In order to discover what happened next, we must put ourselves in the mind of the monster. Unusual, I know, to empathise with the antagonist in a heroic tale, but hey, even monsters have feelings. “So I don’t get to say anything?” “No, ducky, you just growl.” “Just, like, ‘Rrrraaaooooorrrrr!!!'” “Yes, sweetie, exactly like that.” “Can’t I even say “Rrrraaaooooorrrrr, it’s not my fault, I had a disadvantaged childhood!’?” “No, darling, you’re a monster, you just roar. Now can we get on, please, I’ve got an epic to write.”
And putting ourselves in the head of Grendel, what do we imagine a young man will do when he’s popped out for a takeaway and found himself getting beaten up by a bigger boy? Answer: he does just what any other lad would do in the circs, and runs home to Mum. To be fair to Grendel, he did indeed have a disadvantaged childhood, since he was brought up in a sink estate (to be precise, the monstrous 9th Century equivalent thereof, namely, a noxious marsh), by a single mother, who rejoices in the name of Grendel’s Mother, possibly because no-one had ever got on first name terms with her and lived to tell the tale.
And Grendel’s Mother was not happy at all that someone had ripped the arm off her little boy. Since there was no Grendel’s Father (I don’t know what happened to him; maybe he changed his name and moved a long way away, maybe she ate him), Grendel’s Mother set out to Have A Word. She being a monster, the word was basically “RRRRRROOOOOOOAAAAAARRRRR!!! Nom nom nom nom” and the word the Danes had in response was Scream. Yep, she headed back to the King’s mead hall and got seriously stuck in. Clearly, the monster infestation was by no means sorted. What, oh, what, would our hero do?