Like "Beowulf," the action film "The 13th Warrior" attempts to convey a sense of excitement and heroism to its story, while allowing Beowulf to remain a larger-than-life figure. Michael Crichton's novel "Eaters of the Dead" provides the basis for the film, which is a more authentic and scientific retelling of "Beowulf."
The creators of both "Beowulf" and "The 13th Warrior" structure the tales as historic representations, even though both works are fictional. The main similarity between them is the story itself.
Though the details of the plot differ greatly, they both tell the tale of warriors who fight on behalf of King Hrothgar, wise ruler of the Danes, to defeat an evil which attacks them at home. In "Beowulf," this evil is the monster Grendel and his mother. In "Eaters of the Dead" and "The 13th Warrior," Grendel and his mother are part of a race of cannibalistic savages.
The narration of "The 13th Warrior" comes from Ahmad Ibn Fadlan, the Arabic warrior recruited to join the Norsemen on their quest. While he does not appear in "Beowulf," Fadlan was a real person credited with accurately recording Viking life. His role as the observer means he represents the audience for "Beowulf.? Fadlan's perception of the heroic Beowulf is similar to the description of him presented by the third-person narration in the epic poem.