Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands Wikia
Gender: Male
Family: Elvina (mother)
Elvina's father (grandfather)
Species: Mudborn beast
Status: Alive
Appearances: 7 (see #Appearances)
Portrayed by: N/A (depicted via CGI)
Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Grendl.

Grendl is a mudborn beast who stalks Herot.


ITV Press[]

Grendl is a creature who inhabits the dark hinterland between the human inhabitants of the Shieldlands and the Mudborn creatures from which they conquered it hundreds of years before. A thing of the dark, Grendl too is searching for a place to belong. [1]

Daily Mail[]

Half-human half-monster, Grendl (left) in the hinterland between the human inhabitants of the Shieldlands and the Mudborn creatures who ruled there before the humans conquered it hundreds of years earlier. He wants to belong and has an affectionate side. [2]


Grendl profile

Grendl. (Episode 1)

The beast was evidently responsible for the murders of crofters on the Northern Road, one such body being found by Beowulf on his way to Herot. He later appears stalking Elvina as she goes out to collect supplies towards Western Wood. This is seen by Red who alerts the Reeve, Koll, which leads Beowulf to make chase. The beast ultimately makes its appearance before Elvina when it attacks and kills a Barghest wolf which was about to poiunce on her. Capturing Elvina, the beast brings her to an old giant keep where it is pursued by Beowulf and Breca, resulting in a confrontation which ends in Beowulf maiming the beast by cutting off half of its hand, forcing it away. (Episode 1)

Out by the Silver Lake, (Episode 3) the beast encounters the Varni Thane, Rate, as he makes his way to Herot, their eyes meeting from a distance briefly before the beast runs away when Rate scares it off with his war cry before proceeding to pursue the beast. However, the beast quickly loses him. (Episode 2)

Following her encounter, Elvina would secretly come to the giant ruins to provide food for the wounded beast. (Episode 6) An act which Elvina ultimately confessed to Beowulf when he found a cut of meat on her person while she was on her way, apparently to a homestead. Beowulf was outraged to hear this, telling Elvina that it is a Mudborn and tried to kill her only for her to counter that it never did harm her. Beowulf pursued Elvina as she stormed off, the beast also trailing her from a distance. Beowulf, however, was too late to stop her from being captured by Warig that were in the forests, who ordered him to drop his weapon before taking him with them too. With Elvina captured, the beast returned to the giant ruins where the Warig were holding her and Beowulf only to end up being restrained by the Warig who, noting his affection for a human woman, abused him along with their human captives before being interrupted by the arrival of Razzak, who ordered them to halt their abuse of the beast. Asking his Warig where the humans came from, Razzak observed that Elvina, identified by the Warig as the Red Blood who fed the beast, knew the Warig tongue. Ordering Elvina's cage lowered, Razzak asked her why she fed the beast, threatening that she put herself in more danger by her silence. Razzak then offered her a blade, giving her a choice of who she cared for most, the Red Blood or the beast, telling her that she could put the beast out of its misery and he would let both her and Beowulf go, explaining that he was doing this to know who she was. Taking the blade, Elvina approached the beast only to gut a nearby Warig before cutting the rope restraining the beast, allowing it to escape. (Episode 9)

Waking up next to the beast, Elvina promises that she won't let anyone hurt it ever again. (Episode 10)

The beast is later used by Razzak to lure out Elvina. To that end, it appears on the outskirts of Herot again, which is spotted by Elvina, who follows the beast back to the giant keep. Called out by Elvina, the beast is warned to stay away from Herot as it is dangerous. The beast then cowers away again as Razzak appears, bringing forth a proposal for Elvina to join him as a fellow skinshifter as opposed to staying in Herot and dying. (Episode 11)

Observing Herot as the Wulfing/Bregan invasion of the settlement begins, the beast proceeds to Elvina's surgery where he saves her from an attacking Wulfing raider before being attacked himself by a Huskarla guard. Moving to defend the beast, Elvina assumes her true skinshifter form and ends up killing the guard as she breaks his neck. Telling Brinni to get out and tell no-one of what he has just seen, Beowulf berates Elvina for murdering her protector for "that thing" as she tells the beast to leave, assuring him that she'll come. Elvina discloses that the beast has a name which she gave it, Grendl, revealing that he is her son. Following the failed invasion, Elvina leaves Herot with Grendl. (Episode 12)

Behind the scenes[]


Grendl was depicted through computer generated imagery by Milk VFX.[3]


"ITV's brief for Grendl was a half human, half monster, who inhabits the dark hinterland between the human inhabitants of the Shieldlands and the Mudborn creatures from whom they conquered it hundreds of years before. A thing of the dark, Grendl is searching for a place to belong."
Milk VFX[src]


"Ensuring Grendl was sufficiently likeable and elicited maximum audience empathy required a gradual and painstaking process by the Milk creature team. We animated Grendl's ears to maximise his personality. They have an endearing, childlike quality, which helps dial up empathy and youth.
Grendl's scenes are very interactive with the other actors especially the main characters Beowulf and Elvina. As a result he was shot as a full performance character with an actor in a green-screen suit throughout. This ensured a better level of reaction for the actors. Milk's animation team used the green suit performances as reference to pick out the subtleties of movement as they re-created the entire performance digitally. This approach also allows the creature to play off against the actor: if she touches him and he winces, you're getting real interaction. For TV, it's a rare thing to do a full creature that's interactive and emotional with another actor.
Milk VFX[src]

Modelling and texturing[]

"Grendl was designed to be very svelte and muscular to survive in the harsh Shieldlands environment. He is quick and flexible in order to be able to escape or fight and very threatening at his full 9 feet height. Our rigging and animation teams did a succession of muscle tests to ensure we got his movement absolutely right.
Grendl's skin texture and appearance was developed to show both his wildness and his vulnerability. His skin needed to be weather-beaten but tough. To achieve this we referenced elephant skin as well as bears and other wild creatures. To add a level of vulnerability we wanted to have patches of dryness and sores. We looked into a variety of animal skin conditions such as alopecia to create the desired look. Adding a layer of fur and hair then softened the overall look.
Milk VFX[src]



External links[]