As an old man, Beowulf goes to battle the dragon. When faced with the terrible beast, all of Beowulf's companions flee in terror except for his most trusted companion, Wiglaf the Geat. It is here that Wiglaf proves his loyalty, bravery, and resourcefulness in battle.
First, Wiglaf shouts insults at his retreating companions. He tells them that they owe loyalty to Beowulf, their king. What better time to show their loyalty than now? With that, Wiglaf jumps into the fray, offering his king further words of encouragement. The dragon responds by breathing fire directly at Wiglaf, destroying his shield and burning him badly.
Beowulf is in a tough spot. His sword, Naegling, has broken against the dragon's impenetrable scaly armor. Without his weapon, Beowulf is defenseless and is badly bitten by the monster on his neck. Wiglaf then attacks and stabs the beast in its soft underbelly with his knife. This wound proves fatal to the dragon. However, the bite that Beowulf suffered was full of the dragon's poison and proves to be fatal to the old Dane.
Together, the two warriors kill the dragon. If Wiglaf had not come to his king's aid, then the dragon would surely have triumphed. This battle gives the old king the opportunity to have an honorable death and provides his most faithful servant a chance to do right by his sovereign.