The Bear's Son is key to understanding why Beowulf stood by passively as he beheld Grendel for the first time, devouring a warrior. R. W. Chambers wonders if Beowulf would have watched Grendel eat the entire hall if the monster had not attacked him next. In The Bear's Son, the hero and his warriors wait singly for the monster, all in separate locations. One warrior actually is killed after the other until the monster and Beowulf discover each other.
Moreover, one of Beowulf's faithless companions who leaves him in battle with the monster is named Stone-cleaver. In different versions this name is translated from Steinhauer, Stenkløver, or simply Stein. Stein is the name of the priest who abandons the hero Grettir in the Grettissaga. (Beowulf: An introduction to the story of the poem with a discussion of the stories of Offa and Finn, 66)
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