If you have heard myths about giants, or seen them in any movies, you might believe that all giants eat humans. Well, in some stories they do. One of the most famous giant stories from Britain is Jack and the Beanstalk. The story as we know it was written in 1807 and since then, it has been rewritten, illustrated and made into many films. It is also a favourite bedtime story that parents read to children.
The giant in Jack and the Beanstalk captures Jack and intends to eat him later. However, Jack is a clever boy and manages to escape with the giant’s magical hen. Children all over the world know this story and so they might believe that all giants are the same: human-eating monsters with small brains!
This is not true. Most giants in myths have a diet similar to humans - there have even been myths of giant farmers, taking care of animals and crops.
Let’s look at some interesting facts from British history and myths from folklore to find out more.
1. Queen Elizabeth I had a giant as her porter. The general duties of a royal porter are to answer the door, welcome guests and carry luggage. We don’t know much about the Queen’s giant, but people say he was over seven feet tall! He may have also been like a security guard, helping to protect the royal family. A bit like The Mountain in Game of Thrones!
2. Giants can be master builders. All around the UK, you will find massive stone structures like Stone Henge in Salisbury, and Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. Historians are still unsure of how these structures were created, because in the past, men did not have machines to move and lift heavy stones as we do today.