Michael Crichton intertwined some aspects of Beowulf with his own thoughts to produce the drama, "The 13th Warrior." Beowulf, written down by an unnamed Christian monk in the 8th century, served as a framework for the plot of "The 13th Warrior." Beowulf and "The 13th Warrior" have many differences but the similarities that they share are more abundant through out the two pieces. .
Instead of doing a direct translation of Beowulf, the writer of the "The 13th Warrior" used his creativity to fabricate a new story. To start off, "The 13th Warrior" is seen through the eyes of Antonio Banderas" character, Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan, while Beowulf told the story of Beowulf from a third person point of view. The protagonists, Beowulf (Beowulf), and Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan ("The 13th Warrior") are of different ethnic groups; Beowulf is Swedish and Ahmed is Arabic. In "The 13th Warrior" groups of men fight the evil which is in the form of men dressed up as bears, possibly to seem more frightening, and their mother, who is an evil witch. Beowulf generally fights the evil, which is represented by Grendel and his mother, who are both monsters, descendants of Cain, alone. The warriors of "The 13th Warrior" and Beowulf, clearly, had incongruous reasons for fighting the bear men. Beowulf wanted to be famous and with fame comes fortune. Beowulf was supercilious unlike the men in "The 13th Warrior." Ahmed and his comrades were not offered money or any reward; they did not, necessarily, want to be remembered for their heroic deeds at Herot; they just wanted to help save the villagers. Like Beowulf and Ahmed, Grendel and the bear men had incongruous reasons for attacking Herot. Every night the men of Beowulf would stay up late laughing, dancing, drinking; celebrating their greatness. Grendel grew weary of this night after night and eventually sought his revenge. Grendel attacked because he was impatient but the bear men of "The 13th Warrior" had a completely different reason.