|Lifespan||Hundreds of years (at least)|
|Behind the Scenes|
Giants are a race featured in Dark Souls II, from outside of Drangleic.
They are are a race of enormous humanoids from a land vaguely described as "across the seas" from Drangleic, and although their size varies, they generally tower over most other beings. Possessing colossal strength, their willpower is said to be as strong as steel and their souls are incredibly powerful.
Giants are primarily known through their conflict with King Vendrick and his kingdom of Drangleic. According to legend, a mysterious woman named Nashandra, said to be of unparalleled beauty, came to Vendrick long ago and warned him of a looming threat across the seas, in the land of the giants (likely a trick, as a giant invasion was unlike to happen). King Vendric named Nashandra his queen and crossed the ocean with her to combat the giants. During this conflict, he pillaged the giants' lands, and stole an unspecified "prize", which he brought back to Drangleic. Using this acquired power, Vendrick created various types of golems, who in turn built Drangleic Castle.
Seeking vengeance for the subjugation of his kingdom, the king of the giants amassed an army in a vengeful counter-invasion of Drangleic. He also sought to reclaim the invaluable "prize" stolen from him. Unwilling to forgive the actions of Vendrick, the giants crossed the sea and landed on the northern shores of Drangleic. They set siege to Drangleic Castle and relentlessly attacked various settlements, forts and keeps across the land for several generations. Battles waged endlessly between Vendrick's forces and the giants, and most of Drangleic's citizens fled the kingdom to escape the conflict.
Ultimately, the giants were defeated by an unnamed hero, but Drangleic had been almost entirely reduced to rubble, and visitors to the kingdom were rare. Many giants were killed in the conflict, and their corpses eventually grew into large trees that sprawled across the once prosperous kingdom. The last known giant to have survived the conflict was terribly wounded and kept prisoner in a cavern beneath the Forest of the Fallen Giants. It was later discovered another two giants survived the war, but remained hidden in a cavern in Black Gulch. While the giant invasion was largely stopped, their souls remained powerful. King Vendrick's elder brother, Lord Aldia, kept giants in his manor and performed experiments on them in an attempt to recreate a dragon. The outcome of Lord Aldia's experiments is unknown, but oddly when the Ancient Dragon roosting at the summit of Aldia's realm was slain, the soul of a giant was found in its remains.
Legend holds that the giants' resentment to King Vendrick was possibly emboldened in death. This was proven true when the Bearer of the Curse fought the hollowed remains of Vendrick.With the souls of several giants in the player's possession, Vendrick was significantly weakened and subsequently defeated.
Once the Ashen Mist Heart has been obtained, it can be used to interact with the corpses of three fallen giants who fought in the war against Vendrick. The heart grants access to the memories of Jeigh, Orro and Vammar. In these memories, the player can witness various battles that took place between the giants and Drangleic's army.
According to Sweet Shalquoir, the giants savor their memories of glory on the battlefield.
Their heads are largely absent of facial features, apart from a large gaping hole at the center. Its function seems to be similar to a mouth, as indicated by the roars that are produced from within, but giants have also been known to extract balls of poison and fire from them. Their bodies are covered in a rough skin, similar in appearance to rock or wood. The upper half of their bodies is generally bulky, with huge protruding shoulders and massive arms, however some are more slender in appearance. They largely wear rudimentary clothing, such as loincloths and ragged robes.
Their brutish appearance and primitive weaponry has led some citizens of Drangleic to view them as being no more than uncivilized barbarians, but contrary evidence shows that they utilize magic and employ concepts such as monarchy and military hierarchy.
Giants specialize in several different types of combat and can be differentiated by their appearance. They use their brute strength to great effect, as many of the soldiers who invaded Drangleic used large clubs, or even their fists in battle. Some giants utilized a form of pyromancy, while others were known to have the ability to produce toxic projectiles from their bodies. The king of the giants who invaded Drangleic fought wearing his crown and wielding an enormous great sword, and is encountered during the memory of Jeigh.
Senior soldiers were called "Elite Giants". They were typically brown in color and wore large loincloths that covered a good portion of their legs, being particularly muscular among their kin. They often wielded two enormous, obelisk sized stone clubs each while in combat. Far larger and more formidable than their subordinates, the only elite giants to have survived the war resided in a hidden cavern in Black Gulch, and they could also be encountered in the memories of Vammar and Orro. The common melee fighters among the army of the giants were gray, relatively shorter than the elites, and fought with either a large club or bare fists. They were encountered in the same memories as the elites, Vammar's and Orro's.
Relatively rare, poisonous giants looked similar to regular melee fighters, but could also throws balls of poison during combat. They wear a hooded robe and their left arm is coated in a green substance, which can poison anything it hits. This type of giant can be encountered in the memory of Vammar. Giant who exclusively throws balls of fire produced from the hole in their faces. They wear a hooded robe and large engraved bracelets, and several can be encountered in the memories of Vammar and Orro.
- According to concept art and early trailers, Giants were designed with faces, including jagged teeth and possibly even large horns, but these didn't make it into the final game. During the memory of Jeigh, charred remains of a Giant oddly shows one of these faces.