Throughout the first book, the constellations appear several times: reflected in the water, in the window of Hrothgar’s royal mead hall, in the background when Grendel makes his first appearance, during the battle, outside the door when Beowulf hoists Grendel’s severed arm, and on the last page of Book One. Why do you think Gareth Hinds chose the constellations as a backdrop for these key scenes? What do you think they represent?

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The whole setting for Beowulf's story is rather dreary and overcase, a sense of the Wyrd (fate) that the Anglo-Saxons believed in. Most of the story is set at night - when the Mead Hall is alive with energy, when Grendel stalks the moor, when the warriors are asleep and Grendel murders many men. The constellations can only be seen at night; the people in the times of the Anglo-Saxons would have known little about the scientific facts of skies and the movements of the planets and the stars. However, they lived under them every day!