"A giant's the worst! A giant has a brain. Hard to outwit a giant. A giant's just like us, only bigger. Much, MUCH bigger! SOOO big that we are just an expendable... bug beneath its feet." BOOM. Crunnch.Human beings, but super-sized. Giants have been around since the times of ancient mythology. In various mythologies, gigantic peoples are featured as primeval creatures associated with chaos and the wild, and they are frequently in conflict with the gods, be they Olympian or Norse. These creatures may range in size from around 7 feet (the average size of the tallest Real Life humans), to truly colossal proportions. The most common perception of the giant is the big, dumb brute who grinds people's bones to make his bread. But literal gentle giants are also featured in both legends and modern stories, who are somewhat friendlier (and sometimes smarter) than the stereotype would imply. The evil types may be antagonists in their own right or serve as Giant Mooks (pun intended) for an Evil Overlord. In Real Life, the profusion of Giants in mythology is usually attributed to memories of childhood, when adults tower over you, and also the rivalry between young men and old men. It may also be partially related to people finding the bones of massive animals (especially elephants or extinct animals like sauropod dinosaurs and giant ground sloths) and mistaking them for the bones of giant humanoids. This is Older Than Feudalism. Not to be confused with The Giant, who may be a big wrestler, but isn't nearly that big. See also Smash Mook, Giant Mook, Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever. Really huge giants, in any real-world context, would fall victim to the Square/Cube Law in short order, but the vast majority of such beings tend to exist in fantasy universes that cheerfully disregard such things as the laws of physics in favor of creating a good story.
— The Witch, Into the Woods
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Anime and Manga
- Mazinger: In New Mazinger (an one-shot alternate Mazinger Z story published in The '80s), an explosion transports Kouji Kabuto to an alternate dimension inhabited by giant beings. The human beings were sixty-foot-tall and just as big as Mazinger-Z (in fact, when Kouji saved one princess, she thought Mazinger-Z was an armored knight, and she asked him to remove his helmet so she could see his face). They were mostly good-natured and intelligent, although their technology was at a Middle Ages level, and they were in war against a race of monsters.
- One Piece:
- Giants vary greatly in size, from Jaguar D. Saul being maybe thirty feet or so tall to the likes of Oars and his descendant Oars Jr., who are about three hundred feet tall. Apparently, there are entirely different types of giants and Saul considers it something of an insult to be considered one of the other kind. So far the ratio is 5 good giants to 1 evil giant, who also happened to be a zombie. And, apart from Oars, they do not seem particularly stupid or intelligent.
- Then there are plenty of characters who are not actually giants, but are still ridiculously huge compared to other humans for no apparent reason, such as Whitebeard, Gecko Moria, and Magellan. Word of God is that this is simply how height naturally varies among humans in the One Piece world; the same with how much the size of giants varies.
- To simplify things, in the One Piece World, you have normal humans as we know them that are around the 5 foot to 7 foot height (Luffy, Zoro, Robin, Franky, and pretty much the average people seen around the world; this category is the most common ), big/tall humans around the 8 foot to 15 foot area (Crocodile, Brook, Kuzan, Doflamingo, Trebol, etc. ), really big humans around the 18 to 25 foot tall area (Gecko Moria, Kuma, Whitebeard, etc.), Non-Elbaf giants around 30 feet or so tall (Jaguar D. Saul), Elbaf giants around 50 or so feet tall (Oimo and Kashii, as seen above) big demon-like giants that are around 200 feet tall (Oars, also seen above, and Little Oars Jr., his descendant), extremely big demon-like giants who may very well be several hundreds of feet tall (San Juan Wolf), and lastly fishmen/mermaids that are big due to their fish-race (or sometimes in spite of it) that vary between all categories (Shirahoshi is about as big as an Elbaf Giant whereas Wadatsumi is about as big as Oars).
- At the beginning of the Skypiea arc, the crew run into fog-shrouded figures that seems so tall they reach up into the sky. Turns out those aren't super-giants, just the shadows of people living on a Floating Continent.
- The Punk Hazard also introduced the concept of artificial giants. Dr. Vegapunk was trying to find ways to make ordinary humans grow to giant size, but failed in doing so. His Number Two, Caesar Clown, somewhat succeeded, but only because he stooped to the lows Vegapunk refused to resort to: experimenting on children. Caesar kidnapped a group of children and experimented on them; this made them huge, but drastically shortened their lifespan to the point that had they not been saved, they would have died in five years.
- One ironic example is the anime-only Lily Ensotmach; her true size is about 50 meters tall, but due to her Mini Mini no Mi Devil Fruit power, she can shrink to a minimum of about five centimeters tall. Because her physical strength does not change and she can shrink and enlarge any item she wears or holds (going so far as to use a dinner fork like a trident) it's a rather useful power to have.
- And of course her father, who is so big he cooks food with a volcano.
- In Bleach, Sajin Komamura's Bankai takes the form of an enormous samurai with a titanic sword for its weapon. It has an amazing appearance, but a critical weakness: it's designed to defeat the opponent in a single hit, and if such is not done, vulnerable to defeat — and any damage it takes is simultaneously inflicted on Komamura. This weakness has its advantages, though...Komamura is so closely linked to his bankai that when he heals, it heals too. Recent chapters have shown that this is very important.
- Shintaro Kago's Super Conductive Brains Parataxis features a race of colossal humanoids cloned from fossils and known as Surdlers. To be used as Humongous Mecha for civilian and military purposes, they are extensively modified — their organic brains are swapped out for computers, their faces and genitals replaced by cybernetic implants, and occasionally, additional limbs or extra torsos are grafted on to suit the tasks they are built for. It's later revealed that the clones are in fact ordinary humans and the advanced civilization enslaving them consists of Lilliputians produced by miniaturization technology.
- Attack on Titan: The Titans are giants of varying size. Some are small at around 3-5 meters, most are around 7 meters, the usual biggest are around 15 meters. Then we have the Colossal Titan at about 60 meters. Also nearly all Titans are horrible monsters, they are VERY fast, and a few people, like Eren, can transform into Titans. There is also a new Ape-like Titan which is 18 meters tall and is highly intelligent and courteous.
- In The Seven Deadly Sins, the Giant clan is capable of Dishing Out Dirt, Extra-ore-dinary, and capable of shapeshifting into metal.
- The Queen of Light from Futari wa Pretty Cure, Mugen Silhouette from HeartCatch Pretty Cure! and Royale Queen from Smile Pretty Cure!. Mugen Silhouette is the strongest Pretty Cure and she's as big as our planet.
- The defining trait of the Zentraedi from Macross is that they are about three to four stories tall. They were engineered that way so they would be physically tougher and better suited for battle. When they begin integrating with human society, most of them shrink themselves to a regular human size, but there are some communities that prefer to remain giants (which results in some interesting mixed-size accommodations in the later series).
- Giants exist in Trigun with no explanation, and offer a quite considerable variety of sizes. Most notable is the Nebraska Family, whose members range from normal, to big but not implausible, to basically Kaiju. The parents of the family are at opposite ends of the scale, implying Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action.
- Seeing on how it's based off Norse Mythology, The Mighty Thor usually finds himself squaring off Frost Giants (the "Jotun") or any sub-races like Storm Giants or Mountain Giants. Interestingly, in the older books, Giants looked like 25 feet Gonk-ish, brutish humans but nowadays are more like huge Orcs. Loki is an exception, being a runt among the Frost Giants who bears a stronger resemblance to the Asgardians than he does to his own kin.
- Hank Pym can utilize Pym particles to grow to giant size, at which point he takes the name Giant Man or Goliath. At first, he was only able to go up to ten feet, but he's managed to go bigger. Modern portrayals show his normal giant size being somewhere around 25 to 30 feet. In the Ultimate-verse, his maximum height was designated at 59 feet, 11 inches; any bigger and his body would collapse under its own weight.
- Every version of Colossal Boy from the Legion of Super-Heroes is a Sizeshifter but the "threeboot" version isn't normal sized human with the power to grow but a member of a race of giants who has the power to shrink (thus allowing him to, unlike the rest of his race, interact with humans on a regular basis - which he thinks of as having adventures in a world of Lilliputians).
- Gold Digger had an arc where Gina and Brianna's boyfriends were studying a tribe where exposure to mysterious energies caused a shift in size and strength that affected their women much more dramatically than the men. Generations later, while the males barely cleared eight feet, the women of the tribe were more like Zentraedi. Fortunately, their reproductive systems remained compatible with their men, but it also left them with an attraction to the pheromones given off by a frightened or nervous male. This caused problems for Brianna's Jungle Boy boyfriend Zan, who was pursued by one particularly insistent giantess until the chief pointed out that Brianna's pregnancy meant she had already claimed him.
- Wonder Woman's main Silver Age writer, Robert Kanigher, seemed to like stories about giants. She encountered and fought an awful lot of different types of giants during this period.
- Black Moon Chronicles: They grow really big here, often easily over 50 feet tall. They're also pretty much brutish savages who will happily join the Army of the Black Moon in their war against the empire.
- In The Black Thief and the Knight of the Glen, the thief recounts a tale of how he faced a giant, and an Old Retainer tells how it was true, because she was the woman in it.
- In Asbjørnsen and Moe's The Giant Who Had No Heart in His Body, the giant, besides the heart, turns people to stone and back.
- In Tsarevich Petr and the Wizard, they run ferries, are terrifying in appearance, and demand your hand, or your foot, or your head, as toll.
- In The Brown Bear of the Green Glen, they make good hosts.
- Jack and the Beanstalk is a classic tale featuring a giant as the main antagonist.
- There's also Jack In Irons, a creature of folklore that makes an appearance as an enemy in City of Heroes.
- Another Jack, Jack the Giant Killer who seems to have met a truly amazing number of giants throughout the British Isles. Some had multiple heads.
- In Estonian mythology, Kalev (who is also often called a king) and his sons. See Kalevipoeg.
Films — Animated
- Willie the Giant in the "Mickey and the Beanstalk" segment of Disney's Fun and Fancy Free is the villain in this Jack and the Beanstalk adaptation. He's several stories tall, looks quite human, and lives in his castle high in the clouds. He's also a giant magician, being a consummate shapeshifter. He keeps a magical animate harp imprisoned, whom Mickey, Goofy, and Donald need to save.
Films — Live Action
- MirrorMask: The giants look like bizarre statues, and they levitate above the ground, orbiting each other. They also SPEAK... VERY... SLOWLY. When one of them is pulled to Earth by shadows, it melts into the ground, and the other floats away.
- In Gods of Egypt, the gods are roughly twice as tall as a normal person, with Ra being the biggest of them all. By and large, they treat humans in contempt.
- In Gene Wolfe's The Wizard Knight duology we first meet the Angrborn in the first book, The Knight, as massive men taller than trees and very destructive. It isn't until the second book, The Wizard, that it is properly explained that these are only half-breeds, and the real Angrborn are far larger. They in turn are dwarfed by their ancestors, the Giants of Winter and Old Night, who still dwell in Skai. There's also the Ogre Org, who isn't as big as the Angrborn, but is still massive. And invisible.
- Harry Potter also features giants. Most of them are the typical nasty brutes, but a few (including the half-giant Hagrid, one of the major characters) are friendly.
- While Hagrid is more civilized than full blooded giants, he has an overt fascination with very violent and deadly magical creatures, and has a tendency to bring students too close to harm. For example, he sees no problem with keeping the giant spider, Aragog, despite the fact that it would love nothing more than to devour the occupants of the castle, and only spares Hagrid because he raised it.
- Another giant character is eventually introduced: Hagrid's full-giant half-brother Grawp who, at first, is violent and uncontrollable (even towards Hagrid) but over the course of a few years, becomes "civilized" enough to wear a suit and sit at a funeral and is no longer mindlessly violent. By giant standards Grawp is quite small, being only 16 foot.
- Where would we be without The BFG? That is, the Big Friendly Giant of Roald Dahl fame. The other giants in the story were VERY nasty, however... also, despite the name, the titular giant is child sized compared to the others.
- Most giants in The Chronicles of Narnia are fairly genial and usually on the side of the good guys, although there are some 'evil' wild giants who eat other sentient creatures.
- The Gentle Giants featured in the fourth book eventually turn out to be less-than-gentle (though smarter than most of the other dim-witted giants).
- The White Witch is rumored to be Giant and half Jinn. She's a sufficiently advanced alien of unknown genealogy but every member of the civilization was huge.
- The Hobbit briefly features giants throwing rocks around in the Misty Mountains. An odd case, since they are mentioned only once The Lord of the Rings note and never in the The Silmarillion, and there's no explanation of what they are or where they came from. Even in the Hobbit they have zero influence on the plot; the company is vaguely concerned they might get hit by an errant rock, but the huge storm raging at the same time is their main problem. The most common interpretation is that Bilbo just made them up when he was writing the book. In the film adaptation, however, they're absolutely real, colossal creatures of living stone, and the centerpiece of an extensive action scene where their battle nearly wipes out the entire party.
- The giants in the The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant series are a friendly and advanced species standing about twice as tall as humans. They have an affinity for stone and are excellent sailors. They cannot be burned, but they still feel the pain of intense heat. They are generally a very sedate and even-tempered people, but can sometimes be provoked into a state of Unstoppable Rage.
- In Clive Barker's "Books of Blood," the story "In the Hills, The Cities" deals with a traditional battle between two unorthodox giants which are beings composed of thousands of human beings from the rival cities of Popolac and Podujevo, all citizens working together to form a single, massive being which then fights the "giant" of the other city. Unfortunately, one year the harvest for Podujevo is less than anticipated, and as a result one flank of the giant is weakened and the city-giant collapses, killing all constituent participants and causing the city-giant of Popolac to go collectively insane with grief.
- The Brobdingnagians in Gulliver's Travels are as tall as church steeples and have a moral superiority in proportion to their physical size. When Gulliver describes European society, the Brobdingnagian king is disgusted. In contrast, the Lilliputians see Gulliver as a giant, and their own society is a parody of the worst aspects of European society. But just beacause they're morally superior doesn't mean there are some who are above tormenting Gulliver for kicks such as the bratty boy who tossed a rock at him, the court's dwarf, and the noblewomen.
- Curators of The Vigilance in House of Suns are one-time humans who found a way to live forever at the cost of never-ending growth. Curators live in zero-gravity, so square-cube law is not a problem for them. The only Curator we meet is about 700 meters tall, and has lived inside his spacesuit for 100,000 years, after outgrowing many previous ones. He speaks and does everything else v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y. Oldest Curators are some ten times his size, and ten times slower still.
- There's a friendly giant in one of Mercedes Lackey's Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms.
- The giants of the Xanth series vary in size (but are always colossal). Some of them are invisible; they became that way by becoming so big that they became too diffuse to see, like a balloon inflated to the point of transparency.
- A Song of Ice and Fire:
- Giants are a species of shaggy, ape-like people in the frigid north of Westeros. They stand around fourteen feet tall, are strictly herbivorous, wield crude clubs in battle, and ride woolly mammoths. It's noted that their legs and hips are much larger, proportionally, than a human's, in order to hold up their massive weight. A dwindling species, giants are little more than a legend to the majority of the continent, despite once having been widespread throughout Westeros and Essos. Wildlings believe that particularly large humans (for instance Hodor at more than seven feet tall, Gregor Clegane at eight feet) have some giant blood.
- The far east of Essos was once home to the Jhogwin, a race of massive giants twice as tall as those from Westeros, inhabiting the northern end of the Bone Mountains. They were driven to extinction a thousand years before the start of the series by wars against neighboring peoples, although their massive bones can still be found among the mountains.
- The Grass Giants from Ringworld are a very large (although they do engage in rishathra — sex with other hominids outside their species — so they're presumably not that much larger than normal) and herbivorous race of hominids that have adapted to fill the niche of big grazers like buffalo. The Ringworld is large enough that, presumably, they're not the only giant hominids present.
- A member of a prehistoric race of giants, as yet undiscovered by paleontologists, appears in the Riverworld series.
- Giants from The Spiderwick Chronicles are hill-sized brutes probably best described as resembling a hunched bipedal mix of a trunkless and earless elephant with some kind of dinosaur. They can slumber for centuries on end and often eat salamanders or baby dragons to gain fire-breathing abilities. They play a significant role in the second series as their awakening and search for food drives dragons into a frenzy and disturbs water fey.
- Stan Lee's Riftworld series has a race of giants from Another Dimension — they're basically scaled-up humans supported by telekinesis, genetically engineered by an alien AI. And nearly every one a Jerk Ass.
- The Food of the Gods by H. G. Wells is about the discovery of a food supplement which, when ingested by newborn creatures (including humans), causes them to grow very large.
- In The Challenges of Zona giants are actually mutant humans who both grow at an accelerated rate and never stop growing their entire lives. The two met so far are also Gentle Giants.
- Robert E. Howard works:
- "The Frost-Giant's Daughter", the title character is the sister of a band of giants who kill and eat anyone she lures to them. They (and she) meet their match when she tries to do this with Conan the Barbarian.
- In "The Pool of the Black One", Conan encounters giants, only a little taller than human, but murderous.
- In Magnus, the giant Tsavo is described "the last progeny of the second preternatural race of supermen spawned by fallen angels."
- In Brokedown Palace, one of the four royal brothers is a human giant. It's mentioned that the family produces them every few generations, suggesting a genetic proclivity towards gigantism.
- Gargantua and Pentagruel By Rabelais has giant protagonists.
- In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero Regained, they are nephilim, the offspring of angels and men.
- In Dante's The Divine Comedy the Ninth Circle is surrounded by a wall of giants imbedded up to their waists and wrapped in chains, except for Antaeus, who died before the Giant rebellion and so isn't chained. Virgil convinces him to put him and Dante in the Last Circle, which Antaeus does by picking them up from the top of the wall and putting them down at its bottom.
- In David Anthony Durhams Acacia trilogy the Auldek are between seven and eight feet tall and a race of Blood Knights whose civilzation has fallen into decadence. They are also Nigh Invulnerable and immortal due to containing multiple souls.
- In Andre Norton's Storm Over Warlock, Thorvald dubs a location Utgard, after a folkloric home of giants from his home planet.
- In Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods, the giants are so big that they don't fit on stage, and when one of them steps on a human character all the lights go out... Doom, gloom, BOOM, cruunnnch...
- The Giant from The Behemoth is an Eldritch Abomination that references the Rage Against the Heavens traits that are found in the mythological roots of giant stories.
- Second Apocalypse: the Nonmen, in their flawless, alien beauty, already tower over most humans. A certain number of them, simply called the Tall, tower over normal Nonmen. It's not clear how or why they came to be Tall, or exactly how tall they are, but they are big enough to make a normal Nonman look like a "statuette" and have skulls as large as a man's torso.
- The Rukh from The Traitor Son Cycle are smaller than most examples of this trope, but still towering over humans. They're humanoid in appearance (all too humanoid...), but animalistic in behaviour, and any powerful magic user can easily control them.
- Karsa Orlong from Malazan Book of the Fallen fills a muscular frame and is well over seven feet tall, wich contrasts with most characters he meets — though this is a racial trait, as the Teblor stem from the Thelomen Toblakai who were themselves descendants of the Thel Akai, the original race of mythological giants in The Kharkanas Trilogy.
- Between the The Divine Comedy's circles of deception and betrayal, Hell is littered with giants who were so arrogant in their strength that they rose against the Heavens. This includes the Greek giants who fought to overthrow Zeus and Nimrod, the mighty warrior from Genesis who organized the Tower of Babel. Dante at first mistakes them for statues, which only tells you how huge the Devil is when Dante observes that he "matches better with a giant's breadth than giants match the measure of his arms."
- In The Laundry Files, the Alternate Universe / Bad Future threatening the world in the first book was created when the Nazis of that world used the people killed in the Holocaust as a makeshift Human Sacrifice to summon a frost giant from Norse Mythology. Unfortunately for them (and the rest of that universe), the "giant" turned out to be more of an Eldritch Abomination and embodiment of cold that proceeded to drain all heat, freezing Earth and eventually the entire universe.
- Unlike in the source material, where the giants were club-wielding sasquatchs, the giants in Game of Thrones resemble about 4 meters (13 feet) tall humans with massive foreheads and strength and oversized thick legs to make them Square/Cube Law compliant. They weave clothes for the cold climate, and have advanced weapons like giant bows capable of shooting 213 meters (700 feet) up. They still tame and ride mammoths.
- Giants are recurrent creatures in both Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess, in one bible-based episode Xena meets Goliath himself (shown to be a good-hearted family man). Hercules fights a giant in the first episode.
- El Chapulín Colorado features a giant in episode "¡Pero como has crecido, muchacho!" and its remakes "El gigante" and "El Chapulín no le tiene miedo a los gigantes", always with the All Just a Dream ending. A real giant appears in episode "La costurerita valiente" of the 80s show Chespirito by the same creator, as the episode is a mash of fairy tales.
- Sliders shows briefly an alternate Earth with giant size humans while looking for a suitable place to live for a doomed Earth.
Mythology and Religion
- Older Than Feudalism: Classical Mythology features various giants:
- The Gigantes notably had a major conflict against the Olympian gods. The Greeks believed that earthquakes and volcanic eruptions were caused by these giants being buried beneath the earth. One fact about these Giants that aren't widely known was that they were born wearing armor and holding a spear and that they had snakes for legs. Not as much as Typhon's snake legs, though.
- Typhon himself is a giant so tall that his head could touch the stars. He also had one or more snake tails for legs, and hundred dragon and animal heads. He belches fire and/or lava and has wings that cause storms.
- The Hekatonkheires are as huge as giants, and each has a hundred arms and fifty heads. They're apparently immortal, like the gods.
- Cyclopes are giants originating in Greek myth. There were two versions: the immortal smith assistants of Hephaistos; and the brutish, sheep-herding, man-eating fellows such as Polyphemos.
- One Greek myth features a set of six-armed giants marauding around the south coast of the Black Sea.
- In late antiquity, writers started getting the Titans (originally a group of gods) confused with the Gigantes, adding yet another bunch to the giant menagerie.
- Giants in Norse Mythology:
- Similar to the Greek giants, the Jotun were perennial foes of the gods of Asgard, particularly the frost giants.
- The frost giant Ymir was so large that his corpse was used as the construction materials for the entire Earth if not more. When he was killed, his blood drowned all the other giants, except for two that were on a boat.
- There's also the mountain giants who are right behind their frost brethren in harassing humans and gods. Then there are fire giants, particularly Surt and the Sons of Muspel, who play a major role at Ragnarok.
- Despite the antagonism between the gods and the giants, there were at least three gods who were also giants. Skadi blackmailed her way into the Vanir/Asar, but ended up staying loyal (despite the marriage she'd extorted falling apart — she became an official lover of Odin instead), Loki hung out so much with his Asar pals that Odin adopted him as a brother, and later went bad. Gerd was goddess of sex and Freyr's wife.
- The Bible and biblical lore:
- The possibly half-angelnote Nephilim were described as giants.
- A similar example of a giant-as-antagonist: Goliath. Some versions of the story have him as a descendant of the earlier race. Earlier texts have him only six and a half feet tall, not the "usual" nine and a half.
- Some more examples would be the people who lived in the Promised Land, but since we only have the word of some very scared scouts, this may be a bit of exaggeration.
- Manicheanism, which incorporated biblical texts into itself, explains that giants were accidentally created when matter from the light world was forcibly expelled from the bodies of greedy beings from the dark world that stole and consumed it. Thus they are referred to as "abortions" and are treated the same way fallen angels are.
- The idea of giants as enemies of the gods a pretty common trope in mythology, particularly the Indo-European kind. Supposedly, it's linked to a cultural memory of the conquest or displacement of palaeolithic peoples by neolithic ones, represented by the civilised gods overthrowing an earlier, primordial race more heavily associated with the elements. The exact "alignment" of the primordials differs from culture to culture, and some, such as the Norse, include primordials ranging from the Lawful Good Vanir, a tribe of nature gods, to the Chaotic Evil Fire Giants.
- On the Shaq Attaq playfield, Shaquille O'Neal is five times larger than the other players. This is nothing compared to the backglass, where he is shown 30 times larger than everyone else, crossing the court in two strides while holding a minuscule basketball between his thumb and forefinger.
- Dungeons & Dragons has a wide variety of giants, including the stereotypically brutish Hill Giants, the shy and reclusive Stone Giants, to the Norse-inspired Fire Giants (who look like gigantic evil dwarves!) and Frost Giants. Cloud Giants and Storm Giants lean more toward the Gentle Giant side of the archetype, plus they have innate magic.
- The 4th edition of the game even references the Rage Against the Heavens subtrope by having giants as the servants of the Primordials, ancient foes of the gods in a very Norse Mythology-esque parallel. It also follows along nicely with Greek/Roman Mythology: First the Gods (Olympians) overthrow the Primordials (Titans), then the Primordials try to use the Giants (Gigantes) to retake the throne, but fail. This was taken from the vague backstory of Forgotten Realms giants.
- Giants are different in Monte Cooke's Arcana Unearthed/Arcana Evolved Dungeons & Dragons setting. They are only slightly larger than humans, at least without going through rituals to enlarge themselves, and in the backstory they staged a counter-invasion and destroyed the dramojh tyrants. They're the setting's benign dictators, largely embraced as such, and a standard playable race.
- Space Fantasy setting Spelljammer had the colossus, a giant roughly the size and shape of a small mountain that could navigate through space by jumping off the planet. (His speed was very low, though, unless he got engines installed somehow.)
- In the Eberron campaign setting, ancient giants formed a number of highly advanced civilisations across the continent of Xen'Drik. After a series of major cataclysms the empires lie in ruins. Most giants have regressed to a more primitive state, with some powerful exceptions.
- 3.5's Races of Stone and 4th Edition include the Goliath as a player race. They grow up to nearly 8 feet, which isn't large for a giant, but still the largest of any player race alongside half-giants, which are half hill giants. Before you ask, yes, A Wizard Did It (or maybe a sorcerer). What's more, despite their hill giant parentage, not only are they mentally on par with normal humans, they are arguably superior by virtue of their inherent psionic abilities. And, to further complicate things, in 4th edition version of Dark Sun, goliaths are half-giants.
- Warhammer giants are the barbaric remnants of a once-great civilization devoured by the Ogres. The Storm Of Magic supplement also introduces the Bonebreaker Giant, which is almost thrice as tall as a normal giant, which itself is already 5-6 times taller than an average human.
- Warhammer 40,000: The genetic and surgical enhancements required to become an Adeptus Astares means ending up around seven feet tall before putting on your armour (which adds on another foot at least). And that's just the basic Space Marine. The Primarchs and God Emperor of Mankind were at least half again larger. Horus, when he killed Sangunius and crippled the emperor, towered over his foes (mostly due to his [frankly enormous] power armor that makes a Space Marine look like an Imperial Guardsman in comparison).
- Giants in Palladium Fantasy come in most of the same flavors as D&D, and also include the noble Titans and the mutant Gigantes. These species also made their way to Rifts in various ways. A Titan runs what's left of Houston, Texas, and a mercenary Jotan (equivalent to a D&D Hill Giant) wears a suit of Power Armor that makes him look like a mech. The Jotuns of Norse mythology are in fact a combination of all these.
- Giants are ubiquitous in Magic: The Gathering. In the main setting of Dominaria, they're just generically big, tough bruisers, though other settings go into their culture a bit more.
- In the Ravnica setting, giants are mostly soldiers for the Boros Legion, though some outcasts find a life as grunts in the Gruul Clans.
- Giants in the fairy-tale world of Lorwyn are ancient and mystical, yet still can be clumsy and whimsically dim-witted. Giants sleep for years or decades at a time, dreaming deep dreams, and when they awake they take on new names and purposes in life based on what they dream. Some ride absurdly large goats with wings.
- In Lorwyn's Dark World, Shadowmoor, giants sleep even longer, to the extent that trees and turf start to grow on their bodies and they become part of the landscape. They're pretty cranky when they wake up, rampaging throughout the countryside and smashing and devouring everything and everyone they come across.
- The largest of all is probably the Hamletback Goliath, which is large enough to have a hamlet on its back to start with (duh) and magically grows to stay bigger than everything it encounters.
- The Greek mythology-inspired plane of Theros has giants as powerful, primal beings, and includes varieties from Greek myth like Hundred-Handed Ones and Titans.
- Giants are a playable Race in Bleak World. They are part of the Jotun, a race of classical myths who were kicked out of heaven by elves.
- RuneScape has many type of giants, including ice giants, fire giants, hill giants, moss giants, even a cloud giant.
- Shadow of the Colossus, the eponymous colossi. The smallest ones are nearly as big as an adult elephant, while the largest is sometimes mistaken for a great tower the first time players see it.
- The Force Unleashed II figures the only way to top the rancor from Return of the Jedi is to throw in a several hundred foot tall monster that is capable of crushing a rancor in it's hand. And it still manages to get beaten!
- Warcraft games feature many different types of giants. Most were created by the Titans to help shape the world. The most common types are Sea Giants (aquatic giants that look like big scale-covered humanoids) and Mountain Giants (big roughly humanoid things made of rock). Other types include Ice Giants and Molten Giants (recolors of the Mountain Giant model), Flesh Giants (really big homunculi created by the Scourge), Crystal Giants of Outland (basically stone giants with a fancier model) and Storm Giants (appearing in the next expansion. Not much info on them yet, but they seem to be more intelligent than the other ones)
- Giants in this series are apparently something along the lines of guardians created by the titans, not unlike the dragons. However, they tend to be more territorial and aggressive. Their second main duty is that they are the titans' craftsmen IE. the sea giant sculpted the sea floor and mountain giants... made mountains and stuff. They're almost all hostile, however, though there is a friendly sea giant god in Azshara and a faction of frost giants in Storm Peaks.
- The viking-like Vrykul probably count too. While they're much smaller than the actual giants, they're still well over twice the height of humans, and even the few Vrykul who aren't serving the Lich King are every bit as aggressive as giants tend to be portrayed. The Vrykul are also hinted to be an offshoot of giants affected by the Curse of Flesh, and humans are basically outright stated to be further corrupted Vrykul... so, in WoW, humans are small giants.
- The Ogres could also count, although they are completely unrelated to the Titans, having originally come from the world of Draenor (the Orc homeworld). They are normally dumb, whether they have one head or two, unless they learn magic, at which point they get really smart.
- Castlevania has one as a Bait-and-Switch Boss. AND HE'S AWESOME.
- The protagonist of Doshin the Giant is an incarnation of the sun who appears every day at dawn, and grows larger by absorbing the love and hate of humans. The love giant, Doshin, wants to help humans, while the hate giant, Jashin, wants to kill them and make them suffer. He starts off 10m tall, and can reach a maximum height of 301m.
- The Elder Scrolls:
- The series, as seen most prominently in Daggerfall and Skyrim, has a race of fairly standard Giants. ES Giants possess moderate intelligence, being capable of fashioning simple tools, clothing, and weapons. They are able to harness fire and are known to herd mammoths. Most Giants are nomadic, living solitary lives (or in small groups at most) as they travel from campsite to campsite, though some groups of giants are known to unite in clans which can number in the hundreds. Female Giants and children are rarely seen by outsiders, leading to the (incorrect) perception that Giants are a One-Gender Race.
- There are said to be many different variations of Giants in Tamriel, though some are believed to be extinct. Typical Giants are 11-12 feet tall, but there are reports of Giants who are several times the size of an average man. There are also rare "Frost Giants" in Skyrim and Solstheim who are roughly the same size as a standard Giant, but are covered in white fur, have five eyes, and have two long, curved horns on their heads. Likewise, the Ilyadi were said to be "multi-eyed" Giants native to the forests of the Summerset Isle, but were driven to extinction by the ancient Aldmer when they settled the land. There was also a race of Giants native to Elsweyr, who were said to have built the Halls of Colossus, but who disappeared sometime prior to the 3rd Era.
- Tamriel's Giants also have an interesting Multiple-Choice Past, with multiple conflicting theories regarding their origins. One of the most popular, especially among the Nords, is that they share an ancestry with the ancient Atmorans. The Atmorans were known to be tall, strong, and somewhat primitive. According to this theory, after coming to Tamriel from the northern continent of Atmora, the Atmorans split into two groups - one who would interbreed with Tamriel's Nedes (human ancestors) to become the modern Nords - and another who would, through unknown means, become the progenitors of the Giants. Other sources, however, make it clear that Giants existed in Tamriel before the Atmorans crossed the sea. The Dwemer were said to have gotten the nickname "Dwarves" from Giants they encountered in the Velothi Mountains after splitting off from the Aldmer, which occurred well before the Atmoran migration. The Aldmer themselves drove a "multi-eyed" race of Giants known as the Ilyadi to extinction when they first settled the Summerset Isles, which was even earlier. Standard Giants also have pointed, tapered ears like those of the Mer (Elves). In either case, there are known instances of Giants interbreeding and producing offspring with the other races of Tamriel, particularly Nords. This would suggest that, at the very least, Giants have a shared ancestry with the other races dating back to the Ehlnofey, a progenitor race from whom all extant races (save for perhaps the Lizard Folk Argonians) descend.
- The Gigas in Final Fantasy XI hail from the frozen far northern continent in the world of Vana'diel. They were employed as mercenaries by the Shadow Lord, but after the Crystal War, all the Gigas in the Middle Lands were trapped, unable to come home. They now reside almost entirely in Qufim Island and Delkfutt's Tower, although some of them are in Tavnazia or the Grim Up North areas in or around Xarcabard, or stuck in Korroloka Tunnel.
- Giants in Tales of MU are a mixture of the Dungeons & Dragons version and various mythological influences, as most MU races are. They're apparently primordial beings who warred with the forces of chaos, the gods, and the dragons in some combination before leaving the world for another plane, possibly by climbing a stalk or a trunk. Only one of them has been seen in the main story, a badly undersized storm giant named Pala (Icelandic for "small") who "commutes" to Magisterius University.
- Wizardry VI: Bane of the Cosmic Forge and VII: Crusaders of the Dark Savant feature giants, usually in the transition between the early and middle game. Most are of the big bruiser type, but are also resistant to magic. The Elite Mooks and Superpowered Mooks versions add extra abilities, such as vomiting on the player.
- Age of Wonders features universally good-aligned giants who are close allies of the dwarves (and speculated to be related to the dwarves). Even larger and more powerful entities called Titans fight for the High Men, being creatures of intense discipline and righteousness.
- The peaceful Sapha of Ragnarok Online are called giants, and with good reason - their sprites are actually one to two heads taller than player sprites. They appear to have very large clawed hands and tree branches for hair, have a caste system and grow up in communal areas, and need to subsist on a mineral called bradium or else they will turn to stone.
- The Qunari of Dragon Age are sometimes called giants by non-Qunari, and not without good reason: they tower over the other races, common specimens being at least seven feet high. The largest yet seen was twice that, and towered over his fellows. Qunari are also born with horns, though some of them have them shorn (the Saarebas Ketojan, for example), and a rare few are born entirely without them (the Sten from the first game). Also unusually for giants in fantasy games, the Qunari have a very ordered society that dictates and cements an individual's place in society based on their talents, a strong urge to spread this philosphy to the rest of the world, a spectacular grasp of gunpowder weaponry in an otherwise Medieval setting, and a caste of mages known as Saarebas who are kept collared and supervised at all times to prevent any form of corruption. (word of god succinctly described them as "militant islamic borg".
- Meanwhile, the Darkspawn borne from Qunari women-turned-Broodmothers, the Ogres, are the biggest and nastiest breed of darkspawn, outgrowing true Qunari by several metres. Fortunately, there aren't any Ogre Emissaries.
- Dragon Age: Inquisition features actual giants: ten meters-tall monstrosities that can hold their own in one-on-one combat against High Dragons.
- Mabinogi giants are about 9-10 feet tall and are a player race. They are at war with the desert elves.
- In Phantasy Star Online 2, the native sentient race of the planet Harukotan (or at least the males) are large, tall humanoids that resemble Japanese oni demons. These giants can be further divided in Shironians and Kuronians: Shironians are slightly shorter than Kuronians and bare more resemblence to humans, while Kuronians are more demonic in appearance. Some Kuronians are even larger: the Shironia field boss Gigur Gunnegam towers over most Kuronians, and the Emergency Quest boss Magatsu is big enough to eat other Kuronians for breakfast.
- In Disciples and its sequels, the giants are related to the dwarves, as both as children of Wotan, and often fight by their side. Vithar is a giant who protects the dwarven capital from their enemies and is Wotan's right-hand man. The titans are just as big but fight for The Empire (i.e. humans). They also appear to be all female. Additionally, there are wild giants who have no allegiance to any power. They aren't too bright, but anything using a tree trunk as a club can't be useless.
- In Dungeon Siege 2, there exist Agallan Giants, a race of Ultimate Blacksmiths who live in seclusion in the mountains and are easily 50 foot tall, and a good deal wide as well. Descended from them are Half-Giants, who are more sensibly sized but still tower over any human. They are the offspring of a group of banished and cursed Agallans who lost their enormous proportions and limitless lifespan. Because the banished group had no female members, they were forced to interbreed with other species, and the result was a One-Gender Race of Half-Giants whose gene pool is doomed to be diluted into nothingness.
- In the second The Battle for Middle-Earth game, Mountain Giants are a unit for the "Corrupted Wild"/Goblin side. They are even bigger than Trolls, and due to their attacks of throwing boulders seem to be the same type of Giants listed at the top.
- Dark Souls
- The Giants of Anor Londo in Dark Souls I are armored behemoths that the gods conscripted into manual labor. While the three in Sen's Fortress don't speak and are hostile to the player, the Giant Blacksmith is a Gentle Giant that is always happy to see the player. Hawkeye Gough, one of Gwyn's Four Knights, the mightiest warriors in Anor Londo, is also a giant, though he's an archer rather than a melee fighter. He's also very friendly and philosophical, and helps the player take down the Black Dragon Kalameet.
- Dark Souls II feature an entirely separate race of giants, stone-like beings with gaping holes for faces. The footsoldiers are about twice as tall as the average human, while the Last Giant and the Giant Lord who are heavily implied to be one and the same are twice as tall as the average giant.
- Dark Souls III features the return of the original giants, mostly as enemies. It also contains Yhorm the Giant, who looks similar to the Giant Lord from Dark Souls II, with the same hole-for-a-face (though you can make out his eyes and the outline of a skull within it) and a weakness to a giant-slaying weapon that doesn't work on any other giant, suggesting he's of a different race.
- Giants in Guild Wars are extremely ugly humanoids, often sporting tusks, horns, or spines on their arms. They stand roughly two to three times the height of a human.
- Oddly, several races that could be categorized as giants, such as the jotuns, are not; instead they are classified as ogres.
- It is noted that the modern-day giants have no relation to "True Giants", a now extinct race of much larger giants.
- Warlords Battlecry has them as an Orc subrace, green and relatively dumb just like them. They do, however, tend to occupy important positions among their ranks (Asskicking Equals Authority is in full swing with orcs, and giants are about as tall as a tower, and much wider and fatter), and often bear armor of their making. Oh, and on top of being just as belligerent and warlike as regular orcs, they're almost always hungry, and don't have many qualms with eating food that talks back.
Who's for dinner?
- In Skylanders: Giants, there are eight giant Skylanders, who canonically were also the first and in the game's backstory fought against the Arkeyans. They're twice as tall as the Core Skylanders, both in-game and in toy form, and trade movement speed for Super Strength (or Mind over Matter in Ninjini's case) that lets them perform impressive feats of strength. Outside of Giants, they can also interact with specific objects in SWAP Force.
- In Gems of War, the region of Stormheim (which is Norse-themed) features Frost Giants as a general troop. There's also Jarl Firemantle, a fire giant. Both carry large axes.
- The Charlemagne Expansion Pack to Crusader Kings II features a chronicle of your dynasty that will randomly generate a significant event in years where no other significant eventsnote occur. Such as a giant appearing and trampling villages. It's left as an exercise for the player whether this actually happened, or if it was just peasants telling tall tales.
- The Banner Saga has the Varl. They are a proud warrior race standing at least twice as tall as a man, with unknown but finite lifespans lasting centuries, and horns growing from their foreheads. Crafted from clay by a dead god, they can't breed and there aren't too many left.
- Erfworld has the Titans, the beings who created Erfworld. They can only be described as omnipotent mile-high Elvis impersonators.
- In addition are somewhat more traditional giants, being about 10 or so feet tall, the Western Giants are styled after baseball players... complete with a reference to steroid use.
- Parson himself probably counts. He's not as big as the really big units but all the normal sized humans of Erfworld are the size of children compared to him, and he seems to be classified as a "heavy" unit by the game-mechanics/physics of Erfworld. Stanley, his diminutive superior, barely even comes up to Parson's kneecap (Stanley is short even by Erfworld standards, though; most of the other "human" characters appear to range between about 3.5 and 4 feet tall, assuming Parson is 6' or so). Over the course of the story Parson has been gradually getting smaller as well; he's still the tallest guy around but not by anywhere near the margin he started with, generally about a head taller.
- In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, Molly's second clone, Jolly, is very, very large.
- In The Challenges of Zona giants are human mutants who grow at an accelerated rate and never stop doing so although their growth rate slows when they become adults. This is a more detailed accounting◊
- Riot Girl from Wootlabs - a former high school bully turned 200-ft hero wannabee.
- Ruby Nation stars Ruby, a young woman who stands at 9' 1" thanks to Applied Phlebotinum.
- Averted in Bruno the Bandit where giants are more like André the Giant than fantasy giants; only a couple of feet taller than humans, just much bulkier. They're also the only race with Four-Fingered Hands.
- Stars in Nebula, as compared to every other species in the setting. While it's entirely possible that all of the characters (as mixtures of Genii Locorum and Anthropomorphic Personifications of celestial objects) are giants by human standards, stars are easily on a different level. If planets were human-sized, stars would be close to twenty feet tall, with the other main characters barely coming up to Sun's knees. Stars have normal amounts of intelligence, are Wreathed in Flames, and almost always take positions of authority over the people around them.
- A gigantic pirate appears in the animated Puff the Magic Dragon, evidently in direct response to Jackie Draper a.k.a. Paper's fear of pirates. He's actually a giant cook.
- Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! had an episode with a similar plot to the New Mazinger example listed above, where the team and their titular super robot were stuck on a medieval planet of giants, and the robot was mistaken for a knight errant.
- American Dragon: Jake Long had an episode where a giant kid ran away from home to become a professional wrestler.
- Hector Jotunheim from The Amazing World of Gumball, one of the title character's classmates. He resembles a Godzilla-sized Sasquatch, but most of the time only his feet are visible since they're the only part of him that fit into most shots. He's a very Gentle Giant, but also to the point of dullness to others due to the fact that his mother (who is a diminutive witch for some reason) shelters him heavily as his emotions are every bit as enormous as he is.
- A giant appears in episode "Let Sleeping Giants Lie" of the Adventures of the Gummi Bears.
- Giants are also part of the Smurfs universe, they are gentle in general if well treated. One shows prominently in episode "Gargamel's Giant" been manipulated by Gargamel but showing to be gentle at the end. In "The Littlest Giant" is shown that giants may be perfectly well adjusted and civilized, whilst in "The Magic Fountain" a brutish giant tries to kill and eat Johan a Peewit. Bigmouth, the most recurrent character, is technically an Ogre, although he just looks like a oversized human.
- Babar has two giants; a King Kong expy giant gorilla in "Conga the Terrible" and a furry bear-like giant in "Adventures on Big Island".
- Persons with gigantism, a pituitary-related health condition leading to extreme height, were commonly featured in old-time sideshows. Promoters of such entertainments often boasted of (and shamelessly exaggerated) the extraordinary tallness of their performers. (To medically qualify as a giant, one must be 7 feet and up.)
- 18th and 19th century anatomists often collected unusual human skeletons, and those of human giants — the taller, the better — were among the most sought-after. Charles Byrne, an 8'2" Irishman who died in 1783, was so afraid of being skeletonized that he asked for his lead coffin to be sunken in the Thames. It was, but it was empty: Byrnes' body had already been stolen.
- Gigantopithecus, an extinct primate that our prehuman relations Homo erectus may very well have encountered. From The Other Wiki: "Based on the fossil evidence, it is believed that adult male Gigantopithecus blacki stood about 3 m (9'10") tall and weighed as much as 540 kg (1,200 lb)". Zoinks. (Note that while Gigantopithecus has at times been portrayed as a hominid, it was in fact more like a giant orangutan.)
- A more typical giant would be Meganthropus, an actual hominin close to Homo erectus but that had twice the bone density of a gorilla, and is thought to stand 8-9ft. tall.
- Similarly, some fossil belonging to Homo heidelbergensis show them to be giants on their own right, standing tall at around 7 feet tall. That said, remains of other heidelbergensis are shown to be smaller, aroiund the size of regular humans or even Neanderthals, which hints at a great diversity amongst them, akin to our species.