Tolkien Gateway

The Giant

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"Tell me, who are you, alone, yourself and nameless?" - Tom Bombadil
This article describes a concept which is mentioned in J.R.R. Tolkien's works, but was never given a definite name.

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The Giant was one of the denizens of the Wild, that part of the Wide World outside of the Middle Kingdom where people such as Farmer Giles lived. While there were many giants in that area, this particular giant was larger and more stupid than his fellows, and was near-sighted and somewhat deaf to boot. His walking stick was like a tree and he caused great destruction wherever he went.

The giant lived in a tumble-down house up in the mountains. Due to his deafness and stupidity (and the scarcity of giants) he had few friends and would often go walking by himself in the Wild Hills. One day while doing so he became lost and made a bad guess about which direction to take. Instead of heading toward home he trampled onward until he reached the farm of Farmer Giles.

The farmer's dog, Garm, first spotted the giant just as he flattened Giles' cow Galathea. Garm ran to warn his master who, although he doubted the dog's story nonetheless loaded his blunderbuss and tramped out to the fields to see what had scared the animal. When the giant poked his head over a hill the startled Giles fired his weapon without thinking. Such a blow as from the debris fired from the blunderbuss did not greatly injure the giant, but a nail that stuck in his nose made the nearsighted fellow believe that he had reached a land of large stinging flies. The giant turned about and went away. The villagers of Ham reacted by declaring Giles the Hero of the Countryside.

After the giant made it back to his home he told the story of finding a land with lots of cows and sheep, but no people and especially no knights. When the hard winter came and food became scarce, the dragon Chrysophylax, believing the giant's tale, flew to the Middle Kingdom to find food. There the dragon met Farmer Giles and all of his subsequent misadventures were the fault of the giant's misinformation.[1]

Many years later, after Chrysophylax was allowed to leave the Little Kingdom established by Farmer Giles (now King Ægidius Draconarius) the dragon visited the giant and gave him a piece of his mind. The poor giant was terribly crushed.[2]

Portrayal in adaptations

1992: BBC Radio's Tales from the Perilous Realm

The Giant is voiced by the writer of the screenplay, Brian Sibley.

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Farmer Giles of Ham
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Farmer Giles of Ham, Envoy