Proper Villainy Profiles: Beowulf

2007 November 28
by Vanir

It’s been awhile since we peered into the abyss to see what horrors lurked within, and I’m in an absolutely foul mood so this seemed like a great time!

I saw Beowulf over the weekend. While it diverged somewhat from the myth, it was still a good story. With good villains!

Let’s examine these villains, shall we? (* WARNING LOTS AND LOTS OF SPOILERS AHEAD MATEY, YARR *)

  • Grendel

    Poor Grendel. Born with exposed eardrums, the voice of Crispin Glover, and a bunch of loud drunken Scandinavian assholes nearby. It’s not his fault the noise of their partying drives him insane. Maybe killing and eating half of them is a little overboard, but can you honestly say you haven’t wanted to do that? I blame bad parenting.

    Grendel is a great example of a “villain” who doesn’t want to be eeeeevil. He just has monstrous strength and no social skills whatsoever. His way of dealing with adversity is to tear it into tiny pieces, occasionally putting them in his mouth. It’s hard not to feel bad for the guy even as he murders a room full of unsuspecting partiers.

    Although I was glad when he died because HOLY CRAP HIS VOICE WAS ANNOYING. Who says “heeearmed”?


  • Grendel’s Mom

    Grendel’s Mom has got it goin’ on
    Grendel’s Mom has got it goin’ on

    OK, that had to be said.

    Anyway, Grendel’s mom is another great example of a well-developed (no pun intended!) villain, but unlike Grendel she’s got some good healthy evil going on. She doesn’t like being bad for the sake of it, mind you. She just knows what she wants (demon babies of kings, apparently) and she’ll do whatever she has to in order to get it.

    The part I didn’t quite get is that she really didn’t have to work very hard to get what she wanted.

    King (various): ZOMG! A water demon! With goldboobs!
    Grendel’s Mom: Hi! Let’s have sex and you give me a demon baby.
    King (various): OKAY!

    I mean, this worked for Hrothgar, Beowulf, and I assume Beowulf’s buddy (and new king) at the end. And she didn’t ask for anything else and even (for awhile) granted her baby daddy power and riches until demon baby grows up and goes all dragon on the kingdom. Maybe she’s just bored. And I didn’t get why it was always a king’s demon baby. Maybe she’s just got a royalty fetish.

    REGARDLESS! She’s still a good example of a character doing bad things for their own purposes but not working for the Forces of Blackest Evil

    P.S. how in the HELL did this movie get a PG-13 rating????

    VILLAIN RATING: DD with gold sprinkles

  • Beowulf’s Demon/Dragon Baby

    The Darth Maul of the movie. AWESOME fight scenes, but he doesn’t do anything else but speak some one-liner crap. I didn’t understand why he was terrorizing everyone and demanding vengeance on dear old Dad. I hope my son doesn’t do that when he grows up. Eeeeee.


  • Beowulf and Hrothgar

    What’s that? I’m listing the good guys as villains? “What the hell”, you ask?

    They’re the heroes, but they’re doing stuff almost as bad as the “bad guys”! Cheating on your wife with a hot water demon, fathering demon babies who end up killing your countrymen, LYING ABOUT IT when you know damn good and well what the deal is?

    It’s no gory mass murder, but it’s certainly not Good behavior.

    And while they might not be completely Bad or Good, I say they’re great characters.


Until next time!

<evil laughter>

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