No man is permitted to live forever, only to live by the path that Fate has laid out for him. No matter how great a man, his life must come to an end, an end that he must face with dignity and pride. He must go to his end with a clear mind, he must cast aside all worldly things and move on from this world.
Had I been younger during my final clash with that earth-dragon, I would dare to imagine that I would have believed myself capable of escaping Fate. But, as it were, Fate decreed that I was not to fight the dragon until I had lived past my days of glory. since the slaying of Grendel and his kin were a thing of the past. It was Fate that led me to Hrothgar and his hall, and it was Fate that drove me take on that foul creature, Grendel. Fate compelled me to challenge Grendel’s kin as well and to finish the task of destroying Grendel. I see now that Fate had given me such tasks to prepare me for my final moments.
My final moments! Alas, they were all a man such as I could have asked for. Would my men not betrayed me, I perhaps may have lived another day, but that would go against the decree of Fate! No, it was meant to be. It had to be Wiglaf that returned to me in my moment of need, to fight by my side for one last time. It had to be Wiglaf who showed me that foul dragon’s hoard, that hoard we had fought so valorously to obtain. It had to be Wiglaf who watched as I left my body behind to join the Lord above and to reflect upon my life for all of eternity. It had to be Wiglaf who, in a moment of true honor, banished those cowards that had abandoned us before, and to lead the ceremony of my funeral pyre.
Ah, Wiglaf, a man of true virtue. A man not unlike myself, a man who Fate shall guide to many great deeds as it once did for myself. Perhaps one day, Wiglaf, that true, stalwart battle-companion of mine shall join me by the side of the Lord.