Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will feature an extra story mission revolving around the Scandinavian legendary hero, Beowulf.
The German Ubisoft store accidentally revealed that Beowulf, the hero-King of the Geats, would be part of the upcoming Viking-themed Assassin’s Creed Valhalla as downloadable content (DLC) bonus mission included in the game’s Season Pass.
While all regions of the store include a breakdown of the Season Pass, the German site was the only one that included the DLC among its list of contents.
It remains unclear what role Beowulf will play in the supplementary story mission “The Legend of Beowulf,” though Ubisoft did mention that players would “discover the cruel truth behind the legend.”
Beowulf is the titular hero of an Old English epic set in sixth-century Scandinavia. He was part of a North Germanic tribe known as the Geats who inhabited what is now known as Götaland in modern Sweden.
— Screen Rant (@screenrant) May 11, 2020
Beowulf and Grendel
The tale begins with Hrothgar, the King of the Danes, who built a great hall where he, his wife, and his warrior would spend their days merrymaking.
Unfortunately, all the singing and drinking drew the ire of Grendel, a monster with a distinct aversion to joy who was allegedly a descendant of Cain from the bible. In a fit of rage, Grendel attacked the hall as its inhabitants slept, killing and devouring many.
Grendel is originally found in the poem Beowulf…Grendel, being cursed as the descendant of the Biblical Cain, is "harrowed" by the sounds of singing that come every night from the mead-hall of Heorot built by King Hrothgar,
— Randall (@XnijJin) November 29, 2018
After hearing of Hrothgar’s woes, a young Beowulf set out to help the King of the Danes with his predicament. The fledgling hero decided to spend the night in the great hall along with his band of warriors and refused any weapons as he saw himself as Grendel’s equal.
A bloody battle ensues, ending with Beowulf tearing Grendel’s arm at the shoulder using his bare hands. This causes the monster to flee to his lair in the marshes where he eventually dies.
Back at the great hall, Beowulf shows off Grendel’s severed arm as a trophy of his conquest, fueling the creature’s mother on her quest for vengeance.
A mother’s scorn
The following night, as Beowulf slept elsewhere, Grendel’s mother crept into the great hall and slew Hrothgar’s prized fighter, then retreated back to her lair under a lake.
Beowulf eventually makes his way to the bottom of the lake where he finds a cavern that Grendel’s mother pulls him into. A fierce struggle follows, to which Beowulf ultimately gains the upper hand and finishes the creature off by decapitating her.
— Nick Zacharewicz (@NickSCZach) August 12, 2016
He then ventures deeper into the cavern where he finds Grendel’s corpse and severs his head to bring back as a prize. Upon returning to Hrothgar and receiving his reward, Beowulf makes his way back home. In due course, Beowulf would become the king of his own tribe.
The fall of a hero
50 years after slaying Grendel’s mother, a dragon begins to wreak havoc on Beowulf’s land after having its golden cup stolen from its lair by a slave. The hero-king and his warriors come face to face with the dragon but decided to challenge it on his own.
The dragon overpowers Beowulf which causes his men to flee in terror. All except one by the name of Wiglaf who came to his King’s aid and helped him slay the beast.
Alas, the battle left Beowulf with a wound from which he could not recover. The King of the Geats would later be ritually burned amid a great pyre in his homeland.
FOCUS – BEOWULF:
Beowulf, the most famous epic poem to have been written in Old English, is about a Scandinavian hero. He succeeds in three big battles against Grendel (a monstrous giant), Grendel's mother & a dragon. #Beowulf #AngloSaxons pic.twitter.com/VJlAza0ENA
— Imagining History (@ImaginingHist) May 7, 2020
It’s hard to imagine how Ubisoft plans to incorporate the Beowulf mythos in upcoming Assassin’s Creed title. Perhaps players will meet him during his earlier exploits unmentioned in the stories.
Or maybe gamers will get the chance to fight alongside him during his famed adventures. At this point, all fans can do is speculate. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is set for a holiday 2020 release on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Google Stadia, and PC.
Image courtesy of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla/Ubisoft