In the epic poem, Beowulf, why does Heorot remain empty for twelve years?
Hrothgar built Heorot as a tribute to the bravery of his soldiers. It was a magnificant place--covered in gold and visible from the sea. It was the tallest building ever built in that region, and was the pride of Hrothgar and the Danes.
The soldiers celebrated with food and wine and music nightly, and the light reflecting on all the gold made the hall stand out like a joyous lighthouse.
Grendel, the spawn of Cain and cursed by God, growled in pain at the festivities and so, when it became dark, he crept to Heorot and murdered thirty men at once. Night after night Grendel came to Heorot and the only men safe from his murderous claws were those who stayed away. Grendel's hate darkened Heorot as brave and noble men stayed away to save their lives. For twelve years Grendel maintained his feud, stalking the warriors, and forcing the great hall to remain dark and empty.