I thought I’d read this as a kid. Nope. I appear to only have read the first half of it as a kid. I only read up until the defeat of Grendel and his mother, so I was expecting it to end when suddenly there’s a dragon. It actually seemed to drive me to impatience with this unexpected continuation, and as the poem wore on I found myself muttering, “Look mate, no one gives a fuck about your dragon.” Ah, how growing up has left me jaded and weary, where a bloke fighting a dragon isn’t enough to hold my attention. I’m becoming a worse reader as I get older I’m convinced. Anyway, all this means I need to read it again, this time not letting myself become impatient with the ending, and actually trying to appreciate it. Anyways, it’s good anyhow.