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Topic: Giants in Middle-earth?

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Servants of Mordor - Rank 1
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Date: May 3, 2006
Giants in Middle-earth?

 I was wondering not so long ago about Giants in Middle-earth. Giants are not mentioned much in middle earth. Are they a different race?, or when the word 'giant' is used, is tolkien just referring to Ents or trolls or other creatures of great height? In the book 'the hobbit' I believe they are mentioned when Thorin and co. are passing through the misty mountains. Here are some quotes from the book refering to Giants.


"When he peeped out in the lightning-flashes, he saw that across the valley the stone-giants were out and were hurling rocks at one another for a game, and catching them, and tossing them down into the darkness where they smashed among the trees far below, or splintered into little bits with a bang."


"They could hear the giants guffawing and shouting all over the mountainsides."


Someone in the company also mentions "If we don't get blown off or drowned, or struck by lightning, we shall be picked up by some giant and kicked sky-high for a football."


 These quotes suggest that giants are most probably living and breathing creatures of some sort. what are your views upon Giants in Middle-earth? 



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Servants of Mordor - Rank 1
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Date: May 3, 2006
 also, i believe the word Giant is mentioned in 'the fellowship of the ring'. I cannot find the quote but I believe it says that after Frodo has left the shire, he became the news and rumours and things such as Giants were forgotten. 

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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firstly, as an indication, posting two posts one after another is spamming.
fortunately on this forum, unlike other forums, you havethe chance to edit your post an add or change something to the previous post.
About the giants...here it goes.
Yes it is mentioned in the fellowship, but with little importance and just as usually like creatures of legend and mythology.
"He had imagined himself meeting giants taller than trees, and other creatures even more terrifying, some time or other in the course of his journey;"
The only other information Tolkien gives us about giants is that they had come to the Misty Mountains from another region.
“Some say that he is a bear descended from the great and ancient bears of the mountains that lived there before the giants came. Others say that he is a man descended from the first men who lived before Smaug or the other dragons came into this part of the world, and before the goblins came into the hills out of the North. I cannot say, though I fancy the last is the true tale.”
Even though Gandalf suspects the first tale of not beeing true, it does help, especially combined with this quote:
“…and I heard him growl in the tongue of bears; 'The day will come when they will perish and I shall go back!' That is why I believe he once came from the mountains himself.”
The part about Beorn beeing a descendant of the bears is clearly the false part in the tale, but the fact that he left the mountains after the goblins and giants came is true.
This gives us the first hint these giants were evil creatures, also slightly shown in the quotes you gave (them beeing very dangerous).

And so we move to HOME, where we are given more info:
"At this point in the story the agents of Melko appear, the
Uvanimor, 'bred in the earth' by him (Uvanimor, 'who are
monsters, giants, and ogres', have been mentioned in an
earlier tale, pp. 75-6); and Tuvo protected Men and Elves from
them and from 'evil fays'. "
As we see here the giants are associated with ogres (also creatures of legend and myth in lotr), and are very interestingly presented as creatures of Melkor.

and again in HOMe 6 the giants are associated with other evil creatures.
"Goblins were multiplying again and
reappearing. Trolls of a new and most malevolent kind were
abroad; giants were spoken of, a Big Folk only far bigger and
stronger than Men the [?ordinary] Big Folk, and no stupider,
indeed often full of cunning and wizardry. And there were vague
hints of things or creatures more terrible than goblins, trolls, or
giants. Elves were vanishing, or wandering steadily westward."

these giants are this time clearly the giants from the Misty Mountains, as the Return of the Shadow tells about the time of Sauron. So clearly the coming of these giants in the misty mountains was planned by him.
This quote is very important, as it akes the link to the story of the giants in the Hobbit.
So what we know is that:
- the first giants were made by Melkor together with other monsters like ogres
-they were clearly on the evil side
- they were brought to the Misty Mountains by Sauron (there is no proof he also created giants, maybe he took them from the east, no proof here)
- they could kick you like a football

-- Edited by The Might at 19:43, 2006-05-03

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Servants of Mordor - Rank 1
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 lol, I certainly would not like to be kicked by a troll! by the way, i found this other quote that may be associated with Giants. it is from the fellowship of the ring, in the chaptper the ring goes south, when the fellowship are journeying across Caradharas.


"It may have been only a trick of the wind...,but the sounds were those of shrill cries, and wild howls of laughter. Stones began to fall from the mountain-side, whistling over their heads, or crashing on the path besides them...

'We cannot go further tonight,' said Boromir. 'Let those call it the wind who will; there are fell voices on the air; and those stones are aimed at us.'

'I do call it the wind,' said Aragorn. 'But that does not make what you say untrue. There are many evil and unfriendly things in the world that have little love for those that go on two legs, and yet are not in league with Sauron, but have purposes of their own. Some have been in this world longer than he.'


 It seems that aragorn is talking of Giants if anything. It looks like Aragorn is saying that the Giants (if that is what he is talking about) in the Misty Mountains are not on the same side as Sauron, and it seems then that the Giants are acting independly.


 By the way, sorry about the second post, i completely forgot about the edit button. I am new here, only joined yesterday, but I shall stick to the rules and not let it happen again. Thanks for telling me about it.



-- Edited by Khamul the Easterling at 19:52, 2006-05-03

-- Edited by Khamul the Easterling at 20:08, 2006-05-03

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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firstly, I believe one word in the quote shows you are wrong. The word "howls".
I think we all know that the company was attacked by wolves on Caradharas, so I personally doubt these were giants.
Also, I think you should not necessarily think the words Aragorn says are only about whatever creatures threw those stones. Maybe it was a general remark, reffering more to other creatures.
if there was no argument against it, I might have second thoughts, but as we are told the giants appeared after Sauron's return.
There is of course a chance they were thinking they were acting indepently, but actually by blocking the passes in the Misty Mountains they were doing Sauron a favour. Still, having them presented together with the goblins and olog-hai trolls (creatures under the power of Sauron) makes me think they were also in the same category. That is why I personally think the giants were more or less helping Sauron, and that they are not the creatures spoken about by Aragorn.
Actually now that I think better there is no way they were these creatures as they were created sometime by Melkor and Sauron was a Maia, and therefore, was there before.

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Are you suggesting that Sauron was in Ea before Melkor The might?



-- Edited by Glorfindel1235 at 21:49, 2006-05-03

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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No I am not.
And personally I find it somehow strange you asking me that, I think you know very well I know Sauron wasn't before Melkor.
So I will ask you to reread what I said.
"...they were these creatures as they were created sometime by Melkor and Sauron was a Maia, and therefore, was there before."
If you would think a little about it you would realise that I was reffering to the creatures and not to Melkor.

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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The Might wrote:


...as they were created sometime by Melkor and Sauron was a Maia, and therefore, was there before.

Most people would assume from this that you meant Sauron was 'there' before Melkor.

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Valar
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The Might and Glorfindel1235.


Thou shall not continue debating in that tone. Mistake was made and also another with understanding the meaning of spoken words. If debating continues in this tone, i shall spoke personally to both of thou.



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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Forgive me Lord, no offence was meant on my behalf.

-- Edited by Glorfindel1235 at 15:37, 2006-05-04

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Servants of Mordor - Rank 1
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 The might, there is some evidence though that suggests that not all these Giants were bad.
for in the Hobbit, after Thorin and co. escaped the goblins in the Misty Mountains, Gandalf says that perhaps he should find a "more or less decent giant" to block up the new pass made by the Goblins. If Gandalf can deal with these creatures and talk to them about filling up a hole, perhaps not all the Giants are as evil as you are making them out to be.


Maybe Giants were not on anyones side and just did as they pleased. Although, Gandalf could have been joking about, but I doubt it.


 by the way, it said there was the "howling" of laughter, but that dosen't necessarily mean that it was the Laughter of wolves. I have heard many people say that someone else was howling with laughter.



-- Edited by Khamul the Easterling at 16:47, 2006-05-04

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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hmm...I never noticed that...good point
well i will accept that not all these giants were evil, mabye some were more or less decent, but, I will not ignore the quotes from HOME from which they are clearly presented as evil creatures.
As about the so called "howling", why is there the need to speculate?
If Tolkien would have thought it important to clearly mention these were giants he would have done so.
"howling with laughter"? maybe, but not here...

As for the other thing I am sorry for that. I didn't realise it was an offence. Seems anything is an offence.


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I think you take things too seriously The Might. You need to chill out more. You have got to be prepared for some rebuttals.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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am i taking it too seriously or are you chilling out too much?

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Orc captain of Thangorodrim - Rank 3
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The giants were, like Beorn and everything in The Hobbit originally, not written to be part of Tolkien's mythology. JRRT masterfully wove practically every aspect of The Hobbit into The Lord of the Rings and/or The Silmarillion to give it a credible background, but the giants are one of those things that gave him trouble. They most definately existed, since Tolkien was not one to merely erase something completely, but they are no longer mentioned after The Hobbit for a reason, most likely. They were written as fairy tale characters for when The Hobbit was meant to be a children's tale for his young relatives and so did not fit with the epic setting of his greater mythology. The reference in The Fellowship of the Ring is of a similar nature, although it is not Tolkien telling the fairy tale this time, but a Hobbit telling a far-fetched tale.


As for the quotes concerning giants in HoMe that The Might has pointed out, I must say that they only prove what I am saying. They were removed from the published The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion for a reason.


And finally, concerning their allegiance, I believe them not to be evil, but not to be particularly "good" either. They are only concerned with their own affairs, I believe, and do what they themselves deem as beneficial. And I am, of course, speaking of the giants in The Hobbit and not the ones mentioned in HoMe since they are not a part of Tolkien's legendarium.



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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well, if you don't consider HOME, then indeed, you can't say they are evil.
But still, I think Tolkien did later try to find an explanation for creatures such as Ogres and giants, and found it as creaturews of evil created by Melkor. And he found the answer for the giants coming to the Misty Mountains in the return of Sauron.
Of course HOME is not always the best source, but whether it was or was not included, it is the only answer we are directly given, and so I would consider it.


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Orc captain of Thangorodrim - Rank 3
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"...I think Tolkien did later try to find an explanation..."


Er, the quotes that you provided from The History of Middle-earth all come from before The Lord of the Rings was published, so how could JRRT try and "later" find an explanation? I think the fact that he did not include them in either the published tLotR or his later drafts of The Silmarillion show his thoughts about the giants: they were not worth expanding on or working into the mythology.



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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oh...they did...oh...didn't know...

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Orc captain of Thangorodrim - Rank 3
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Hehe, yep.


The first HoMe quote comes from either HoMe Vol. I or II - The Book of Lost Tales - some of the earliest existing texts concerning anything relating to Tolkien's mythology at all. At the point that those were written, the idea of The Lord of the Rings (or even The Hobbit, I believe) had not even occurred to JRRT yet.


And the second quote is from HoMe Vol. VI - The Return of the Shadow - which are the first drafts of The Lord of the Rings up until the Chamber of Mazarbul, I believe.



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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oh, well, maybe he did think of them as an alternative idea, maybe that the giants were evil, but gave it up and left them simply as creatures of legend.
Well, considering the new info, I must agree with you Narguzir. Thanks!

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Honor, Freedom, Fatherland
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I've been wondering about this for a while now. Thanks for all the great quotes.


Gil Galad.



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