A giant is a very large humanoid which can potentially grow to approximately twenty five feet tall and appear to be a large human. Some may appear as large and hairy humanoids, while others resemble humongous-sized people, and some may even have bestial features (i.e. protruding sharp molars). A powerful and nearly unstoppable race, giants generally aggregate themselves in tribes since their numbers have greatly dwindled in recent centuries. A giant tribe is led by the strongest giant, known as the Gurg.
Behaviour and traits
- "Harry, they're just vicious, giants. It's like Hagrid said, it's in their natures, they're like trolls... they just like killing, everyone knows that."
- —Ron Weasley regarding giants[src]
Giants are not as intelligent as wizards and witches but definitely more so than trolls, given that they seem to be able to comprehend magic and are actually fond of its use (provided it isn't being used against them, of course). They have their own language, culture, and societal structure. They are capable of learning English, and presumably other languages as well, and read. When breeding, they pride themselves in producing large newborns, and disappointment would arise if the child is smaller than expected..
Unfortunately, most giants don't have the patience for long discussions and seem to prefer simplifying matters by killing their audience if the topic they brought proved too complicated. Because of this, it is imperative that one must have gifts at the ready when trying to appease giants and take one's time, giving the giants the privilege of deciding what to do with what was offered.
Due to their lack of patience for resolving disputes verbally, they are not used to being cramped in small areas, and would fight against each other for the simplest and trivial matters, such as sleeping places and food, or sometimes out of apparently sheer boredom. Even being a Gurg does not guarantee the complete dominance of the tribe, as others may end up killing them for their position, such as Golgomath did to Karkus, proving an hierarchy based on not diplomacy, but raw strength.
Even without magic on their side, giants are immensely powerful beings. Gifted with overwhelming raw strength proportionate to their prodigious size, they are difficult to detain by wizards since most spells tend to have little to no effect upon them and may very well be even stronger than dragons, as seen when six ministry wizards came to subdue the half-giant, Hagrid. All of the stunning spells they sent at him only seemed to just bounce off. This is particularly noteworthy, since Sirius claimed that nothing less of at least half a dozen wizards casting said enchantments at the same time can stun a full-grown dragon into submission.
- Ron Weasley: "There aren't any left in Britain now, though."
- Harry Potter: "What happened to them?"
- Ron Weasley: "Well, they were dying out anyway, and then loads got themselves killed by Aurors. There're supposed to be giants abroad, though.... They hide out in mountains mostly...."
- — Harry and Ron discuss giants during the Yule Ball[src]
First Wizarding War
Giants were once plentiful across the world, with at least a hundred different tribes. During the First Wizarding War, they allied with Lord Voldemort and were responsible for some of the War's worst atrocities against the Muggle community. Aurors from the Ministry of Magic targeted and killed many giants and forced them into hiding in remote regions of the world. All of this left a deep loathing and fear from the wizard community.
Between the wars
The remaining giants retreated into a remote mountainous region in Northern Europe, and being cramped in such areas resulted in them killing each other for the most trivial matters or sometimes for nothing but sheer violence, reducing their numbers to around eighty in total. Muggle mountaineers who approach the giants' colony would meet their demise at the hands of these fearsome beings, but it was always written off as climbing accidents. Wizard kind, however, seem to be satisfied with the giants out of their community as a whole and do not bother to monitor or exterminate them as long as they remain so. In 1995, following the return of Lord Voldemort, Albus Dumbledore dispatched the Hogwarts gamekeeper, Rubeus Hagrid, accompanied by the headmistress of Beaxbatons, Olympe Maxime, to make an alliance with giants and deny their forces to Lord Voldemort when Cornelius Fudge refused to make an official approach on behalf of the Ministry of Magic. The pair traveled to a tribe north-east of Minsk to try and gain the friendship of the tribe. However, they were not alone in their efforts. Two Death Eaters, including Walden Macnair, had also arrived to try and convince the giants to rejoin Lord Voldemort's forces.
Hagrid and Maxime were doing well and were on good terms with Gurg Karkus. The Death Eaters, though, courted the favour of Golgomath and engineered an uprising. Golgomath killed Karkus, took his place as Gurg, and allied with the Death Eaters. Hagrid and Maxime were forced to retreat after being attacked by the giants.
Second Wizarding War
In the opening days of the Second Wizarding War, giants were responsible for an attack on Muggles in the West Country of England, although the official explanation was that a hurricane had hit the area. The Ministry of Magic covered up the incident but informed the Muggle Prime Minister of the true cause behind the incident.
During the Battle of Hogwarts, many giants fought on the side of Lord Voldemort against the defenders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. They mainly battled Grawp, a small giant who had fled the colony two years earlier, and the hippogriffs and Thestrals. It is not known what happened to them after the battle. The most likely theories are that the survivors returned to the northern colony, came to be accepted by wizard kind from Albus Dumbledore's attempt to offer them the hand of friendship, or were subsequently executed by Aurors and The Committee for Disposal of Dangerous Creatures for the part they played in the war. If it is the latter, then the race of giants would be near extinct, with Grawp and two half-giants remaining. However, considering their long life cycle and extremely small population size, it is not likely under any circumstances that the giant species would have remained extant for long after the end of the war.
Giants within the Wizarding World
- Albus Dumbledore: "Extend them the hand of friendship, now, before it is too late, or Voldemort will persuade them, as he did before, that he alone among wizards will give them their rights and their freedom!"
- Cornelius Fudge: "You — you cannot be serious! If the magical community got wind that I had approached the giants — people hate them, Dumbledore — end of my career —"
- — Albus Dumbledore and Cornelius Fudge[src]
Due to giants being dangerously violent, they are feared and hated amongst the Wizarding World. This was further compounded when they joined forces with Voldemort and caused some of the most devastating catastrophes. As such, wizards and witches tend to reject any connections with such fearsome creatures in general. Voldemort and his Death Eaters, however, see the giants as valuable assets and recruited them for both wars. Albus Dumbledore attempted to bring them over as an attempt to strengthen inter-species bonding (as well as preventing Voldemort from utilising their immense strength for his army), despite Minister Fudge's absolute refusal of the idea.
It is partly because of giants that fear of "part-humans" in the Wizarding World exist. Half-giants are looked down upon as outcasts of society and are singled out as a subject of ridicule. When Rubeus Hagrid was outed by Rita Skeeter as a half-giant, many became frightened of him despite having known him for years, and some demanded his resignation. Olympe Maxime refused to publicly admit her heritage, even to a fellow half-giant.
Not all giants are "bad." Grawp was taken from the mountain tribe by his half-brother Rubeus Hagrid and lived in the Forbidden Forest. Hagrid managed to civilise his half-brother to a degree and taught him some English. Grawp attended Dumbledore's funeral in 1997 and assisted the defenders of Hogwarts Castle during the Battle of Hogwarts. There were also some other giants who grew interested when Hagrid and Madame Maxime went to negotiate with them to live in harmony with wizards. Unfortunately, when the Gurg that they did not agree with raided the area looking for them, they refused to have anymore to do with Hagrid and Madame Maxime.
- Bran the Bloodthirsty
- Grawp's father
- Hengist of Upper Barnton
- Karkus' wife
- Morholt's brother
- Olympe Maxime (Half-giant)
- Rubeus Hagrid (Half-giant)
- Unidentified Giant in the Battle of Hogwarts (I)
- Unidentified Giant in the Battle of Hogwarts (II)
- Unidentified Giant in the Battle of Hogwarts (III)
- Unidentified Giant in the Battle of Hogwarts (IV)
- Unidentified Giant in the Battle of Hogwarts (V)
Behind the scenes
- According to W.O.M.B.A.T., giants may be cannibals, or giant's may have very poor eyesight when compared with humans. Support for the latter is provided by the fact that Grawp needed to move his head close to see Harry and Hermione, and later to see the centaurs while in the Forbidden Forest.
- Andros the Invincible was able to conjure a Patronus the size of a giant, although the shape it took was unclear:
- Given the considerable size discrepancy between giants and humans, it is unknown how they are able to mate with the latter. A possible explanation is the Shrinking Charm.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (As Half-Giants, and in Rita Skeeter's article)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (video game)
- Harry Potter: A Pop-Up Book
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault (concept artwork)
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault
Notes and references
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (video game) (A Giant Problem) - The first Giant that Minerva McGonagall fights has a book hanging from his belt.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows