A to Z Blogging Challenge – Day 8: Fantasy Squad – Giants

GWhat springs to mind when you see the word giant? Do you imagine the ground shaking, buildings falling, boulders flying – all to the back drop of ‘Fe-fi-fo-fum?’ Do you perhaps envisage the collector and dispenser of dreams, that loveable character created by Roald Dahl – the Big Friendly Giant? Or maybe, it’s a jolly ‘ho ho ho’ as you remember the corn-loving, children-friendly, Green Giant! And of course we can’t forget the giant alien robot – The Iron Giant.

The modern perception of giants seems to be that they are violent, and stupid creatures, who like to pick their teeth with the bones of children. Okay, so I might be exaggerating a little, but giants don’t have a particularly good rep; chaotic and wild seem to be synonymous with the giants in mythology.

They play a large role in mythology, whether that’s Celtic, Abrahamic, Greek, Roman, Hindu, Norse or other cultural traditions. Examples can be found in The Bible, with such stories as David and Goliath. One of my favourite Greek myths is the belief that the giants were buried beneath mountains and were responsible for volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.

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The Iron Giant by MatthewRHumphreys Cartoons & Comics / Digital Media / Cartoons / Drawings©2011-2015 MatthewRHumphreys

In media, giants appear in Marvel comics, Doctor Who, Dungeons and Dragons and in a variety of films and television programmes. Hagrid from the Harry Potter series is half-giant and half-human. Tolkien mentioned giants, though only fleetingly, and Oscar Wilde wrote the Selfish Giant.

I’m not sure how giants would fit into a fantasy squad. Whatever their personality, and regardless of whether they have a temper, their strength and versatility would make them an excellent comrade in battle. Kind of like the Hulk, and who wouldn’t want Hulk on their team. I’m going to stop there, before I start obsessing about the big guy!

Do you have a favourite giant, or story about a giant? I look forward to reading your thoughts.

Until next time. Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

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39 Comments

Giants would be the shock troops and damage sponges. Not much can really hurt them, but I’m thinking large building-sized here. I guess a reason they get used as monsters so often is because they make for a difficult and deadly challenge. A human-sized hero can’t have a quick duel with someone that can finger flick them into the next kingdom. There’s always more planning and outwitting when fighting a giant. Be curious to see how a heroic giant would work as a main character.

    I like that – finger flick into the next kingdom! You’re right about the challenge they present, but how cool to have a heroic giant. That said, it doesn’t have the same ring to it…picking their enemy up and gently depositing them in the next kingdom!

Gargoyles! I am not good at participating in this fantasy squad with you ahhaha. I did like the Iron Giant, though. I remember it being a sad movie. The song was amazing – by which I of course mean “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath.

I really liked the Stone Giants in Jackson’s Hobbit movie, though I can’t see them working on a team. They spend too much time fighting among themselves.

I like the sound of that Greek myth. It reminds me of the trolls in Iceland, which they used to believe were responsible for earthquakes and so on. Icelanders LOVE their mythology. In fact, they still build roads around rocks that they believe are home to elves rather than disturb them, which I think is adorable.

Twere I to pick a favorite giant, it would be that sleeping beauty under the volcano. I love how earliest humans tried to explain nature with rules they understood. Well written, Melissa.

I blame Jack and the Beanstalk for my view of giants. I agree everyone should want Hulk on their team, he’s awesome.
Tasha
Tasha’s Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

The Iron Giant is a movie that even my teenage son will admit makes him cry. *sniffle* just thinking about it…

I always liked how giants were handled in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe… Huge and impactful in battle, but a major logistical problem!

The Iron Giant is an under recognized giant. Love that movie and he’s my favorite giant.

Love the Iron Giant, though I never really considered him a giant… just a robot. A really cool one. My first experience with giants was Jolly Green, and then after that, I sort of imagined Colossus from X-Men as the Giant. Also, Clifford the Big Red Dog! Talk about big and cumbersome. XD

Great post! thanks for sharing. Love the giants of all stripe. I like them better when they are on the side of good, but they still make for great stories. Lest we not forget Goliath from the Bible and Cormoran from Celtic Mythology. Pretty much all the Titans from Greek Mythos and the list goes on and on and on. It’s a rather giant list 😉 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_giants_in_mythology_and_folklore

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