|Then out spake brave Horatius,|
|The Captain of the gate:|
|“To every man upon this earth|
|Death cometh soon or late.|
|And how can man die better|
|Than facing fearful odds|
|For the ashes of his fathers|
|And the temples of his gods|
Hrolf Kraki almost does manage to do both. His peaceful, prosperous reign of seven years would have been a happy ending if the narrative had ended then. But we know that a happy ending has to be followed by the character's death. The only question is how he will die. Hrolf, of course, makes a good end.
A legend is complete when it incorporates death:
"All our best and oldest legends recognize that time passes and that people grow old and die. The legend of Robin Hood would not be complete without the final blind arrow shot to determine the site of his grave. The Norse Legends would lose much of their power were it not for the knowledge of an eventual Ragnarok, as would the story of Davy Crockett without the existence of an Alamo...
"With Dark Knight, time has come to the Batman and the capstone that makes legends what they are has finally been fitted."
-Alan Moore, "The Mark of the Batman: An Introduction" IN Frank Miller with Klaus Janson and Lynn Varley, The Dark Knight Returns (London, 1986), pp. iv-vii AT p. vii.
A Ragnarok-like "last battle" awaits Hrolf.
Let us pause to list our names to conjure with:
the Norse gods
Another quiz question: where does Anderson mention Crockett?