At the end of Beowulf, in his final battle the aging Beowulf dies of poisoning when the dragon bites him. Nevertheless, he is able to wield the final blow that kills the dragon, once again protecting his community from ravages.
Beowulf is the king of the Geats, and his kingdom greatly mourns his passing. The Geats honor Beowulf by holding a burial at sea for him and burying him with the dragon's treasure. They also build a tower in honor of Beowulf. Twelve of the strongest and most noble Geat warriors ride on horseback around the tower, celebrating Beowulf's heroic life.
Beowulf is most honored by the story of his exploits being kept alive. Although he is a Christian who fought evil and is fully assumed to be in heaven, pagan tradition dictated that the most worthy people in the society should gain an additional form of immortality through being remembered in poetry and song. The Geats ensure that this greatest of warriors will never be forgotten.
The celebration of Beowulf, the strongest of the Geats, attests to the importance of the warrior to early medieval culture. From the start, Beowulf uses his strength and skill to protect the mead hall, the symbol of everything good in civilization: warmth, food, safety, and companionship.