Bae Wolf (2022) - full transcript

It's the year 500 A.D. in deepest, darkest Denmark. A jealous, decapitating monster -- the unstoppable Grendel -- terrorizes the drunken revelers of mead-soaked Heorot. Fearless Princess Freawaru and her sidekick, the cynical scribe Shaper, journey in search a hero who can save their people. But it turns out true heroes are rarer than bloodthirsty monsters. And when famed imp-slayer Beowulf rides to Heorot's rescue, her true agenda could prove more dangerous than Grendel himself.

Hey man. Hey.

Hey, are you the, uh,
are you the shaper of

Heorot? You are! You're
the shaper of Heorot!

I'm your biggest fan! And
you're here in my mead hall!

You wrote 'Beowulf' I
fucking love 'Beowulf.' It's

my favorite story. Heard
it like a thousand times.

You know, with the
strength of 30 men and

and the Grendel and...
and Grendel's arm

and... and Grendel's mom and... and
the dragon. And it's fucking rad, man.

Hey. Hey, man. Can I ask
you something? Between

you and me... how
much of that shit was real?

How much mead can you afford?

What the hell?

Hey, I'm your queen
and I'm talking to you.


What? What? Are you kidding me right now?

We had a bad night.

Bad night? We found Jeff's head 30
feet from his body. I'd say that

was worse than a usual bad night.
Unferth, get down. Get the hell down.

I leave you in charge for
one night and what do you do?

Have a party.

The party is not the problem.

I let my guard down.

You knew that asshole Grendel was
out there. You knew how upset he was.

I didn't know he was massacre upset.

Well, now you do. What are
you gonna say to our people?

I'm sorry

Good. Now go find my
daughter and apologize.

Please just sacrifice
me to dragon, instead.

Dragons are myth. Princesses, on
the other hand, are very real.

I don't know how I'm
going to spin this one, Frea.

I mean, one monster
attack is a good story.

It's scary. Two is okay if the villagers
wise up and do something about it. But

three attacks and we just blame each
other and crack open a fresh cask of mead?

Shaper, get off your ass, will you? We
gotta get these bodies underground by

sundown or some god or
another is gonna be pissed.

Which gods would that be?

The Chairman? The Thief?


The Refuser? Or how
about my favorite. Sjöfn

the Lover. You know who
invented her? My uncle,

the shaper of Riber, on commission
from a visiting Geatish lord

who was caught in the
bath with his boy servant.

Yes yes, I've heard.

That old queer needed a demigod to
blame. That way it's not a choice.

I like girls. You think that's a choice?

That's different.


Alright, well, for one there's
the question of consent.

And besides, you're gonna marry whoever
the old woman tells you to marry.

Your sexual predilections...

Don't say predilections.

Your preferences... they don't matter.

I swear to gods!

I'm sorry!

I'm sorry.

No you're not. You're right about
one thing, Shaper. I am a princess.

Your princess. And your
princess orders you to dig.

Yes ma'am.

What is it?

It's not your fault.

Who knew there'd be a monster in the
woods? Who knew he'd hate parties so much?

I could have stopped him.

Stopped him? He ripped Jeff's poor little
head right off his poor little body.

What were you gonna do?

Try, at least.

Try? And get yourself killed, too?

Getting myself killed is pretty
much in my job description.

Oh? And what would I
do? I prefer you alive, thank

you very much. Leave
the dying to the heroes.

I'm not a hero.

Oh, gods no.

This is why everyone's afraid of you.

I'm sorry, Ferthie. You're a good
man. You're kind, thoughtful, fun.

You mean it?

Hell yes. You ever met a real hero?
One of those big-timers from Ribe?

I saw Hengest at the fish market once.

You didn't see Hengest at the fish market.

Sure, I did. Big guy, huge sword.

Heroes don't shop in markets,
Ferth. They live in lean-tos and

eat tree bark and
shout a lot and smell

terrible. Heroes are
monsters. They have to be.

What you're saying is, we need
a monster to fight our monster?


You know any?

You're always so
hopeless when you're sober.

I hear you.

It's you.

I think it's you.

It's daylight, thing. I'll scream and
a hundred Danes will come running.

You think you can kill a hundred
of us before we get lucky? Do you?

Do you?

You go your way, monster. I'll go mine.
We'll meet again, but not like this.

Not like this.

Well, I'll say this about your
fixation on those poor Danes.

They didn't always believe in us. But
they sure as hell believe in us now.

You got a plan, Grendel? Some way to
end this before things get out of hand?

That's what I thought.

Think he'll come again tonight?

I dare him.

I gaze at the faces of my
wards and I see sadness.

Oh, such sadness. Yes,
your fathers are dead. And

your mothers and brothers
and sisters, sons and

daughters. They're dead
and we can't bring them

back. But we can
celebrate their lives and

congratulate them on
their very fine deaths.

This is some good shit.

They died doing what they loved.

Eating and drinking. Dancing and
doing hand stuff in the corner.

They died Danes!
Living life to the fullest

'til their lives were
taken from them in a

bloody, ridiculous end.
We should all be so lucky.

What about the monster?

That's right, what about the monster?

Yes, good people of
Heorot, we have a monster.

He's a nasty fellow. Probably a
teatotaler. Quite possibly a virgin.

He hates us. He hates our
village and he hates our freedom.

But we're not afraid.
And we're not going to

change our ways because
Grendel wants us to.

Screw Grendel! Screw
him right in his scaly butt!

Let's drink!

All of it?

On second thought, forget the mead!
Let's go kill something! Night hunt!

What did our mead ever do to you?

It made me stupid and sloppy

Well, if you're stupid and
sloppy when you're drunk,

maybe you're stupid and
sloppy when you're sober.

My queen, he's still out there.
I... we can't let our guard down.

You know what's more
dangerous to a bunch

of sober Danes than
a man-eating monster?

Sober Danes.

You owe me a dozen casks
of mead. In the meantime,

murdering a frightened
animal might help.

Hell, maybe we'll flush
out our old friend Grendel

and show them what a bunch of Danes can
do who are actually paying attention!

Frea, night hunt.

Not going.

Looks like you're going somewhere.

We need help, Shaper.
Mom's too proud to ask

and Unferth's balls
fall off, apparently, so

I'm going to do it myself. I
hear Hengest hangs out in Ribe.

I hear Hengest isn't
even real. The shaper

of Hedeby made him
up to scare off raiders.

For gods' sakes, dude,
not everyone's a fraud.

Maybe not everyone,
but it's a long road to Ribe.

Friends become enemies,
enemies become friends,

friends become lovers,
lovers become enemies.

Are you trying to convince me not to go?

I'm trying to convince
you to invite me along.

Really? Aren't you afraid?


Hey asshole.

Just resting my eyes.

Bullshit. You don't want to
end up like Jeff, do you?


Move around, do some push-ups,
do some jumping jacks... wake up.

Do you know what I love about Grendel?

Gods, really?

I mean, if Grendel
exists, imagine what other

weird shit is out there.
Krakens. Imps. Sirens.


There are no such thing as dragons.

We used to think there was
no such thing as grendels.

Whatever Grendel is, his entire
species could live and die in some

slimy cave somewhere and
we would never even know.

What the hell was that? Grendel?

You know Grendel to make that noise?

Keep your sword up.

Do swords even work on Grendels?

Swords work on everything.

Hold my horse.

Did you see it?

See what?

The imp.

Told you so.

Yeah, the hunched, gnarly
little thing. Smelly, too.

It was coming right at us.


You know, you're lucky we got here
when we did. Those things can be

mean. A little molesty,
too, if I'm being honest.

Who... who are you?

Wiglaf. We're Geats. Oh,
here we go, here we go.

Problem solved.

Yeah, that's an imp,
all right. Westerly

type, by the looks of
it. Yeah westerly imp.

Don't wipe it on your...

That'll never come out.


Freawaru. This is Shaper.

So, thanks for that.

What we do, we do for all
of mankind. Womankind, too.

Where are you coming from?


Heorot. That's a huge party town.

Good mead, right?

Best in Denmark.

We were on our way to Ribe.

Road's not safe. We've been clearing
imps for days. It's breeding season.

These westerlies can be a bit...

Molesty. We heard.

Whatever you're looking
for in Ribe, can it wait?

I think, just maybe it can.

Come on, we'll escort you back to Heorot.

Royalty, huh?

My mom's Queen Walchtheo.

Never heard of her.

She's a minor queen.

Well, I'm sure she'll be glad
to see you alive and unmolested.

You keep saying that. Molested.

It's bad out there.
Imps all over the place.

You know, what's funny
is, we never really had

any monster problems.
Not until a year ago or so.

You've heard the stories.

Sure, but you know how
shapers are. By the time

my shaper gets done
with our little adventure,

there's going to be
10 imps and you'll be

seven feet tall with the
strength of 30 women.

Men. Every shaper that's ever
written about me has made me a man.

Like you need balls to hold a sword.

We're not like that in Heorot.
I think you'd like it there.

So what's your monster?
You said you didn't have a

monster problem until a
year ago. Imps? A dragon?

Dragons don't exist.

You sure about that?

We got... a Grendel.

What's a Grendel?

As far as I know, there's only one
of him. Tall guy. Naked, slimy,

favors decapitation. Hates
fun. Always raids our parties.

No molesting?

The guy is a murderer, all right,
but to his credit... not a creep.

And you've seen him?

Well, no.

But someone has.

From a distance. He doesn't really
tend to leave a lot of witnesses.



It's settled. We'll handle
your Grendel problem.

Oh? Just like that?

Just like that.

I thought I told you
dummies not to get wasted.

You said too wasted.

You and your Persian herb.

That's good shit.

So I think I got us a gig protecting
those Danes from their local monster.

Something called a Grendel.
Anyone know who that is?

Those Norse brothers running
that troll scam outside of Aros?

No no, they go by Drangar,
not... what'd you say?


Right. Could be one of the
Saxons with their giants.

Giants, my ass. Idiots carrying other
idiots on their backs. Big cloaks, wigs.

Well, I actually happen
to know a couple

of guys who called
themselves Goemagot.

And last I heard they were running a
protection racket out on the coast.

Grendel, Goemagot. I
mean, they kinda sound

the same. Well,
whatever. Whoever it is,

I'm sure we can cut a
deal. This Walchtheo gal

sounds like she might
be pretty... 'sup, Shaper?

Gotta pee.

Can't do it when you're watching.

You know, I was just inside thinking
how lucky we are we ran into you.

I mean, two Heorotians
with a monster problem

get attacked by a monster
on the road to Ribe.

And there just happens
to be a bunch of

Geat monster-hunters
right around the bend.

I mean it's a story so good,
someone should have written it.

Thank the gods.

Hi Mom.

Freya, thank gods.
Baby girl, we were worried

sick. You just can't go
off and leave like that.

Went for help. Found it.

I am Beowulf, thane of
Hygelaca, princess of the

House of Hrethel, daughter
of Ecgthow of the House

of the Waegmundings.
Slayer of imps. Tamer of

unicorns. I run a
six-minute mile and I can do,

like, 10 really good
push-ups. Slow ones.

These are my Geats.
Wiglaf. Breca. Everybody.

Very impressive. So, you've
come to kill our Grendel.


He's mean.

We're meaner.

What kind of guarantee can you give us?

I guarantee that we'll
put our bodies and our

steel between that
Grendel and all of you.

Maybe he's stronger,
but he'll have to kill

all of us before he
gets to any of you.

Good answer. I expect you'll
want to be paid, of course.

A woman's got to make a living.

Sure does. Pound of silver.


Half pound of gold.

Half pound of each.

Fine. Payment on receipt of
I think an arm is fair.

We need an advance.

Room and board, no advance.

Deal. We're huggers here in the
Heorot. I think we should celebrate.

My queen, the mead!

Right. Damn it. We
would celebrate, but

our mead stash had
an unfortunate accident.

There's no mead?

We're going in blind
with this one. I don't

like it. The two of you need
to find this Grendel today.

Well, he sounds like
a cave-squatter to me.

We'll head up-hill, follow our noses
to the nearest unwashed butthole.


No attack tonight. We
need a day to settle in.

After that, we'll see if
we can up our fee a bit.

Oh Wiglaf, the herb.

All right. But don't let
these Danes smoke at all.

Heroes don't shop in
the market, you said.

They live in lean-tos
and eat tree bark and

yell a lot and smell terrible. Heroes
are monsters. This Beowulf of yours,

she smells like
wildflowers and old leather.

I watched her slay an imp. I guess
heroes come in all shapes and sizes.

I guess they do.

You Grendel? I'm Breca. This is
Wiglaf. We're with Beowulf's crew.

Who's that?

Imp-slayer of Ribe? Princess
of the House of Hrethel.

Strength of 30 women,
yada yada. Ring any bells?

Imps aren't real.

No shit. Look, we're here to negotiate.


Yeah, dude. Look you've had a
great run raiding that village.


Okay, whatever. But
we're here now. Those

Dane's hired us to
protect them from you.

Laugh it up. They want a head.

Or an arm.

Or an arm.

Now, we can give them a head, arm,
whatever. You'd be amazed at what you

can do with some
pork leavings, wool and

black dye. But we
need you to play along.

What's in it for me?

Cut of our fee. Gold and silver,

more than you'd ever make on one of your
nightly raids. But there is a catch.

One, no attack tonight.
We just got into town.

People need to relax, chow
down maybe get laid. Cool?

Okay, what else?

We want to drive up the fee.
So you hit us tomorrow night.

You come in, we chase you into
the woods, hoot and holler a bit,

come out with a head
or an arm, collect our fee,

cash you out, everybody
goes home a lot richer.


I like it.

Rad. I'd shake your
hand, but you seem busy.

Very busy.

Okey doke. Great doing
business with you... Grendel.

Hey, uh, you don't mind
me asking what's up with

this whole backstory... the naked
slimy decapitator who hates parties?

It's a dying dragon's jealous dream.

Uh, all right, then,
we'll see you tomorrow.


Where's the party?

You guys see anything?

No, it looks like your
Grendel took the night off.

Stay frosty.

What if the gods are shapers
and we're all just characters?

What if they're making it up as they go?

What if we're real and time isn't?

We're already dead
and all of this is just a

memory. And if we're
dead, is this Valhalla?

Valhalla is for heroes.

Maybe this is hell.

This isn't hell. We're
all here together. That's

not hell. I know hell.
I've been that alone.

Friend, Geat.

That's no Geat.

Tell me your name, Geat.

I'm Grendel.

Good one. For real.

I am Grendel!

Do you love your people, old queen?

More than life.

Bullshit! Without
life, there can be no

love. When you die,
your love goes with you.

No, Grendel. It doesn't. You'd know
that if you ever loved anything.

How? How? It's just me
and my mother. Who's

going to love me and who
am I going to love? You?

You? What's your name?


Beowulf? The Beowulf? Imp-slayer of Ribe?

They don't know, do they?

They don't know your people found me
in the forest. Told me the Danes hired

you to protect them
from me. Offered

to split the loot with
me if I'd play along

with your little racket.
Could it be that the

imp-slayer of Ribe
doesn't actually slay imps?

I mean, I'm a real
monster. My mom is a real

monster. And my
best friend is a dragon.

But I've never met an imp. Whole
thing sounds sort of fake to me.


I recognize you.

No! Stop, Unferth! Stay with me. Please.

Coward. A piss-stinking coward
and even he deserves love?

You all yell and scream about monsters,
when the real monsters are just...


In the mirror?

Good. I like it. Use it.

Stay with me, Unferth, you said.

Be the lovable drunk. Be a coward.
Live and die like everyone else.

Dumb, bewildered, a meal for a monster.

Meanwhile, you go off
and meet some huckster

in the woods and
decide that she's the one,

she's our hero, our champion, our
defender. What do you see in this Beowulf?

Cold black sobriety.

There's an armed, rogue, con artist
on the loose and they send you?

No one sent me. Came on my own.

How's my people?

Well, some of the angrier
guys roughed them up

a bit. I think they'd
agree they deserved it.

They'll live. At
least until Grendel

swings through. Give
us a minute, will you?

So there I was, piling up
bodies this morning, when

something occurred to
me. Hero monster-hunter,

that's a good story.
Cowardly fraud, in

over her head... that's
an even better one.

Maybe. Kind of depends on the arc.

You want my backstory.

That'd be lovely. I mean,
I could just make it up.

True stories have a certain
texture to them, you know.

I don't really have
a first memory, just

impressions. Dirt,
metal, leather, laughter.

But I do have a first feeling.

Looking for guards.
Hiring guards. Good food,

good pay, reasonable
life expectancy. Hold up.

No girls.

I thought my fire's hot.

And here we are.

So that's the beginning. This is the
middle. Now you need a third act.

So does Grendel.

Hey Shaper.

Do you remember what Grendel said,
mid-speech the night of the massacre?

He said something about a...

A dragon.

So dragons are real, too?

Gods, I hope so. Can you
imagine the stories they'd tell?

They'd destroy us all.

Haven't you figured it out yet?

You and me, we're
disposable. But us

this drinking, lying,
fucking human race...

The only ones who can destroy us is us.

My fellow Danes, listen up. I understand
you're all pretty upset. So am I.

Where is that conniving bitch...?

Now now now. In Beowulf's defense, she
was she didn't know monsters were real.

She was trying to rip us off.

She was, but she
paid for that with the

death of her friends
and her reputation.

I promise you there's no one in this
room lower than she is right now.

Sure, we've all been monster-attack
victims, but we have our dignity.

Screw dignity. Grendel ate my cousin.

No, Grendel decapitated your cousin.

Tomato tomato.

Look, I know we're
sick of all these

decapitations. But to
that end, we have a plan.


We. Come on in.

Oh! String her up! String her
up! String her up! String her up!

Shut the hell up! I'll
string you up, Carl.

Thank you. Gods.
Listen up. Beowulf has a

plan I think you'll
agree just might work.

I think...

Speak up!

I think...

I think we should give
Grendel exactly what he wants.

No way.

I swear to gods, Carl. If you ruin this...

It's the only way.

I agree with the conniving
bitch. It's the only way.

Don't touch me.

Frea, I'm sorry. I'm so so so sorry.

Sorry doesn't bring back the dead.

I know.

Sorry doesn't kill
monsters. Real monsters.

I know. Just... just let me make this
right. Or at least as right as I can.

Can you even fight?

Of course I can fight.

Prove it.

Prove it? Prove it how?

You can't be serious.

Half my village is
headless. My best friend is

missing and the girl I
like is a gods-damned liar.

The girl you like?

You broke my heart!

I don't care if it takes
one day or 50 years,

I'm gonna do right by you. And when I
take my last breath, you will forgive me.

Why would I do that?

Because this is my story and it's a good
one. Do you want to be a part of it?

Our story.

Good fishy fishy.


Madness to come alone.

That's why I didn't. You're
surrounded, Grendel.


For the first time in my life, I'm not.

It'll take more than one arrow to stop me.

How about 10? Each
one from a quiver of a Ribe

mercenary. Doesn't give
a damn who he kills or

why as long as the
money's good. Not a lot of

poetry in it, but screw
it, this isn't a poem.

So do it. Kill me.

We don't want to kill you.


You know how we are.
We like to eat, drink, fuck.

Put on a good show with
our armor and our swords.

It's a bluff. It's
fiction. There's almost

nothing we wouldn't
forgive or forget if that

meant we didn't have to fight. Well,
most of us. Ribe mercenaries...

What do you want?



What other choice do you have?

Keep killing them.

You went too far,
Grendel. Killing them... that

they could forgive. But
you embarrassed them.

You're the embarrassment.

They didn't know that 'til you told them.

Let them have their
happy stories, Grendel.

You'll be shocked
what they'll pay for them.

Shock me. How about a Grendel Day?

Grendel Day?

I told you... they want peace so badly
they're throwing you a party.

They don't mean it.

You won't know the difference.

You're messing with me. You're all messing
with me. And this... this is a trap.

We're throwing you a party and you're
coming. If it's a trap, decapitate us.

See you tomorrow, Grendel.

What do you think, fishy?

Now what?

Now the hard part.

Hey dragon, buddy, how's your day been?

So get this. That Geat,
the monster hunter,

she showed up the
creek while I was fishing.

Tells me the Danes
want peace so bad they're

throwing me a party.
It's a trap, right? But then

maybe she was serious. Maybe
they are that sick of dying.

This is what I wanted, right? You
always say I've got to welcome joy.

I'm scared.

Don't tell Mom, okay? All she ever
wanted was for me to be happy.

I don't want her to
see me so... conflicted.

That settles it. I'm going. If
it's a legit party, great. If not,

I'll just pop off a few heads
and hightail it out of there.

We're... we're pals. You'd help me out
if I ever got into real trouble, right?


Right. Okay, bud. Talk later.


Geez, Mom, can a guy get
some privacy? I'm sorry, son.

You look very handsome today.


Got big plans?

Going out.

Well, have fun. Be safe.

Okay, Mom.

Gods, Mom. What?

I just wanted to say, we can't
help who we are. It's not our fault

if we're tall or short
or skinny or scaly.

It's not our fault if
we're dragons or people

or grendels. All we
can do is be the best

versions of ourselves.
All we can be... is honest.

About what we want and what we need.
Everything after that's... negotiation.

I know, Mom.

I love you, no matter
what anyone else feels.

I love you, too. A lot. Things
are gonna get better for us.

I hope so, but if anyone hurts you...


I'll wreck the whole world.

Okay, Mom, whatever.

We've got to do better.

Starting now.

Starting now.

Grendel's kind of hot.

Yeah, nice pecs.

I can't get past those horns.

I like the horns.

His temper, though.

I can fix him.

I got you, monster! I got you! I'm a hero!


Didn't mean it, Grendel.
We didn't mean it!


Grendel mentioned
something about his

mother. In the mead
hall, the night Wiglaf...

There's no way she's not gonna kill us
all. Not after what we did to her boy.

Soon you'll be the trickle of the creek.

The mist of cave.

The breath of a dragon.

One with the moss.

The dark. The cold. Go, my
boy. Go, Grendel. Wait for me.

Get everyone inside.
Barricade the door.

Don't come out until
you hear my voice.


You have to protect them, Breca. When
I fail, it's going to be up to you.

You won't fail.



Come on.

Bitch Geat. Shit puddle.
Meat sack. Bone sausage.

Come on!

My boy was beautiful. The
last of his kind and the best.

Your boy was a monster.

So what?

He only wanted to be included
and you killed him for it.

We're sorry. We're dumb and we're drunk
and we startle easily. We're sorry.

We're sorry. We're sorry!
But the killing ends now.

I say when the killing ends!

I messed up, didn't I?


People are dying because of me.


How do I come back from this?

Look to the Careful One. Be better
on Monday than you were on Sunday.

Better on Tuesday than
you were on Monday.

So on and so forth
'til hell comes for you.

I don't think I believe in hell.

There's a monster
outside, probably murdering

my girlfriend. We
all believe in hell.

I could see it all so clearly.
Where I came from. How I got there.

The bad I did. The
good that came from

it. The people who
paid. The consequence.

And the words that have
haunted me ever since.

What words, my queen?

My best friend is a dragon.

A dragon.

Yes. I made you all
believe there were countless

monsters. The truth is
there were exactly three.

We killed two of them.

Can you imagine what it's
like to be the very last?

I mean, even if dragons
were real... and I wish

to the gods that they
were... it's been decades.

Oh, dragons are real. I
believe it with all my heart.

A few decades to a
dragon... it's a long weekend.

Just enough time to work
up a really nasty grudge.

It's coming for us. For me.

And it's going to burn
all of this to the ground.

You know what?

I'm glad.

Dragon smoke.


You promised me. Whether it's one day
or 50 years, I'm going to spend the

rest of my life doing
right by you. That's

what you said. I
remember every syllable.

There's more.


And as I breathe my last
breath, you will forgive me.

Forgive you?

For what I'm about to do. For what I

have to do. For what's
waiting for me on the

other side of those
trees. This is my ending.

I'm your ending. A happy one. No,
my love, I don't get a happy ending.

Hello fate.

Hello legend.

Hello dragon.

Do it. Do it!

Do it!

For gods' sake!

Do what?

Normally, people
flee. We didn't really

have a plan for someone
to run at a dragon.