King of the Danes; seeks Beowulf's help in defeating Grendel
Hrothgar's great grandfather; went from orphan to king of Danes
Beowulf's uncle; king of the Geats; husband of Hygd; father of Heardred; kills Ongentheow
father of Hrothgar Heorogar and "daughter" who married Onela; succeeded Beow;
father of Halfdane; the narrator presents him as a gift from God to a people in need of a leader
Hrothgar's best friend that Grendel kills
The man the competed with Beowulf in the swimming competition
Hrothgar's wife; gracious
a Dane who doubts Beowulf's ability to defeat Grendel; later gives him the sword 'Hrunting' to defeat Grendel's mother
a Swede married to the daughter of Halfdane (Hrothgar's sister)
engaged to be in an arranged marriage with Fraewaru (Hrothgar's daughter). This marriage is arranged in order to make peace between the Danes and the Heathobards; Beowulf predicts that the wedding will go badly rather than mend their differences-- significance: Beowulf has intelligence
one of Hrothgar's sons
Hrothgar's herald and officer; initially greets Beowulf and troops in Heorot
Hrothgar's elder son, Hrethric stands to inherit the Danish throne, but Hrethric's older cousin Hrothulf will prevent him from doing so. Beowulf offers to support the youngster's prospect of becoming king by hosting him in Geatland and giving him guidance.
A young kinsman and retainer of Beowulf who helps him in the fight against the dragon while all of the other warriors run away. This man adheres to the heroic code better than Beowulf's other retainers, thereby proving himself a suitable successor to Beowulf.
A figure from Norse mythology, famous for slaying a dragon. His story is told in praise of Beowulf and foreshadows Beowulf's encounter with the dragon.
Good king turned evil; lets his people down; story to tell Beowulf what not to do (warning)
history with Hrothgar: This man killed Heatholaf (a Wulfing) and because war was looming, this man was banished. Hrothgar paid off the feud.
Hygelac's wife, the young, beautiful, and intelligent queen of the Geats. She is contrasted with Queen Modthryth.
Swedish king; kills Haethcyn (Hrothgar's brother)
Danish princess; daughter of Hoc
Hrothgar's nephew; betrays and usurps his cousin, Hrethic, the rightful heir to the Danish throne. His treachery contrasts with Beowulf's loyalty to Hygelac in helping his son to the throne.
A wicked queen of legend who punishes anyone who looks at her the wrong way. Modthryth's story is told in order to contrast her cruelty with Hygd's gentle and reasonable behavior.
The Geatish king who took Beowulf in as a ward after the death of Ecgtheow, Beowulf's father.
son of Ogentheow
Halfdane's son; Beowulf gives Hygelac his armor
Frisian king; son of Focwald; led Hnaef and Frisian Jutes
Dayraven the Frank
Beowulf killed him with his bare hands
son of Wonred; injurs Ongentheow
son of Othere and killed by Weostahn
father of Wiglaf; kills Eanmund; Othere's brother
one of Hygelac's thanes
Queen Modryth's King
Beowulf befriends him during his reign; son of Othere
The first of Beowulf's troops that dies when Grendel attacks
Hygelac's brother; Hrethel's first son
father of Finn
leader of Danes in the battle; son of Hoc; gets killed
takes over for Hnaef after he dies
Hygelac's brother; killed by Ogentheow
The sword that Unferth gives to Beowulf before he fights Grendel's mother
Beowulf's sword during battle with dragon
Hrothgar's brother; father of Hrothulf
Grendel's good brother
Grendel's bad brother; kills Abel
Dazzle the Duel
sword that Hengest uses to kill Finn
Guthuof and Oslaf
Danes; captured Hildeburh