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The first and primary villain in the ancient, Anglo-Saxon tale, Beowulf (which had nothing to do with computers, dammit). He is supposedly descended from Cain's side of the Biblical family and lived with his mommy in a lake near Hrothgar's hall in Denmark till Beowulf the Geat came, ripped his arm off, killed his mother, and took poor Grendel's head as a trophy.

Other good sources on Grendel are John Gardner's book (Grendel) and http://grendel.org/ .