One of the most exciting moments in Beowulf occurs when Grendel, under cover of darkness, approaches Heorot after the arrival of Beowulf and his men: 1 Com on wanre niht / scriðan sceadugenga ‘on a dark night the shadow walker came stalking’ (lines 702b–3a). With a nice sense of dramatic irony, the poet informs his audience that all the warriors who should defend the gabled hall are asleep, except for one. Tension is increased by the repetitious use of the verb ‘come’, 2 while at the same time the identity of the nightly stalker is revealed: Ða com of more under misthleoþum / Grendel gongan ‘Then from the moor under cover of mist Grendel came moving on’ (lines 710–1 la) and ten lines further down: Com þa to recede rinc siðian ‘Then the warrior had come up to the building’ (line 720). The door, reinforced with iron, quickly gives way at the touch of his hands (folmum), he swings it open and enters the hall to begin his cannibalistic orgy with a tasty appetiser. Grendel’s table manners are carefully followed by Beowulf, who pretends to be asleep. As it happens, Grendel unintentionally selects Beowulf for his entrée, only then to realise that he has met his superior, someone with mundgripe maran ‘a stronger grip of hand’ (line 753).