Line 10a

'ongunnon' - Why do the magas try to separate a couple already apart?
Klinck comments that these lines 'must be understood as describing the kin's intention to keep the pair apart', but this stretches the meaning of todælen. Other critics take ongunnon and het (in line 15a) as pluperfect, though Mitchell suggests this is implausible, because most OE writers would use hæfde plus past participle for the pluperfect. Here, as elsewhere in the poem, it might be more useful to accept that the poem does not have a clear narrative than to build one of our own choosing.