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Minas Tirith Forums » The Hobbit » What are the Stone Giants? (Page 1)
Author Topic: What are the Stone Giants?
Telperion
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quote:
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.

over hill and under hill

Don't know if this was discussed before. What are these stone giants?
From: Israel, North East of Tel Aviv | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Laurenendôrian
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There was a bit of discussion on it here, but that didn't seem to come to a definitive answer.

Personally, I suppose I think of them as almost 'spirits of nature', bound to the mountains.

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Vladmiyr
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I always thought It was boulders being misplaced by the wind, and falling and bouncing off the mountain sides on the way down.
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Roll of Honor theWhiteLady
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For some reasons, I always associated the stone-giant with some form of troll. I'm not sure why I've always thought this, but it reminds me of the book 'Prince Caspian' in the Narnia series. CS Lewis describes some kind of giants that would throw rocks at each other for amusement; the descriptions he gave made me think back to this passage from the Hobbit.
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Dark Lord Andúril
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I thought they were, as has already been said, spirits of the mountains. But I will go further to say that they were actually part of the mountains themselves. Just like in the film, where Saruman is telling the mountains to bring the wrath on his enemies, and gandalf was telling them to sleep.
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Thingol of Doriath
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I don't have my books with me just now, but aren't giants mentioned in LotR in the "Ring goes South"? I may be wrong, but...
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Roll of Honor Lugbúrz
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Giants have been mentioned elsewhere in the Hobbit too. Some of them are said to be friendly by Gandalf. If I remember right, that particular usage did not come with the "stone" classification.

I wouldn't exactly be happy with classifying them as 'spirits of nature' when they are talked of as being wicked and cunning. What do you say Laur? Or are you referring specifically to those that were mentioned during the storm?

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Roll of Honor Thorin
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quote:
"I must see if I can't find a more or less decent giant to block it [Goblin gate at the High Pass] up again," said Gandalf...
Tolkien makes plenty of statements about creatures that he doesn't elaborate upon. The Watcher, the Were-Worms, and the things that made tunnels under Moria are some examples. I just always considered giants as fairly rare creatures that lived in the mountains. They could be good or evil or neither according to Gandalf's hints.
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Dark Lord Andúril
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They could just be Maiar. Corrupted to evil , or not so.
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Earendilyon
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Anduril wrote:
quote:
Just like in the film, where Saruman is telling the mountains to bring the wrath on his enemies, and gandalf was telling them to sleep.
Anduril, I hope you know that in the book Caradhras, the mountain, itself was evil and brought its wrath upon the Fellowship?
It annoyed me that PJ made Saruman control (and know!) everything. He did not control Caradhrad, he did not exactly know where the Fellowship was, and he did not force the Fellowship into Moria for Gandalf to meet his doom!

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Dark Lord Andúril
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Hmm, I do know that, I was merely making an example. But Aragorn does say that "there are things in this world that are older than he, and they ahve no love for things that go on two legs."
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Roll of Honor Kosomot
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I think they were giants, and nothing else. There´s no need to explain them to make them fit in Middle-earth. The Hobbit wasn´t a serious book when he wrote it, unlike his Silmarillion project, which was already well on its way back then. That´s why we have giants, talking trolls and what else, and that´s why Tolkien later edited The Hobbit to make it better fit into ME.
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Farmermaggot
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Maybe 'To there and back again' has been added to by a later hand!, as presumably more copies of it were made and over thousands of years certain details were embelished i suspect.
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Gollum the great
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I tend to agree with Kullervo on this, I never thought of them as anything more or less than giants who just happened to live in the mountains...

Earindilyon, you are right in saying that Caradhras was an entity unto itself and that Saruman or Gandalf had no control over it, you have to remember that the movie was made for people besides the fans and thus it was neccessary for PJ to make Saruman control the mountain as it's much easier for an audience to come to grips with on specific bad-guy as opposed to a mountain which just happens to hate people walking on it.

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
...What we came to realise was that you don't have to put a sword in her hands to make her strong. And where we've come to now is all these true elements of who Arwen is. I mean this is an incredibley powerful and fearless woman filled with so much hope and belief and that is strong enough. ~ Liv Tyler (Arwen)
A proud member of H.A.A.H.A.A.

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Fabian
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It's still the most annoying change he made.
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Gollum the great
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why? I hardly gave it thought, and I would consider myself a Tolkien purist (to a degree)

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
...What we came to realise was that you don't have to put a sword in her hands to make her strong. And where we've come to now is all these true elements of who Arwen is. I mean this is an incredibley powerful and fearless woman filled with so much hope and belief and that is strong enough. ~ Liv Tyler (Arwen)
A proud member of H.A.A.H.A.A.

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Nash Rómerandir
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The stone giants...
If we admit that they are 'spirits of nature' which they might well be... They would then be Mayar of Aulë, just like the Balrogs (before they turned to Melkor/Morgoth)... Their job could be to do the work of 'erosion'...And there's no problem concerning their origins. []

If we take it they are creatures, just like the lines from The Hobbit, let us believe:
quote:
"I must see if I can't find a more or less decent giant to block it [Goblin gate at the High Pass] up again," said Gandalf...
Would Gandalf say "if I can find a more or less decent Maya..."? Probably not so, thus they probably are some other creature of unknown origin...Back to the question []
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The Cheat
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The giants were probably just thrown in by Tolkien to amuse his kids. They could always be metaphorical giants...
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hasquaati
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This one has always been a mystery to me. As mentioned above, maybe its metaphorically speaking or actually literally just some big people throwing stones for a bit of fun. To be quite honest, I really dont know.
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Thingol of Doriath
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If it makes people feel better... there is another giant in The Hobbit who is described quite extensively: Beorn.

We know that he towered over Gandalf, a horse's nose came to his shoulder and that Bilbo could walk easily between his legs without having to duck to miss the fringe of his tunic.

So, if Beorn is a giant living under the eaves of Mirkwood... then it is perhaps not so strange that giants could live in the nearby Misty Mountains. Relatives?

[ 07-11-2011, 04:54 PM: Message edited by: Thingol of Doriath ]

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Madomir
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In my mind's eye I always envisioned the Stone Giants as a sort of mountain troll, along the lines of Bert and the boys. There's no textual basis for this, it's just an impression.

[ 07-13-2011, 04:27 AM: Message edited by: Madomir ]

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Roll of Honor Athene
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I too pictured this as a metaphor for the storm causing boulders to be dislodged and hurtle down the mountain, rather than actual giants throwing rocks.

You know, like the Balrog's wings. []

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Hamfast Gamgee
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Possibly. Though I wonder how one plays Giant Dwarf football, Misty Mountains rules?
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Madomir
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The problem with the metaphor concept is that it doesn't fit well with the quote Nash supplied earlier..

quote:
"I must see if I can't find a more or less decent giant to block it [Goblin gate at the High Pass] up again," said Gandalf...
Seems an odd thing to say about a metaphor..
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Roll of Honor Athene
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The Misty Mountain Hop is not a permitted manoeuvre.
[]

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