Amazon Prime Days today and tomorrow with a free month’s trial membership, so you can read XaW Files: Beyond Humanity for free online, if you like zany pagan theme comedy and poetry. Here’s one of 202 episodes, structured to the X-Files episodes, with the book a loose parody (focused more on the mind and coincidence than UFOs… unfortunately… some documentaries got me back interested in aliens soon after publishing!):
Chapter 8 Episode 6
‘greenY, I am Grendel, I think we must be related from sharing our first three letters.’
‘Werewolf who often wants to be a wolf, I am Beowulf. I think we must be related.’
Grendel Rings Our Bell
How did I become embroiled in a struggle between the main protagonist and antagonist of the oldest surviving Anglo-Saxon epic poem. Oh yes, it started because were (sic) in Denmark, and the saga is mainly set in that country, with Grendel having attacked the mead hall in the Danish court of King Hroðgar.
Then in the last episode of this epic tale we cracked open the mead! I should have known it would attract Grendel, what with this being an X Files parody, but a lot of mead has passed under the bridge since then, so I didn’t think it would create a row between Grendel and Beowulf.
We had been enjoying ourselves, as described in the last episode, when there was a knock on the door. It was Grendel asking for a month’s supply of our mead:
‘They say mud sticks
and Mjød sure kicks
im-mead-iately a treat
smell that’s hard to beat
so sweet a taste
shouldn’t go to waste.’
Sitting on the Fence in Odense
Grendel had just finished his soliloquy, when there was another knock on the door. Yes, you might have guessed, it was Beowulf. He delivered his opening line as written at the start of this episode, before asking that we hand Grendel over to him, as he is supposed to have been dead for many centuries.
I had just asked Chris and Mads for their advice, when there was another knock on the door. I opened it, and saw it was a woman who looked like an older Grendel.
‘Hello, I’m looking for my son,’ she said. ‘I followed a scent of mead here, and know he is only too fond of the sweet stuff. His name is Grendel, and I sense yours is greenY by your look; so you may be doubly interesting to him, because he thinks everybody that has a name like him is related.’
Just then there was a commotion inside, and when I looked behind myself, I could see Chris and Mads trying to separate Beowulf and Grendel, who had obviously started tussling.
Norse God Not Happy with Noise
I was wondering what to do next when a thunderous voice spoke down to us, stopping the mortal enemies in their tracks.
‘Oh what a din,’ said Odin. ‘Odense is supposed to be a quiet holy city for my worshippers, with the name deriving from Odins Vé, meaning “Odin’s sanctuary”.
‘Hello Odin,’ I said. ‘Thanks for your help. I was wondering what to do with our visitors, and didn’t know Odense was named after you. I thought it looked more related to Denmark, but apparently that has a totally different etymological origin.’
‘I can handle my son myself thank you Odin,’ said Grendel’s mother. ‘As long as he hasn’t had any of that mead yet he should be fine once I get him out of the house, and back home.’
‘I think that is the best solution,’ Odin said. ‘Please allow Grendel’s mother access to your house greenY, and let her take Grendel home. Goodnight all, and hopefully I’ll be able to get my precious sleep now.’
‘Goodnight Odin,’ we replied.
So that’s what happened, with Grendel and his mother going home quietly; well, apart from her giving him a bit of a row and a clip around the ear as they walked down the street.
As told in the surviving epic poem, Beowulf was the son of Ecgtheow, a warrior of the Swedish Wægmundings. Ecgþeow had slain Heaðolaf, a man from another clan named the Wulfings (according to Scandinavian sources, they were the ruling dynasty of the Geatish petty kingdom of Östergötland). Apparently, because the victim was from a prominent family the weregild was set too high, and so Ecgþeow was banished and had to seek refuge among the Danes. The Danish king Hroðgar generously paid the weregild, and had Ecgþeow swear an oath.
Like our rambles, the story of Beowulf and Grendel is thought to contain some real people in a fictional story.