Beowulf (in the foreground) battling the Dragon (in the back).

The Dragon is the third and final enemy in the Old English epic poem Beowulf, one of the earliest known works of fiction.


50 years after his famous battle with Grendel and Grendel's mother, the monster is awoken after a slave steals a jewel-encrusted cup from its layer, driving the monster into a terrible frenzy. The beast attacks Beowolf's homeland, forcing him to take action by going into its lair with his thanes.

In the end, all of Beowulf's thanes run away with the exception of faithful Wiguf. Beowulf dies in battle with the beast, but he does allow Wiguf to deliver the killing blow.

It should be noted that the Dragon is the first example of a fire-breathing dragon in literature.

Film Adaptation

I'm something you left behind... FATHER!!
~ The Golden Man/Dragon to Beowulf

The Dragon

The Dragon appears as the secondary antagonist in the 2007 film adaptation of the same name. He is also known as the Golden Man and is the son of Beowulf and Grendel's Mother. He first takes the form of a man colored in gold, then takes an appearance of a dragon that bears his father's appearance. Beowulf succeeds in killing the beast, and when it dies, it transforms into a young, golden-skinned boy. But traditionally, the dragon had no relation to neither Beowulf, nor Grendel's mother, but was an entirely different enemy altogether.