In this epic poem, Beowulf, a hero of the Geats, comes to the aid of the king of the Danes whose great hall is plagued by the monster Grendel. Beowulf kills Grendel bare-handed and goes on to kill Grendel's mother with a giant’s sword that he recovers from her lair. Later, as king of the Geats, Beowulf confronts a dragon that terrorizes his kingdom. J.R.R. Tolkien said of Beowulf that it is in fact so interesting as poetry, in places poetry so powerful, that this quite overshadows the historical content.