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Wealhtheow watches the walls rise. Loads of lumber shrink as the structure strengthens. Men sweat and strain, labouring to build a legacy. Hrothgar’s hall Herot. Wealhtheow wonders: where is her husband? Hrothgar should be here. Where does a ring-giver go when he is not granting gold? Where does a warrior rest when he is not at war? Hrothgar returned from the raids. He gave generous gifts to his warriors. Wealhtheow hosted a feast, mentioned each man in turn. Her husband did his duty to his people. The Shield-Danes prosper. But Hrothgar never has time to tend to his wife.
Wealhtheow thought the waiting would end when the men returned from this war. Their absence absconded, she hoped to have her husband near. Hrothgar claims that when his hall is finished, he will cease campaigning. He promises peace to match his prosperity. Wealhtheow wears a great weight of gold. She touches a torc, thinks of her father, and turns. Wealhtheow walks away from the construction, towards the edge of the cliff. She thinks hears something howling below, and peers down. She only sees ocean, crests crashing against the crags.