Since Bjarki took pains to go on the wolf hunt secretly, and since we are not informed that what occurred on that hunt has become known or that it has become known that Hjalti is now a courageous man, the presumption is that the king does not know it, and we are surprised at his unmotivated action in treating Hjalti in this unexpected manner.
In Saxo's account, Bjarki is a king's retainer; and Boer thinks his exploit has been differentiated from that of Frothi, who is a king.
That Bjarki had no thought of credit for himself, redounds, in the estimation of the reader all the more to his credit; and it is a fitting reward that he gets full credit for all that he has done. It seems, then, that Bjarki intended to deceive the king. He undoubtedly did; but the deception was not intended to mislead the king.
And when the saga-man transformed the story into one of this type, he did it with the conscious purpose of providing a story that would enable him to let Bjarki take Hott out secretly at night, kill the dragon, compel Hott to eat of its heart and drink of its blood, put Hott's newly acquired strength to the test, prop the dead dragon up in a living posture, thus paving the way for further developments, and then return to the hall all unseen and without arousing a breath of suspicion.
To be sure, none of them would be so fortunate as the one represented as having occurred; but they would have enabled Hott to gain the reputation of being a brave man, and that is all Bjarki contemplated.
Had the king proposed that no risk should be taken with the beast, Bjarki could have requested and secured permission to attack it, taking Hott with him.
This story, namely that the man whose cattle have been killed by a bear goes with his men and hunts it down and kills it, is the same that we have in connection with the early life both of Ulf and of Bjarki, where the bear is represented as being the great-grandfather of the former, but the father of the latter.
He quotes a passage from Heusler, in which Heusler states that he regards the story in the Bjarkarímur of the fight with the bear as earlier than the story in the saga of the fight with the winged monster and that, furthermore, Beowulf's fight with Grendel has been transferred to Bjarki.
But the story of Bjarki's fight with the winged monster is not patch-work; it does not represent the poorest and latest form of the Bjarki legends, as Olrik says; it is not an impossible story, as Panzer says; nor is it "inconsequent and absurd," as Lawrence says.
Gregor Sarrazin would identify Bjarki with Beowulf. He calls attention to striking similarities between the stories about the two men and attempts to identify the word "Bọðvar," etymologically, with the word "Beowulf."