What 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.
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.