& the Beowulf Webmaster Program

Way back on July 24, became the 10th website chosen as part of the Beowulf Webmaster Program in support of the upcoming Beowulf movie from director Robert Zemeckis. Why didn’t I mention this before? Well, I kinda forgot…

This was a lot more special when we were only one of ten websites in this program. Now there’s over seventy, and you can bet your sweet ass that I feel like a real dickhead for procrastinating on this one. Anyway, here’s the deal with the Webmaster Program: the more people who click into the Beowulf site from our site link, the more ‘webmaster points’ we get, and the more access our readers have to cool Beowulf things online. Therefore, I have decided to aid your link clickage by starting each paragraph with a link to the movie site. Subtle, no?

2021 Update: As the Beowulf site no longer exists, I’ve removed these links and images. Here, have some Angelina pics instead.

It should come as no surprise that I love Beowulf. Its full of Vikings killing monsters, two things I love. I’ve just realized you can take sentence two ways: that I love Vikings and I love killing monsters, or that I love Vikings killing and I love monsters. Both ways are true, so its really four things that I love. What the hell was I talking about?

Oh, yeah, reasons I love Beowulf. I love The Eaters Of The Dead, which was based on Beowulf, and I love The 13th Warrior, which was based on The Eaters Of The Dead. I also love Beowulf because I never had to read it. I’ve read all about it, but I’ve never been forced by some sexually repressed, failed author fuckwad of an English teacher to trudge through 3,182 lines of Old English, just because that’s what he/she had to do forty years ago. And because the public school system forgot to make me hate this particular piece of literature, I’m fucking stoked about the movie.

Here’s some quick Beowulf facts for you that I just pulled off Wikipedia to make myself sound more informed: synopsis – Beowulf is a victorious soldier who has become increasingly troubled by the hero-myth rising up around his exploits. Out of allegiance to the King Hrothgar, Lord of the Danes, Beowulf leads a band of warriors across the sea to rid a village of the marauding monster Grendel. Beowulf’s willingness to kill on behalf of Hrothgar wavers when it becomes clear that the King is more responsible for the monster’s rampages than was first apparent.

Beowulf is the only substantial extant Old English poem that addresses matters heroic rather than Christian, and while there are Christian viewpoints expressed within the poem, some scholars believe these Christian elements were inserted later by the scribe(s) copying the manuscript.

Beowulf was not widely studied for its mythological importance until after a lecture entitled “Beowulf: the Monsters and the Critics,” was given by J. R. R. Tolkien in 1936. Yep, the Lord Of The Rings guy. In this lecture, Tolkien spoke out against critics who downplay the fantastic elements of the poem (Grendel, Grendel’s Mother, the dragon, etc.) in favor of using Beowulf solely as a source for Anglo-Saxon history and Old English language. Tolkien argued that rather than being merely extraneous, these elements are key to the narrative and should be the focus of study. This article was posthumously published in 1983 as part of a Tolkien collection entitled The Monsters and the Critics.

Beowulf has some SERIOUS star power behind it. Its directed by Robert Zemeckis, who pretty much makes hit movies in his sleep (Romancing The Stone, Back To The Future trilogy, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Forrest Gump, Contact, What Lies Beneath, Cast Away, The Polar Express). It stars Crispin Glover as Grendel, Anthony Hopkins as King Hrothgar, Angelina Jolie as Grendel’s Mother, Dominic Keating (Lt. Malcolm Reed from Star Trek: Enterprise) as Old Cain, John Malkovich as Unferth, Alison Lohman as Ursula, and Robin Wright Penn as Queen Wealhtheow.

Beowulf himself will be played by three different guys, and I’ve never heard of any of them. Aaron Stephens will provide Beowulf’s CGI physique, Alan Ritchson will play the animated image of Beowulf, whatever the hell that means, and Ray Winstone is the guy who actually gets credited as Beowulf, which I presume means he’s the voice and performance-capture actor that brings it all together. If this seems a little much to you, then I’m with you. I say find one guy and fucking make him Beowulf. Then again, I wasn’t the guy who managed to sneak an upskirt shot of Jessica Rabbit’s pussy into a Disney movie, so what the hell do I know.

Sorry about this article to those of you who aren’t into the whole brevity thing. I just don’t have much more info for you. But I do have a couple of pics of Angelina Jolie in her performance-capture sensors. Enjoy!

2021 Update: Shout out to Beauty Secrets for the pics.

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I’m hoping this is a good movie. I’m not the fan of Beowulf that Chris is but I loved 13th Warrior and other movies that are similar.

L T Holliday

Your synopsis of Beowulf is not a synopsis of the epic poem. Instead, it is a synopsis of one of the movie versions of Beowulf. According to the poem, Grendel is a monster described as the “seed of Cain,” and Hrothgar is a righteous king of the Danes. After Grendel has ravaged the Danes for 12 years, Beowulf arrives, battles the monster in Hrothgar’s mead hall (named Heorot), and defeats him by ripping off his entire arm at the shoulder. He then mounts the arm on the wall. Grendel’s mother arrives the next night to retrieve her son’s arm and in the process takes and kills Hrothgar’s best thane, Æshere. The next morning, Beowulf and the others track Grendel’s mother back to their lair. As they approach a cliff overlooking the fen (swamp) where the lair is, they find Æschere’s head on the trail. Beowulf dives into the swampy lake, taking an entire day to reach the bottom, where he and Grendel’s mother fight, eventually to the death. Beowulf is able to kill her only by using a giant’s sword he finds in the lair, as magic spells kept regular weapons from working against her.

There is NOTHING about Hrothgar being responsible in any way for Grendel or the destruction he causes. All of that has been added in the movie version.

C Bailey

Beowulf is not a challenge to read if you get the new Seamus Heaney version. My studetns seem to love it since I really get into battles, blood, and killing! There is a long piece between the killing of Grenel’s mother and the dragon that I would advise most to skip if your not a die hard reader.

English Teacher


Beowuf was friggin awesome. I was introduced in the 8th grade, when our english teacher decided that our class of ridiculously bored class needed something more violent than Juliet stabbing herself. She brought in her husband/old english proffesor/ametuer archaelogist to provide some background, so we were able to pick out the added christian elements from more traditional mythology, amoung other things. Made us appreciate the severed limbs a lot more

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