At the end of the poem, Beowulf goes to fight the dragon, anticipating that it will be his last battle. He succeeds in killing his opponent, but he is mortally wounded. His people give him a glorious funeral, but they have been left unprotected, and they foresee "enemies on the rampage, bodies in piles, / slavery and abasement" (ll. 3154-5). This ending crystallizes the poem's argument that the ancient Northern warrior code was ultimately misguided. Even a truly great warrior-king, like Beowulf, can do nothing to protect his people in the end. In fact, the Geats are left especially vulnerable because their king killed so many enemies, the friends and relatives of whom can now be expected to seek revenge. Nevertheless, Beowulf's death is presented as heroic.