Loosely based on the ancient epic poem, Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands follows the battle-weary title character as he reintegrates himself back into his home community of Herot, where he has to fight politics, family tension, and the monster Grendel. The series was pitched as ITV's answer to Game of Thrones--it had a budget of £17 million ($23 million US) and was rumored to have offered the actors contracts with options to return for five years. The show's creators didn’t shy away from the comparison--Tim Haines (co-creator and executive producer) described the juxtaposition of the two by saying that "Game of Thrones... is a great series but many people, including younger viewers, can't watch it because of the level of sex and violence. Beowulf is a show that delivers epic fantasy, danger and excitement but that three generations can enjoy and, we hope, find fascinating for many series."
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