Beowulf defeats the dragon in the beast's lair with the help of a young warrior named Wiglaf, according to the "Beowulf" novel. They wound the dragon in several places, and finally, Beowulf cleaves the creature with his short sword.
Beowulf initially intends to fight the dragon alone, but his plan does not go well. Seeing his liege lord in trouble, Wiglaf, unlike Beowulf's other companions, rushes in to help. Losing his shield to the dragon's flames, Wiglaf hides behind Beowulf's, and they renew the attack. Though they defeat the fearsome creature, Beowulf receives a wound from the dragon's poisoned teeth, and he dies soon after the battle.