The women wail. The King of the Danes is dead. The women wail, keening for the king. The men frame a fire around Halfdane’s stately body. Hrothgar places a jewelled
The conflagration calms. The activity abates. The men bury the smouldering rubble, stifling the remaining flames. The women wait, wilted. The smell of smoke hangs heavy. Grey grit covers clothes, makes eyes itch. Wealhtheow prays let my husband be regal, a renowned ring-giver. Hrothgar’s kingship has commenced.