Headley reminds us that Beowulf is a man with a body of steel, a mind of mercury and a tongue of gold. He kills three monsters, becomes a great king and lives a long life. Yet he is a remote figure, who never marries or has children. The poem tells us that the kingdoms he unites and defends fall after his death. It’s a mournful, but often moral tale. “It’s about taming wild solitary appetites,” says Headley, “and the failure to tame them.” Amen, bro.