Quotes from Chapter VII: Celebrations of Robert Nye’s Beowulf: A New Telling. Be sure to catch the rest of the book’s highlights if you haven’t already.
I’ve also got a pexels collection where you can check out all the photos (and more) that I’ve gathered for this chapter’s moodboard.
Page numbers listed herein may not match the page numbers in yours.
- 43: Beowulf let Grendel go. He listened to the hideous howling dying away across the fen. The light grew stronger. The sun lit all the windows of Hall Heorot.
- 44: Beowulf acknowledged the congratulations wearily. He called for water. It was brought. He washed the blood and dirt from his body, and combed his hair.
- 44-45: “Here comes Hrothgar,” called one by the ruined door.
The king could not believe what Beowulf had done. He stood in Heorot and stared at the terrible trophy, Grendel’s arm, which still dripped steaming blood on the ivory door.
As for Wealhtheow, she came to Beowulf with open arms and tears in her sky-blue eyes. He knelt before her, and she kissed him tenderly on the forehead.
- 46: And Wealhtheow gave Beowulf a ring of the purest gold to wear on his finger, and a golden collar to carry about his neck. This collar, some say, was called Brisingamen and was the most perfect thing in the world.
- 46-47: [Sigemund] could snap chains round his chest simply by taking a big breath, and bend iron bars that it took two men to lift. Because he used his giant strength only in service of good, he was always a very popular man. Everyone loved him.
- 47: You never saw huge Sigemund but you saw little Fitela, taking six strides to keep up with his uncle’s one, peering askance at murky places, tugging at the giant’s sleeves and offering him all sorts of useless advice in a high, squeaky voice.
Together, they performed many great deeds. Nor was puny Fitela as good-for-nothing in battle as you might think. He could skip through an enemy’s legs and trip him up trice, while the man was still concentrating on Sigemund as his only opponent.
- 48: He had great value as an impish wreaker of havoc in a line of hostile soldiers, for he had only to hop about in front of them, pulling faces, and then race round the back and shout a few names―”Milk chops! Skellybum! Barmysword! Hey you with the woolly eyebrows growing out of your ears!”―to reduce the most well-disciplined squad to an angry confusion that left them with no chance as Sigemund came on the scene. In any kind of adventure Sigemund and Fitela thus proved themselves an unbeatable pair.
- 48-49: Now, the Fire Dragon lived on an island of silver rock. It had four heads. The first head, as white as snow, breathed out air. The second head, which was black as pitch, coughed up earth. The third head, sea-green, was more terrible than either of these: it spat out great quantities of water. The fourth head was the more horrible head of all. It was flame-colored, with bulging blood-red eyes. This head could spit out long forks of searing fire, burning everything to cinders within a range of about half a mile. Nothing grew on Silver Rock island because the Dragon hated trees and flowers and as soon as the least green shoot appeared anywhere, he would turn his fourth head to glare at it and―whoosh! cccrrraaak!―fry it to bits in one of his tremendous fire-spits.
- 51: Beowulf laughed. He was amused and pleased by this tale, and stored it in his memory.
- 52: Hrothgar had fallen asleep on his throne, his white-haired head against his polished shield.
Soon all the lords and warriors followed suit. They were worn out with happiness. Danes and Geats sprawled side by side on the long straight benches of the banqueting hall, content that Heorot was a safe place now, well satisfied with the celebrations they had had in the hero’s honor. The poets snored, sore-throated from so much storytelling. The servants dreamt of being masters.
Beowulf slept on too, his head on his hands, the golden collar glittering round his neck.
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- Happily Heathen: Know Your Lore – Deconstructing the Brisingamen Myth by Cara Freyasdaughter.