Beowulf and the 13th Warrior are two stories that are centered around the Anglo-Saxon culture and even though they have many things in common, there are a few key differences to the stories. These are two great stories that portray the Anglo-Saxon culture very well. The two stories both show good and evil, different companions, and how they memorialize the dead. The written story, Beowulf, can only describe some of the gruesome details. The movie however brought out some of those details into full light. Such as, when the North Men pass around their "community bowl." It does not seem vastly surprising if that had actually occurred in the barbaric culture. Even though the Anglo-Saxon people seem barbaric they are still quite an organized culture.
Beowulf is quite different in how it portrays good and evil than its counterpart 13th Warrior. In Beowulf from the beginning it is very clearly defined who the hero is going to be.
Beowulf always knows exactly what kind of evil he is going up against every time he fought. The people had told Beowulf about Grendel, Grendel's mom and the dragon. This is rather different in the 13th Warrior. In 13th Warrior Ahmad doesn't even want to go on an adventure, and even when he is called upon by the north men to go help king Hrogarth. When Ahmad gets Denmark he does not even know what he is supposed to be fighting. He is called there to talk after all, not fight.
Beowulf's companions are nowhere near as capable as Ahmad's. Beowulf gives his fellow companions all their equipment and has brought them from the bottom up. Beowulf's fellow warriors always tag along during his adventures, but when he needs them the most in his final battle, they all run except...