YMMV / Grendel

The novel by John Gardner

  • Alas, Poor Villain: Grendel mourns the death of the Shaper, the bard that created the myth of Grendel as a child of Cain.
  • Designated Hero:
  • Faux Symbolism: Lots, fueling many an English Literature professor.
  • Ho Yay: There are times where it seems that Grendel is jealous of the King's wife.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Grendel is portrayed as this. Even after he starts behaving evil, it's very hard not to feel at least a little bad for him.
    • Hrothgar may also be seen as this when Grendel decides Then Let Me Be Evil and starts attacking the mead hall in earnest; sure, Hrothgar started the whole feud by attacking Grendel as a baby, when the latter was unable to escape, but he's earned a Fate Worse Than Death with a monster eating up his men.
  • Nightmare Fuel: You know how Beowulf is usually presented as a badass? Well, imagine being on the other side of that ass kicking. In this version, Beowulf is terrifying.
  • One-Scene Wonder: The dragon only appears in one chapter really, but his conversation with Grendel is probably the most important scene in the whole book and leaves one hell of an impact.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Didactic?: On quite a few reading lists, as an introduction to Existentialism. Probably was written for this in mind, however.
  • Uncanny Valley: Lampshaded. Grendel notes repeatedly that there's just something... off about Beowulf.

The comic book by Matt Wagner

  • Complete Monster: Tujiro XIV, the vampiric Kabuki dancer from the 21st century, is a Serial Killer who specializes in young boys. First he drains them of their blood while taking one of their eyes as a trophy, then eating the other. Tujiro runs a human slaving operation where people are kidnapped for forced servitude and he has easy access to any child he wants. Escaping justice at the hands of the mother of a victim, Tujiro ends up as Pope Innocent XLII in the 26th century, where thousands are worked to death and enslaved to him. Tujiro gruesomely murders those who discover his true nature and uses his position to continue his disturbing feeding habits. His ultimate goal is to create a gun to blot out the sun and establish a reign of vampires where humans are nothing but cattle.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Hitchcock Blue massacring the inhabitants of a Bad-Guy Bar... and then urinating on them all. Through a solid-gold codpiece.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Hunter Rose, Tujiro, Orion Assante
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • What Hunter Rose does to Lucas Ottoman in Behold The Devil, what Tujiro does to Christine Spar's son in Devil's Legacy
    • For other people, Hunter's event horizon comes from his murder of Stacy's beloved uncle and public humiliation of Argent in Devil by the Deed. Both actions mark Stacy, and when she finds out Hunter's responsible, it leads to his death.
    • Also in Behold The Devil, Hunter manages to see his entire legacy in the future through supernatural means. He then tears the pages describing this out of his journal, causing much heartbreak later on, simply because he can't fathom anyone else being Grendel.
    • According to Word of God, Christine Spar's murder of Detective Riley was intended to be this, although Riley was sufficiently unsympathetic that many readers didn't see it that way.
    • Grendel Prime using the Life Energy of slaves to power his time machine... and the younger the better.