Fridge / Beowulf (2007)
aka: Beowulf

Fridge Brilliance

  • When Beowulf says he "killed" nine sea monsters (and Grendel's mother), he's using the old euphemistic meaning.
    • Care to explain further? I want to know what it means.
      • The euphemism being for "having had sex with". In the movie, which is supposedly the real-life events of which the poem is based on, the sea monsters he claims he killed are actually mermaids he had sex with, and instead of killing Grendel's mother he fathers the dragon with her.
    • Not at all. He just "killed" the mermaid, and the other sea monsters were truly killed, at least that's why I understood for it. He had sex with the mermaid, however, as he remarks he "killed" her with his "sword". And Grendel's momma too.
  • The ending is supposed to be ambiguous... perhaps Wiglaf will continue the cycle Beowulf tried to stop. However. The entire premise is based around the idea that this takes place in our reality, and we have been reading the incomplete/glorified story for hundreds of years. In the past there were great heroes and all manner of creatures: Demons, Nephilim, Sea Monsters, Mermaids, Dragons, super human heroes, etc. Now there are none... which is a big theme of the story. Therefore, either Wiglaf or some other hero down the line will slay Grendel's Mother (she being the last of demonkind) and by the Renaissance we have reached an age free from these beasts. So in a way, it's a Fridge Hope ending.
  • Grendel (and by extension Grendel's mother) are said to have descended from Cain, the first murderer. HOWEVER, tradition states that Noah ISN'T descended from Cain, and his family is the only family to survive God's flood. The flood would've wiped out all traces of Cain's family line. Therefore, Grendel's mother being a water demon makes perfect sense. It actually solves a plot hole.
    • Well, that's only if you discount Noah's wife, who was a descendant of Cain in certain Jewish traditions. Which would mean that all of the characters depicted would be descendants of Cain, not just the monsters. That makes the poem fall rather flat when you think of it, but would tie in rather well with the movie's themes of hypocrisy.
      • The above only works if one discounts the other people on the Ark. According to the Scriptures of the Abrahamic faiths Noah, his wife, their three sons and their wives were on the Ark. As a result, one or more of the wives of Noah's sons could be descended from Cain. That way there are both people who are descended from Cain and people who aren't descended from Cain thousands of years later.
  • Grendel's mother got her revenge on Beowulf by arranging for him to share Grendel's own fate. They were both annoyed by the celebrations of the Danes, Grendel because of the noise and Beowulf because he knew their admiration of him was based on a lie. They both demonstrated an immunity to the blades of men, Grendel because of his supernatural heritage and Beowulf because Finn couldn't go through with attacking an unarmed, defiant Living Legend. They both tore enemies apart bare-handed, and they both had an arm taken off by Beowulf in their final battle: a knock-down, drag-out fight between Beowulf and one of the Water-Demoness's sons.

Fridge Horror

  • Hrothgar states that Grendel's mother is the last of her kind and that with her gone demonkind will be no more. What is Hrothgar basing that assumption on? If he's wrong, even assuming someone finds a way to slay Grendel's mother, how does he know that there aren't other demons out there who could be just as dangerous or even worse than Grendel's mother?

Fridge Logic

  • Grendel's mother says that humans "... have slain so many of (our) kind", referring to demons. However Grendel's mother killed over a dozen armed and armored people single-handedly in less than one night as revenge for Grendel's death and when Beowulf confronted Grendel's mother in her lair, his sword had no effect on her, tying into the poem where she's immune to weapons made by humans hands. Going by this she is obviously very dangerous herself. So how exactly are humans a threat to her and how did we slay so many of her kind? It's likely given what she is and her nature that she is either an Unreliable Narrator or she's lying to Grendel.
  • When Grendel's mother goes on a rampage to avenge Grendel she kills all of Hrothgar's men except Wiglaf (who wasn't there at the time) and Beowulf (who she has other plans for), she spares the women who were having sex with Beowulf's men. Why spare the women but kill the men? The men didn't contribute anything to killing Grendel; all of the harm Grendel suffered was done by Beowulf with Wiglaf (who survived) only lending a sword to lock the chain and trap Grendel. The other men's weapons didn't work on him and Grendel never mentioned them to his mother beyond a generalized "them", focusing on taking about Beowulf with his dying words. Furthermore, by having sex with those men the women could be seen as celebrating Grendel's death, which hurt her, yet she made no move to harm them. Even the idea that she doesn't harm women falls flat because Grendel killed a few women during his first rampage and her son with Beowulf expressed a desire to kill Beowulf's wife and mistress, yet she voiced no objections. It makes no sense.
  • When Beowulf said "The age of heroes is dead. The Christ-god killed it." What does that even mean? Apart from some potential Writer on Board/Unfortunate Implications, it doesn't make sense in the film's context. The disappearance of demons would be a good thing, and the heroes seemed to be already in decline with Hrothgar fathering Grendel and Beowulf fathering the dragon before Christianity arrived on the scene. The film's only openly Christian character, Unferth, was a jerk at first, however he's treated as a Jerkass Has a Point given his and Wiglaf's shared skepticism of Beowulf's tales (and how the film itself has a critical subtext towards them) and when he thinks Beowulf is a hero he apologizes for his rudeness, gives Beowulf a treasured family heirloom and treats him courteously from then on.

Alternative Title(s): Beowulf