Daughter of King Hrothgar, Freawaru is cupbearer at the celebration marking Beowulf's arrival. Through the role of bride-to-be, Freawaru is considered a "peace-pledge between nations." (2017) Her betrothal to the young warrior, Ingeld is meant to end a tribal feud. Freawaru is a Dane while Ingeld is a Heatho-Bard. The hope is that their union will bring peace between these two tribes. However, although it is a common strategy, more often than not, marriage between enemy tribes is a futile attempt for this warrior society. Beowulf believes that in the case of Freawaru and Ingelid old emotions between the Danes and Heatho-Bards will be stirred up at a gathering of the two tribes:
But generally the spear
is prompt to retaliate when a prince is killed,
no matter how admirable the bride may be.
Think how the Heatho-Bards are bound to feel,
their lord, Ingeld, and his loyal thanes,
when he walks in with that woman to the feast:
Danes are at the table, being entertained,
honored guests in glittering regalia,
burnished ring-mail that was their hosts' birthright,
looted when the Heatho-Bards could no longer wield
their weapons in the shield-clash,when they went down
with their beloved comrades and forfeited their lives.
Then an old spearsman will speak while they are drinking,
having glimpsed some heirloom that brings alive
memories of the massacre; his mood will darken
and heart-stricken, in the stress of his emotion,
he will begin to test a young man's temper
and stir up trouble. (2029-2046)
During the feast the son of a Heatho-Bard warrior that has fought with the Danes notices his father's sword on the waist of a Dane. This Dane is apparently the son of a warrior that has killed the young Heatho-Bard's father in battle. Fury enrages the Heatho-Bard and he kills the Dane. This fuels a renewed feud between the two nations. The peace between the two tribes is broken once again. Ingeld's hate for the Dane's causes his love for Freawaru to diminish. This is why Beowulf has a lack of faith in the union of Ingeld and Freawaru. Although the intentions are good, he believes that such a union will incite fighting between the clans rather than dispelling it.