Beowulf – Characters

Beowulf – Characters

Beowulf
Protagonist, son of Ectheow, comes from Geatland where he is a thane of Hygelac to fight grendel, kills grendel, grendel’s mother, rules Geatland for 50 years, and is killed by a dragon who he kills soon before.
Hrothgar
King of the Danes, owns castle called Heorot, descendant of Beow, Shield Sheafson(total badass), and Halfdane is his father, married to wealtheow, gave lots of treasure to Beowulf and his men, recruits Beowulf to fight Grendel.
Hygelac
Beowulf’s uncle, king of the Geats, and husband of Hygd. Hygelac heartily welcomes Beowulf back from Denmark, Beowulf is bound to him by the heroic code, and is used as a thane(warrior)
Unferth
One of Hrothgar’s warriors, jealous of Beowulf, lent his sword to Beowulf to fight Grendel’s mother, insults Beowulf.
Wealhtheow
Member of the Wulfing clan, She is Hrothgar’s queen and the mother of his two sons. Her name comes from the Anglo-Saxon words for “treasure bearer.” She actually has the duty of presenting necklaces and mead-cups at court. Important because she often contributes to peacekeeping between the Danes
Grendel
Monster who plagues Heorot for 12 years, a descendant of Cain. He attacks Heorot after hearing the sounds of revelry there. Beowulf eventually kills him, with his severed arm hung as a trophy in Heorot. His mother attempts to avenge his death.
Grendel’s Mother
unnamed swamp hag, terrorizes Herot, killed by Beowulf, killed with magical sword
Wiglaf
A young kinsman and retainer of Beowulf who helps him in the fight against the dragon while all of the other warriors run away. Wiglaf adheres to the heroic code better than Beowulf’s other retainers, thereby proving himself a suitable successor to Beowulf, gifted some of Beowulf’s armor
Coast-Guard
greets Beowulf at the Danish coast, names beowulf as the most impressive man he’s ever seen, recognizes beowulf’s quest as a noble one
Aeschere
Hrothgar’s 1st in command, brother of Yrmenlaf, killed by Grendel’s mother after she tries to avenge her son