Beowulf is a soldier in the first Ogres' war comes under the possession of the legendary sword, Hrunting, a sword forged by the Blue Fairy and said to cause its wielder to be seen as a hero. He encourages the men fighting alongside him to fight the Ogres despite the likelihood of their failure, so they can be seen as brave heroes instead of cowards, but they are all slain in the battle. Left alone, Beowulf charges the remaining Ogre but is knocked away, dropping Hrunting. Before he can be killed, Rumplestiltskin appears and uses dark magic to disintegrate the Ogre and all of the others, ending the war. For this act, Rumplestiltskin is hailed as a hero, but a bitter Beowulf warns the villagers that Rumplestilskin is a monster and that his dark magic will come with a price. In hopes of being seen as a hero, Beowulf spreads rumors of a beast known as a Grendel and pretends to go off to slay it, though he never returns. In truth, the Grendel's roars are merely an Ogre horn and the villagers who attempt to kill the beast are actually murdered by Beowulf. Eventually, the villagers ask Rumplestiltskin to take the Grendel down. When he arrives in the cave, he discovers the horn just as Beowulf emerges to steal the Dark One's Dagger, which can control Rumplestiltskin. Using the dagger, he orders Rumplestiltskin to stand in place so that when Beowulf returns with the villagers, they will believe Rumplestiltskin is responsible for the deaths of the men who attempted to defeat the Grendel. Rumplestiltskin's son, Baelfire, runs to get help but instead chooses to steal the dagger back, summoning Rumplestilskin before Beowulf can take the dagger back. Beowulf mocks them, claiming that the villagers fear Rumplestiltskin and will never believe them, before beginning to leave. Enraged at Beowulf's threats, Baelfire succumbs to the darkness and orders Rumplestiltskin to kill Beowulf, against his father's pleas. The Dark One magically leaps towards Beowulf and snaps his neck, leaving his body in the forest and taking Hrunting with him.
Not wanting his son to follow after him into darkness, Rumplestiltskin slips a memory potion in Baelfire's tea, making him forget the incident and believe his father solely responsible for Beowulf's death.
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