man stumbles out to piss.
4 Int. Herot—MeadHall—Night
Noise once more assaults our senses. Hrothgar is laughing loudly at some dirty joke. He picks up his queen, Wealthow, and kisses her long on the mouth, while she beats at his chest with her fists, demanding to be put down. His warrior Thanes cheer him on.Beowulf. Copyright ? by Caitlin Kiernan. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.