Beowulf and The 13th Warrior: Differences and Similarities
Beowulf and the 13th Warrior, both are very good stories, one legibly and the other visually (unless you go to the roots of the 13th Warrior and read Eaters of the Dead). Although it is pretty obvious to anyone who has read Beowulf that the 13th Warrior was based on this great epic, there are still several differences that make for an interesting twist or two.
While the two stories are very much alike in several ways, they are also very different. One of the key differences that the reader/viewer notices right off is that the story of Beowulf is being told exclusively about
Beowulf and his antics... almost in a third person view. The 13th warrior, on the other hand, is being told by a
participant (Antonio Banderas who plays Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan) in the action about the symbolic Beowulf character.
Antonio Banderas or Ahmed Ibn Fadlan, is an Arabian ambassador from Baghdad whose whole purpose in going is to
interact with and learn as much as he can about the "odd" and "uncultured" ways of the Vikings. Although he starts out pretty upset, almost horrified, about how the Northmen carry on with their barbaric customs and almost complete lack of hygiene of almost any sort. The reason that Antonio Banderas's character is even part of the story is that the Vikings' leader, Buliwyf, needs a 13th man that cannot be a northman to be included in his posse of adventurers.
The goal of the adventurers is to report to an aging "King Hrothgar" and help him to protect his people from a tribe of savages (you almost think that they as well are "supernatural" because there are never any of their dead left after battle and they are...