"I-I am going to be a storm-a flame- I need to fight whole armies alone; I have ten hearts; I have a hundred arms; I feel too strong to war with mortals- BRING ME GIANTS!"
- – Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Begerac
In general, a giant is a guy who is somewhat larger than average by means besides obesity and is stronger than a normal sized human and more dangerous in a scrap, either unarmed or armed with melee weapons. On the same note larger animals are more dangerous individually than smaller animals.
Humans that are more than 2 meters tall usually have major health concerns (mostly because that sort of height is caused by pituitary gland tumors leading to the overproduction of growth hormones, but also because it puts more strain on the heart and skeleton than they can handle- more height means more weight for the bones to hold up and more pressure needed to pump blood throughout the body), which get more and more pronounced as height increases. Humans more than 2.3 meters tall often have to walk with canes or crutches, and the tallest person who ever lived (at about 2.7 meters) ended up dying at the age of 22 and required leg braces just to stand up.
This is ultimately due to the effects of the square-cube law- when you make an object bigger by a given proportion, its surface area increases by the square of that proportion but its volume is increased by the cube of that proportion. As a result, a 60-foot tall giant with a humanlike anatomy would have 100 times the muscle cross section of a 6-foot tall human but 1000 times that human's mass; every square inch of giant bone would be forced to support ten times as much weight as a human bone despite it not being adapted in itself to handle the additional weight. Such a giant wouldn't have the relative muscle strength needed to support its own weight and would shatter every bone in its legs whenever it tried to take a step, assuming it could even stand up in the first place. (And that's before we even get into the significantly increased need for food and oxygen, or the greater vulnerability to overheating - heat production scales with the cube of an animal's height, and since the surface area through which said heat can dissipate increases with the square of its height it'll generate more heat than it can transfer out.) Aquatic animals like whales get around some of these effects by virtue of buoyancy offsetting gravity somewhat, but even they can only grow so big before those problems begin to reappear. The Blue Whale is the biggest animal ever and tops out at an astonishing 190 tons, though people are wondering if a particularly big one can hit the 200 mark.
Nevertheless, these fine details of medicine and mathematics were not well known in the Bronze Age and people loved to embellish and embellish on embellishments in storytelling. As such it is little surprise that giants are so common in mythology.
Aside from the cyclopes, who're the most famous but also have their own page, Greek mythology featured the Gigantes, a race of giants created by Gaia to try to overthrow the gods just as the gods had once overthrown the titans. They did pretty well at it for a while, not least because Hera had foreseen that they could only be offed by a mortal and a god each doing a killing blow simultaneously, but Herakles eventually rolled up and helped finish them all off.
Norse giants, meanwhile, are the embodiments of powerful elemental forces. From the frost giants of Jotunheim to the fire giants of Muspelheim, the giants fought, slept with, and occasionally married the Norse pantheon as part of the endless struggle of civilization against nature. Notably, Loki the trickster was a giant sworn as Odin's brother and ally. And, of course, all creation ultimately ends in a final mighty battle between giants and gods, Ragnarok, in which the fire giant king Surtr ultimately emerges triumphant and burns all of Yggdrasil to a cinder.
Finally, there are the giants of Medieval Europe. Some were stupid, savage brutes, threats to knightly adventurers because of their incredible strength, while others were sophisticated beings that lived in the clouds, though no less evil. Both liked human flesh, though the smarter ones cooked it first. These giants also apparently would grind human bones to make their bread.
Giants in modern fantasy
Giants in Warhammer Fantasy/Age of Sigmar
Giants are featured as twenty-meter tall monsters used by Chaos, Greenskins, Ogres and some mercenaries as huge beasts of war. The Giants were once a prosperous and enlightened though hermetic race known as the Skytitans who kept herds of mammoth and lived in fortress-like peaks located in what is now known as the Ancient Giant Lands. After being invaded and thoroughly fucked up by Ogres during the War in the Sky, they were reduced to inbred, half-minded simpletons with little desire other than to battle and eat. They can be reasoned with to some extent (usually when alcohol is involved), but are unpredictable and destructive, so most civilizations drive them back to the mountains and deep forests. In-game, they serve as cheap one-model monstrous units for a host of army lists. A Giant may not survive for long due its low armor, but at least it's a servicable distraction. While not necessarily good, the Giant is often see as a staple of Warhammer and beloved by many neckbeards.
Their lore is roughly the same in Age of Sigmar, with three notable differences: they are now called Gargants instead of Giants, they all are descendants of a massive god-beast called Behemat, and they now have their own faction aptly called the Sons of Behemat, complete with new models that are a head taller than 40k’s Knights.
Giants in Warhammer 40000
There are giants native to Fenris. The Space Wolf Throth Half-Head is said to have slain Ur-Bolg, the father of giants, with a plasma blade.
Giants in Game of Thrones
In A Song of Ice and Fire and its TV-adaptation, giants are huge, hairy dim-witted hominids about three to four meters tall that live north of the wall. Even then, that's peanuts by the standards of most giants. Notable for actually being biologically feasable, what with their stocky elephantine legs.
Giants in D&D
In Dungeons and Dragons "giant" can designate a subtype of monsters going from trolls, ogres, cyclopes and various Oni all the way up to the "true" giants. They draw from all of the mythologies above, by designating various types of (Whatever) Giant to split them based on habitat. Certain types of giants live in certain areas or have special abilties. For example, the Forest, Frost, Hill, Jungle, Mountain and Ocean Giants all live from where you expect them to. In some cases this is less clear (Fog, Stone and Sun Giants) or almost impossible to tell (Death and Eldritch Giants). Between the books there are often dozens of different giants available, with 3.5e having a staggering 22 different types of "true" giants and a host of others with the creature type.
The six "classic" flavors of giant (the most common ones, the way there're five "classic" colors of chromatic and metallic dragon each) are, arranged according to size:
- Hill Giants; savage, stupid monsters who attack other races to sate their immense appetites. They look like big, fat, filthy humanoids, and wear half-rotten animal skins like cavepeople. Basically bigger ogres.
- Fire Giants; militaristic, heavily-armored soldiers who act kind of like big, evil dwarves, with their mastery of smithwork and penchant for slavery. They tend to have dark skin on a coffee-to-ashen-purple spectrum and (naturally) bright red hair. Completing the dwarf comparison, expect lots of beards, braids, and long, wild haircuts. They tend to wear heavy armor as both military dress and formal wear, again, like dwarves, and fight in well-armed, well-organized armies.
- Stone Giants; master artisans who live underground quietly keeping to themselves, and are much faster than they look. They look like they're made out of living stone, and their tough skin gives them natural armor on top of their speed, and many can also catch projectiles out of the air. Despite being somewhat peaceable, they are also rather isolationist, and resent intrusions onto their territory.
- Frost Giants; blue-skinned and white-haired Norse-inspired raiders who live in the frozen north, taming huge monsters to accompany them on their quest for plunder. They look like blue-skinned vikings and dress like it too. The most famous frost giant in the Forgotten Realms is the adventurer known as Harshnag the Grim, who recently enjoyed an extended appearance in Storm King's Thunder.
- Cloud Giants; who live in sky-castles, have magical powers, and tend to be witty sophisticates fond of games and art. Notable for their ideological split between those who're neutral good-aligned and those who're neutral evil-aligned. The least visually well-defined of the giants here, while they tend to have pale skin and blue hair, their skin might be blue, might be lavender, might just be white, and they might or might not have fangs. They also generally dress and live well, though, again, there's less cultural unity here than elsewhere.
- Storm Giants; benevolent but distant sages who are experts at seeing into the future, and have not only even moar magical powers but the ability to chuck bolts of fucking lightning at things that annoy them. They can also breathe underwater. Dark blue, purple, or brown-skinned with white hair, might or might not wear armor.
Giants tend to be in the mid to high range of monsters, starting as early as CR 7 for the Hill Giant all the way up to 26 for the Mountain Giant, and that's pre-class levels. As a general rule, the larger a giant is, the more powerful it is. The exceptions are the fire giants, who are barely smaller than stone giants but right below cloud giants on the heirarchy. Giants are very much a mixed bag, being anywhere on the range from bullies to militant assholes to dicks sitting in the clouds and doing nothing. This can make them decent enemies, aloof sages, or a nice way to make players feel like they're hot shit before delivering the smackdown. Like dragons, each of their subraces tends to have a "racial alignment" to them.
They are often of the Large or Huge size categories and are all experts at the art of throwing boulders, which do a shitload of damage thanks to their immense size. Hilariously, this is true even for the otherwise well-armed giants who're masters of fabricating quality weapons, like fire giants. Most settings have them as remnants of an ancient giant empire that has since slipped into sad decline, and they tend to be bitter rivals of dragons. Notably, even when they have ideological/alignment-based disagreements, giants tend to get along among themselves, with bigger giants looking after smaller ones and smaller ones in turn mostly doing what bigger ones say - the Forgotten Realms codified this into an in-universe code of culture established by said fallen giant empire (here called Ostoria), which was handed down by their divine creator, Annam. It's called the Ordning, and 5e made it canon to all giants in all settings.
A 5e module, Storm King's Thunder, is heavily giant-centric, and has put them into the spotlight after years in the margins. And, yes, there are examples of sexy lady giants in all the flavors above. Except maybe Hill. Unless you're into that whole fat-stupid-and-unwashed thing. We're not here to judge.
Whilst the six above get all the press, D&D's origins as a war-game that relied heavily on monster races existing to be different levels of challenge, plus its amalgamation of various real-world mythological lore, has led to "Giant" traditionally being considered its own creature type - akin to Undead, Fey or Goblinoid. As such, a ridiculously huge array of giants exist in D&D. Indeed, there was even a short-lived term, "Giant-kin", which was used for the "closer to human-sized" giants, like ogres and trolls.
- Athach: Obscure giants originating from the Mystara setting; resemble deformed hill-giants with tusks, mismatched ears (one huge, one tiny) and a third arm sprouting from the center of their chest.
- Beasthead Giant: One of four giant species indigenous to the Dark Sun setting, these are the smallest of the Athasian giants, but make up for it with powerful psionics - the only Athasian giant that can use such powers. Evil in nature, they look like giant humans with the head of one of several animals, some of which bestow unique powers; eagle, goat, wolf, id fiend, kirre, or braxat.
- Bog Giant, a smaller variety of giant with a frog-like appearance found in wetlands.
- B’rohg: Four-armed, primitive but neutrally aligned giant-kin indigenous to the Dark Sun setting.
- Craa'ghoran Giant: Evil stone giants that have been twisted by elemental earth energy. Their body are covered in asymmetrical stone spikes and they have several earth related powers.
- Crag Giant: One of four giant species indigenous to the Dark Sun setting, these benevolent giants are only found on the Lonely Butte, near the Last Sea. Presumably descended from Storm Giants, they are good by nature, but yearn for revenge upon the Mind Lords who have driven them to a slow, prolonged extinction.
- Cyclops: One-eyed giant which comes in two varieties; the small, ogre-like Cyclopskin (7 1/2ft tall) and the enormous (20ft tall) "true" Cyclops.
- Death Giant: Descendants of a giant race that traded their souls for power. They have black skin, yellow eyes, yellow clawed fingers, pointed ears, and sharp teeth, and stand 15 feet tall. They are constantly surrounded by the enslaved souls of those they have killed.
- Desert Giant: Can refer to either of two species. The Athasian Desert Giant is one of four giant species indigenous to the Dark Sun setting; these are the evil giants indigenous to the Sea of Silt. The "Common" Desert Giant is native to the lands of Al-Qadim, and is the surviving descendants of a fallen giant empire; cursed to ultimately transform into stone, they now exist as oversized tribes of nomadic herdsmen in the deserts of Zakhara.
- Dusk Giant: Bestial giants whose size and magical abilities change depending on how much flesh they have recently eaten. They get more benefit from eating the flesh of sentient beings. Well fed dusk giants can grow to a maximum of 20 feet tall and starving ones shrink down to minimum of just over 6 feet. They are always surrounded by an aura that darkens bright lights and causes feelings of despair in enemies.
- Eldritch Giant: 25 foot tall purple-skinned giants who are very interested in arcane magic. They hate storm giants.
- Ettin: A two-headed variant of the hill giant, renowned for being ugly, vicious and stupid even by hill giant standards.
- Fhoimorien: A weird, malevolent, mystical giant breed native to the world of Cerilia, the home of the Birthright setting. They have an affinity for elemental magics of earth and air, and can even turn into banks of living mist. Supposedly a Cerillian equivalent to the Fomorian.
- Firbolg: Giant-kin who resemble oversized vikings.
- Fog Giant: A more primal (but not stupid) relative of the Cloud Giant, which favors temperate swamps, marshes, boggy forests, and coastal regions. Distinguishable by its pale, milky-white skin and hair, and their cultural love of wrestling and sports based on throwing stuff. In 5e they have been changed to just being cloud giants that lost their status in cloud giant society due to losing their wealth and so are desperate to claim as much wealth as they can to get it back.
- Fomorian: Cave-dwelling, grotesquely ugly giants with a pronounced vicious streak and a love of torture.
- Forest Giant: Depending on the setting
- One of the breeds of giant native to the world of Cerilia, the home of the Birthright setting. Their elemental affinities for wood give these giants wood-like skin, leaflike hair, and root-like digits, making them easily confused for oversized treants at a casual glance. Naturally, they seek to protect primeval forests from depredations.
- In other settings, forest giants are basically giant Wood Elves.
- Geriviar: Huge xenophobic reptilian giants with four arms and spiky grey skin. Their bodies grow nodules they can pull off and use like grenades. It is theorized that they may have been engineered to be living siege engines, as they love destroying buildings so much that they sometimes overcome their xenophobia and willingly join armies of other creatures just so they can destroy buildings.
- Hephaeston Giant: A Mystaran giant species characterized by its skin of living iron and its natural affinity for blacksmithing. Regarding weaponsmithing as a holy art, they constantly seek out deposits of iron and coal, especially because they must literally smith infants of their race from the purest iron.
- Ice Giant: One of the breeds of giant native to the world of Cerilia, the home of the Birthright setting. Essentially a bigger and nastier version of the standard Frost Giant, one distinguished by a thick body sheath of rime and jagged ice shards. More magically adept than frost giants, ice giants have the power to hurl iceballs (a cold-damage counterpart to the famous Fireball), and possess several potent spell-like abilities.
- Jungle Giant: A species of carnivorous, voraciously predatory green-skinned amazon giants native to the tropical jungles of Al-Qadim.
- Mountain Giant: An even bigger, but somewhat less stupid, variant of the hill giant. Roughly 3/4s of all mountain giants are male, which contributes to their small population.
- Ocean Giant: Basically giant Merfolk. They normally have a fish body but can change it into legs if they need to.
- Plains Giant: One of four giant species indigenous to the Dark Sun setting, these are the benevolent giants indigenous to the Sea of Silt. Smarter and less malevolent, they are more likely to integrate themselves into mainstream Athasian society. Their hair is prized as the best rope that exists.
- Reef Giant: Sea-dwelling, isolationist giants native to the Al-Qadim setting.
- Sand Giant: Lawful neutral desert dwelling giants that are 12 feet tall and have dark skin. They wield scimitars and exotic weapons called sand blasters.
- Shadow Giant: There are two completely different monsters called Shadow Giants.
- Undead giants trapped in the Black, one of the planes of Dark Sun. Can drain life with a touch, but are incredibly vulnerable to pure magical energy, to the point that a wizard can literally hurt them with a touch.
- In other settings, Shadow Giants are a race feared and hated by other giants due to their reputation for being murderers and assassins. They are the only type of giant that likes to be sneaky. They are sensitive to sunlight and have several darkness related abilities.
- Sea Giant: Giants underwater, without any fish features at all. What were they thinking?
- Spacesea Giant: Also known as Rover Giants, these are a variant strain of Stone Giant descended from giants taken prisoner by the Neogi, but who escaped. More intelligent and adept at arcane magic, they are nomadic merchants and explorers who use vessels of magically shaped stone to travel through the crystal spheres.
- Sun Giant: Nomadic giants found in deserts. They are immune to fire and vulnerable to cold
- Verbeeg: A giant-kin race who often use their superior brains to enslave and command the bigger but dumber ogres and hill giants.
- Voadkyn: Also known as Wood Giants, a forest-dwelling giant-kin race who resemble oversized elves.
Giants in Pathfinder
Giants, being OGL content, are largely the same as their 3.5 counterpart in Pathfinder. Mechanically however giants have undergone a big change in that they're no longer their own creature type, instead being a subtype of humanoid and (for Oni) Outsider. This means they aren't automatically proficient with all martial weapons (they normally use Pathfinder's increased feat rate to wield them instead) and, more importantly, makes them vulnerable to spells that effect Humanoids. Their low will save and the potency of these spells makes them much weaker against spellcasters that are ready for them.
Lore-wise, Giants are found all over the world, but their biggest effect was in Varisia, where giants of all kinds were enslaved by the ancient Thassilonian Empire.
In addition to the same core six giants as D&D, Pathfinder is home to a very wide variety of giants, some of them inherited (if occasionally rewritten) from D&D, others brand new.
- Ash Giant
- Bronze Giant
- Cave Giant
- Cliff Giant
- Desert Giant
- Eclipse Giant
- Ferrous Giant
- Forest Giant
- Inverted Giant
- Jack-in-Irons Giant
- Jungle Giant
- Marsh Giant: Degenerate descendants of swamp-dwelling Hill Giant tribes. And they worship Dagon, of all things.
- Mongrel Giant
- Moon Giant
- Mountain Giant
- Ocean Giant
- Plague Giant
- River Giant: 10-foot-tall river dwellers. Generally Chaotic Alignment, but as with Cloud Giants, they're half-Good, half-Evil.
- Rune Giant: These cross-breeds of Fire and Taiga Giants were bred and altered by Thassalonian mages to control their Giant slaves. Resembling even bigger Taiga Giants with burning runes all over their bodies, Rune Giants can magically command giants(and other creatures), walk on air, and shoot firey sparks from the runes on their bodies.
- Sand Giant
- Sea Giant
- Shadow Giant
- Slag Giant
- Smoke Giant
- Snow Giant
- Sun Giant
- Taiga Giant: Grey-Skinned, Red-haired nomads. The unwilling ancestors of Rune Giants, these shamanistic people would much rather you leave them the hell alone.
- Tomb Giant
- Vault Giant
- Volcano Giant
- Wood Giant
A race featured in the anime Macross, and its American, ehem, "adaptation" Robotech, the name is also transliterated as Zentradi, Zjentohlauedy, T'sentrati, or Zentrady (the original Japanese rendering is ゼントラーディ人, or Zentorādi-jin). Serving as a sort of Sci-fi reconstruction of the giant idiom, Zentraedi are a militaristic race of alien humanoid giants created through genetic cloning. In both series, an advanced alien humanoid race creates the Zentraedi to serve as super-soldiers against their enemies. They inevitably rebel and went their own way, as warrior races do. A peculiarity of their genome allows them, with the aid of special equipment, to shrink down to human size and pass as the same species, which for all other intents and purposes, they are.
Monster Hunter International
Giants are among the monsters considered extinct in modern days. One was seen in the assault on Severny Island and was only humanoid in the vaguest sense of having two legs, two arms and something resembling a head. It took a T-72M to take down, but may have actually been protecting the island from culists that want to free the ancient evil instead of kill it and not one of the ancient evil's minions. The second RPG also states that frost and fire giants are a problem in the Norse countries. How these two claims reconcile is unknown.
|This article or section is about Monstergirls (or a monster that is frequently depicted as a Monstergirl), something that /tg/ widely considers to be the purest form of awesome. Expect PROMOTIONS! and /d/elight in equal measure, often with drawfaggotry or writefaggotry to match.|
Giants as monstergirls are an established thing, but not from the monster perspective. Macrophilia is a decades old fetish, with films like Attack of the 50 Foot Woman dating back to 1958. There are no animal parts involved here: all that matters is the largeness, like an inverse shortstack. Amazonian sizes are too small: you're looking at 10' as a bare minimum but can go up to much larger sizes to even ludicrous dimensions. What happens from there differs per subfetish: some of the macrophiles are content with touching and cuddling the bigness while others prefer crushing, vore or more nasty fetishes still. Given their rather niche appeal giants never received much of a unified view like the more human-sized fantasy races; as such they apprear in many different throughout fiction.