A dragon guarding a hoard of treasure for the past three hundred years awakes to see a slave on the run from a hard-handed master has taken a goblet. Meaning no harm by his theft, the slave flees in a panic.
I mean no harm by my theft! The goblet is not worth the terror!
I commission a mighty shield to withstand breath of flame! I shall assemble 11 fine warriors to assist me.
The dragon goes on a rampage, scorching the Earth as it hunts the thief. Soon, Beowulf's own throne-hall becomes the target of the dragon's fiery breathe. He assembles what he needs to stop the dragon.
Yes, my Lord!
I have had many proud days in the service of Higlac. I vow to fight the dragon, if only it will abandon its barrow and face me on open ground.
Beowulf presses the thief to take him to the barrow. Once there, he has a premonition of his own death and proceeds to recount his youth to his men.
I chide the others as they break their oaths of loyalty to you my Lord!
As Beowulf battles the dragon, only Wiglaf feels enough loyalty to come to the aid of his king
As they run in terror, they have betrayed the Geates.
The dragon lays a bit on Beowulf's neck. Wiglaf rushes to his aid, stabbing the dragon in the belly. Beowulf pulls a knife from his belt and stabs it deep into the dragon's flank. The blow was fatal.
Yes, my Lord.
This bite is poisonous, I am fleeting. You, Wiglaf, must now look after the Geates. Have your troops build a barrow called "Beowulf's Barrow".
Wiglaf rebukes the warriors bitterly, and how their lack of loyalty will lead to the invasion of other clans. He commands them to build the memorial for Beowulf.
All of Beowulf's generosity has been wasted on you! Go now and build a pyre high and decked with armor!
Yes, sir! Our cowardice has lost the life of a great ruler.