• Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us!

Best Weapons for Fantasy Giants

Aldarion

Archmage

For giants, weapons depend heavily on their size. For a giant of sufficient size, ideal weapon to use against humans will be a sufficiently large broom. In fact, larger the giants become, lesser is their need for weapons to deal with humans – unless humans themselves are superhuman in some ways (e.g. One Piece, where old men can destroy islands with their fists). For moderately large giants (e.g. 3 – 5 meters tall), this question however is significant.
 

Graybles

Acolyte
I always liked the idea of a Giant ripping a tree out of the earth and just slamming the root end in the face of whatever they try to hit, earth and rocks muddying up the area and what not. That... or breaking a big branch from the tree and using the splintered part as the outward swinging side.
 

CupofJoe

Myth Weaver
I like the idea of Giants being really big, 10m+, so I know they aren't going to be realistic and I don't care.
I do like the idea of using Giant archers as if they were mobile siege engines loosing tree sized arrows at castle walls.
 

pmmg

Myth Weaver
Clubs, frying pans, Flails and Scythes would be great against humans. Also thick soled boots.

I wonder if a Bow might not suffer if its made too large. Like...there is a sweet spot for size and going over it might not produce a point of diminishing returns.
 
Last edited:

skip.knox

toujours gai, archie
Moderator
I don't have good answers because giants exist only far in the background in Altearth. If they exist at all.

But here's an additional consideration when looking for weapons: it might depend on the relative size of the enemy. Even a giant of five meters will choose one weapon when fighting a huge dragon, but another if he's being pestered by pixies.

And now other things occur to me. For example, do giants fight as individuals, or do they form bands or even armies? Do they fight alongside other people--humans, orcs, trolls, elves? Are there oversized predators in the world; if so, it's likely giants would have developed weapons well-suited to fight such. Would giants wear armor (they would if sufficiently endangered)? If so, what would that armor be made of and who would do the making?

One of the more fun aspects of world building is pretending I'm being practical and realistic while inventing the fantastic.
 

Ban

Troglodytic Trouvère
Article Team
Presuming a pre-modern setting, if they're large and strong enough I reckon they could just carry boulders around and throw or drop them on others. If the setting is "modern", they could carry around cannons like they're guns and place them wherever they wish. Longbows fit for a giant would be some terrifying contraptions as well.

I imagine giants would suffer flexibility and joint issues, so projectiles would favour them more than pure melee weaponry.
 

skip.knox

toujours gai, archie
Moderator
I've thought about the boulders angle. That's the weapon of choice in old legends, but I wonder about practicality. Most stones are either too big or too small for the job. Ones so big that dropping would be effective are too big to throw. So giants face the same challenge any human does when searching for the right skimming stone. There are plenty of rocks, but not all that many that suit.

If a giant is wandering in a valley, most of it is farmland or meadow. Not many rocks. Forests don't really suit, either. Ideal would be in hills or mountains, in the neighborhood of a landslide, with plenty of loose material. But who is going to attack there? I suppose a giant attacking a castle or walled city might be able to crash a wall and get suitable ammunition that way, but if they can tear down the wall, why do they need a weapon at all?

Even the old standby of a tree has limited use. Sure it's great for sweeping human-sized enemies who conveniently line up in ranks, or for breaking a cavalry charge, but the tree isn't going to stand up well to castle walls. Having mid-sized giants operate a battering ram makes sense, but that's giants in service to others.

Maybe another way to look at this is to consider warfare among giants. What weapons would they use against each other? What defenses, what tactics?
 

pmmg

Myth Weaver
It would probably be a hard and costly task to make a fort or castle that a giant could not assail. A giant might not need a ram, or might be able to pull down the walls all on its own.
 

Ban

Troglodytic Trouvère
Article Team
That's a fun tangent. What sort of fortress could halt a horde of giants? I reckon walls would develop of widths unseen in our world, built with outer layers of stone and concrete, and thick inner layers of ground. Might need wood in the mix there to prevent the whole thing from sagging.
 

Ban

Troglodytic Trouvère
Article Team
I think, if it was my task...I would want my own giants to help fight back.
If that's an option. I reckon I'd just skip the giants and go straight for an army of Lovecraftian Great Old Ones.
 

JBCrowson

Troubadour

For giants, weapons depend heavily on their size. For a giant of sufficient size, ideal weapon to use against humans will be a sufficiently large broom. In fact, larger the giants become, lesser is their need for weapons to deal with humans – unless humans themselves are superhuman in some ways (e.g. One Piece, where old men can destroy islands with their fists). For moderately large giants (e.g. 3 – 5 meters tall), this question however is significant.
Size of giants matters a lot. If they have nerves then nerve conduction rates limit how fast the brain can receive input from the periphery and carry out a response. Nerve conduction is about 40m/second, so a big giant would take a measurably long time to react to an enemy.
 
Top