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Grendel (2007 Beowulf movie) statuette

Grendel

(2007 movie version)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

(A howl can be heard in the distance)
Geat warrior: “Is that your demon ?”
Woman: “That was a wolf, you don’t hear Grendel when he comes.”


Context

The infamous Grendel is a monster from the oldest surviving poem/saga in English, Beowulf. Beowulf is thus a key work of Western literature, especially for Anglophone readers who like fantasy adventures.

There have been numerous adaptations of the poem, and Grendel has popped up in many settings. For instance, there’s an interesting DC Comics version of Grendel. But *this* specific version is from the 2007 Beowulf movie with Ray Winstone and Angelina Jolie.

The movie integrated a lot of visual work for distinctive effects (including Grendel himself) and received surprisingly good reviews.


Background

  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Unnamed succubus (mother); Hrothgar the King (father)
  • Group Affiliation: None
  • Base Of Operations: Cave in the Moors by the dark pool.
  • Height: 12’ Weight: 1,000lbs (5APs) Age: Less than 25.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Coarse black


Powers & Abilities

Grendel’s size and strength make him more than a match for Hrothgar’s soldiers. Even though he is a twelve foot giant he is quite agile and maneuverable, leaping about and snatching up his opponents before throwing them to their deaths.

Grendel has the ability to produce a blue flame that swirls and dances causing a strobe light effect. This flame may originate from his demonic heritage. Grendel also has control over normal flames and may choose to douse fires. The blue flame is also an exit door for Grendel.


Video

1080p version of the official trailer for the movie.


History

King Hrothgar, as promised, celebrated in his newly built mead hall, Heorot. The noise of the celebration traveled to a nearby cave where Grendel was tormented by the sound of men’s singing. The singing caused the creature to tear at his own flesh for it to stop!

Grendel made his way to the mead hall and smashed in the door. The screams of its inhabitants angered him and he began killing all he could. After being challenged by king Hrothgar, Grendel leapt into his blue flame and vanished.

The next morning, Hrothgar closed Heorot Hall and told his advisors he would give half of his kingdom in gold to any man who could kill Grendel.

Grendel drooling

Grendel was confronted by his mother and chided for attacking men and possibly inviting retribution. She was satisfied when Grendel told her he had not harmed Hrothgar.

The Geat, Beowulf and his men travelled through an unnatural storm by boat sailing to Hrothgar’s kingdom by night. Beowulf spoke with Hrothgar and told him they came to defeat Grendel.

To incite the beast to attack, Beowulf’s party requested that Hrothgar reopen his mead hall. The Queen warned that many had tried and they had all died. Beowulf was not afraid.

That evening, the advisor Unferth openly doubted Beowulf and his unbelievable tales of bravery. Beowulf tossed him down and declared that on this night Grendel would have Geats waiting for him. Not frightened sheep like Unferth. Later, the Queen played and sang in the Mead Hall causing Grendel to scream in his cave.

Grendel is naked and without armor. Beowulf would fight him on equal terms. No armor and no weapons as to provide a show of strength. Then he commanded his men to sing loudly to attract the monster. Grendel heard the merry making and again attacked the hall.

While fighting Grendel, Beowulf discovered his weakness. The weakness is an external eardrum, the source of Grendel’s pain. Beowulf began attacking it directly.

The ghastly Grendel

This disoriented Grendel who shrank in size from the attack and attempted to flee. Without his flames, which were put out earlier in the fight, Grendel attempted to flee on foot.

Beowulf snared him with chains and slammed the door on his arm, breaking it off. Beowulf was proclaimed a hero and Grendel’s left arm was nailed above the door of Heorot as a trophy.

Grendel returned to his cave mortally wounded. Grendel’s mother asked for the name of the murderer who did this to him. Grendel names him, Beowulf, and dies.


Description

Grendel is hideous, almost corpse looking. He is an enormous misshapen humanoid with patches of skin that look like scales or petrified wood. While, other parts of his body look as though, the skin is missing altogether. His left ear has a large fleshy bulb in place of it. This is actually his enlarged eardrum.

Grendel appears to have no sexual organs at all. From his fingers and toes protrude short black talons. Grendel’s misshapen jaw and head cause him to constantly drool.


Personality

Grendel is a timid being and soft spoken who seeks the approval of his mother. He is the embodiment of suffering by the torment of his disfigured body. Tendons are tight and in some places his skin rips to allow him to move. Grendel moves in a hunched over way with his arms drawn up.

Grendel was also born with a deformed eardrum. Any loud sound will cause horrific pain to him. His normal reaction is to try to stop the noise usually by smashing the thing making it.

Now, this is not to say that Grendel is an innocent who only hurts others because he is hurting. In Grendel you will find a monster, he is half-demon. Grendel will kill men and beasts alike and hunts them for food.


Quotes

King Hrothgar: “Fight me ! Fight me ! You fight me, damn you.”
Grendel: “…Nay !”

Grendel’s Mother: “Grendel. What happened now ? What have you done ?”
Grendel: “Mother ?”
Grendel’s Mother: “Fish and wolf and bear and sheep or two, but none men.”
Grendel: “Men. Fearful. Weak. Men.”
Grendel’s Mother: “Men, Grendel. They have slain so many of our kind.”
Grendel: “Men, clatter ! Men bellows on the gladness ! Men, harmed me ! Harmed me !” (Holding his external ear) “Harmed me !”
Grendel’s Mother: “Was Hrothgar there ?”
Grendel: “Harmed him not ! Nay, He. Harmed him not.”
Grendel’s Mother: “Good. Good boy.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Grendel

A 401 points Character

Dex: 06 Str: 09 Bod: 08 Motivation: Psychopath
Int: 03 Wil: 02 Min: 03 Occupation: Monster
Inf: 03 Aur: 02 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 000
Init: 012 HP: 010

Powers:
Extended Hearing: 03, Flame Control(ML): 06, Flame Project (ML): 02, Growth: 03 Jumping: 02, Teleportation (ML): 04

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Flame Control may only be used to douse flames. (-3)
  • Flame Project is indirect (+2)
  • Growth is always on and already factored in.(-1)
  • Teleportation may only be used when Grendel can touch his blue flame. (-1)
  • Teleportation is Minor Marginal (-1)

Skills:
Acrobatics (Climbing): 04, Thief (Stealth): 04

Advantages
Languages (Proto-Norse and Gothic or a closely related language/dialect)

Drawbacks:
Minor Rage, Partial Attack Vulnerability -2 C.S. to Sound attacks and Physical attacks to his exposed eardrum. (Striking his eardrum is a trick shot) This Vulnerability only applies to RV, not OV. Loss Vulnerability: If damage is done to Grendel’s head (taking 1 RAP of damage not absorbed through LDD) Grendel will immediatly lose Growth. Strange Appearance

Genre:
Mock-Real


Design notes

The motivation for adapting this character for the MEG’s system are bulletted below:

  • I am fond of this adaptation of Grendel.
  • Grendel is a challenging character to convert to the MEG’s system. For example, the distance from Grendel’s cave to Heorot is not mentioned.
    At most, the distance is a couple of miles. Grendel covered that distance before the singer finished his song while Beowulf was waiting. At 05 APs speed and 10 APs (1 mile), that distance could be achieved in 2 minutes. Also, Grendel is able to leap in the flames and disappear with it (teleportation) back to his cave.


By Ethan Roe

Source of Character: This character’s origins is from the 2007 movie, Beowulf. The character was voiced by Crispin Glover.

Helper(s): Wikipedia, Dr. Peter S. Piispanen, Adam Fuqua, Tiago Quintana

Writeup completed on the 16th of February, 2013.

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