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Grendel was really obsessed with Wealtheow. He basically stalks her around Mead Hall. I'm not sure why Grendel has the hots for her but he does. Grendel attempts to rape her but talks himself out of his attraction for her. Lucky day for Wealtheow! I suppose being sexually attracted to a human was not as strong as his contempt for them.
Just before Grendel Rapes Wealtheow, he looks at her, and is reminded of his mother and of mother nature.