After years of meticulous planning and crushing any and all opposition I've set my sights on conquering other races and nations. One group that I believe would be a valuable asset for my expanding empire is the Giants. Under normal circumstances, my men could easily crush them but giants are a formidable force even for my men. some of the traits of giants are:

  • 10 ft (3 m) tall and weigh 751 lbs (340 kg)
  • have bloodhound level sense of smell and improved hearing
  • have thick skin approaching 0.3 in (7.62 mm) at its thickest
  • have Human/Orc-level intelligence
  • are proportionately weaker (but are still quite strong)
  • have worse endurance Compared to a human or even Orc
  • live in semi-nomadic tribes in groups of no more than 200
  • can live up to be 110 years old

Given this is there a good way of capturing these Giants? Would they even be worth the effort, and most importantly how do I stop them from rebelling?

part 1: How might a Dark Lord quickly overhaul a civilization?

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    $\begingroup$ One classic way: A reasonably attractive giantess. $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 2:25
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    $\begingroup$ @user535733 OK just one question how do I capture the attractive giantess? $\endgroup$
    – icewar1908
    Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 2:26
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    $\begingroup$ You don't capture a giantess, you employ a giantess. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 2:32
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    $\begingroup$ Isn't 38mm thick skin a bit much, considering we have 2-5mm. $\endgroup$
    – Herman
    Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 18:23
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    $\begingroup$ If they're nomadic, couldn't you just wait for them to move on and then "conquer" the empty land until they have no where to go which isn't castled and taxed? $\endgroup$
    – Muuski
    Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 22:27

7 Answers 7



Animals that big need a lot of calories. Maybe giants eat huge quantities of plant material like elephants. Even elephants prefer crop plants like corn and melons over grass and bark.

A giant can do more work than a team of horses. Employ them to do agriculture. Pay them with funds they can use to buy the huge quantities of food and beer they need. Once they catch on, pay them with land they can farm themselves. Domesticate them, as civilizations have done with nomads forever.

Then when you need to make war, the giants are your citizens and will share in military obligations with all your other citizens.

  • 35
    $\begingroup$ The most cunning way to capture a people: Capitalism. $\endgroup$
    – Tsugihagi
    Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 13:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Tsugihagi True, it's how Americans got independence if you think about it. $\endgroup$
    – Murphy L.
    Commented Apr 13, 2022 at 18:46


Giants get hooked on drugs more readily than humans due to a neurological quirk, although you still need a pretty big dose. So you get your giants addicted to opium, which you import from a separate region as to prevent them from just taking it from you.

Giants have a very hard time beating addictions because they’re so used to always getting their way, so it’s really hard for them to psychologically resist drug addiction.

Once your giants are hooked, you have them do what you want and pay them in drugs. It’s slavery because they don’t have the free will to actually stop being employed by you.

On a darker note, drug addiction and withholding is a relatively common tactic for organized crime to keep control of trafficked sex workers in real life.

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    $\begingroup$ British be like "EAT THE OPIUM YOU DAMN ORIENTALS". Oh wait... $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 19:59

how big their baby is ?

i think a method to tame elephant can be use here, basically catch the infant put them in chain or shackle and tame them or brainwash them in the process.

when they grow they probably wont even realize that they can remove the shackle easily and can be manipulate easily.

here some copy paste from http://www.stevescottsite.com/how-to-chain-an-elephant, since my english is not good for a proper detail anyway.

Despite their enormous power, elephants can be chained. It doesn’t seem to make sense – what chain is strong enough to hold an elephant who struggles to break it?

The answer is a small one: a small chain fastened to a metal collar around the elephant’s foot is attached to a wooden peg nailed into the ground. This holds the elephant so strongly that it doesn’t ever struggle to break free.

It starts when they’re babies…

Chaining an elephant isn’t as simple as just putting a chain around its leg – an adult elephant would snap that chain without even noticing the effort.

The way to chain an elephant is to start when it’s a baby. You don’t even need a chain – a strong rope will do.

The baby elephant will struggle, but eventually it will realize that it can’t break the rope, and even worse, continuing to struggle creates a painful burn on its leg. The baby elephant learns not to struggle – it accepts that the limit imposed by the rope or chain is permanent, and there is no use struggling against it.

Sure, the elephant grows up, and becomes the most powerful land mammal on the face of the earth. But the chains in its mind remain, and so the chains on its leg are never broken.

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    $\begingroup$ “ But the chains in its mind remain, and so the chains on its leg are never broken.” I wasn’t ready for those feels $\endgroup$
    – user71781
    Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 9:17
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    $\begingroup$ I came for the world building but I never knew I would stay due to mild depression. $\endgroup$
    – MonkeyZeus
    Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 15:47
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    $\begingroup$ On the other hand, there is a dog down our street leashed to a post in its yard. It is determined to eat me. Every time I walk by, it will run to the end of its chain only to choke itself. Hopefully, the giants are smart enough not to forget about the chain but not so smart that they continue to test the chain periodically. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 21:36
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    $\begingroup$ I'm sceptical this idea for elephants will translate to beings of human or near-human intelligence. $\endgroup$
    – fgysin
    Commented Feb 20, 2020 at 14:44

With skin that thick they've got no manual dexterity. Win them over with the sort of goods than can only be produced with nimble fingers -- fine-woven cloth, tools, gadgets -- and build a trading economy that binds them closely to your interests.


Don't capture one giant from the tribe.

Instead, hire the whole tribe (they are as smart as humans). Then spend treasure and resources to flatter them, corrupt them, promote them, and win their loyalty.

THAT will make you a force to be reckoned with.


Politics: Divide and Conquer

Since they live in semi-nomadic tribes, I imagine that some of the tribes... don't get along. Make a deal with the tribe(s) you find to be the least offensive. Woo them with food and drink. Have them go after the other tribes, and capture them for you.

Then, once all the allied giants have captured all of the enemy giants, throw a big feast in celebration. Poison the allied giants' drinks. They will be dead, at which point you have captured all the giants.

You stop them from rebelling with fear. Whilst the allied giants still live, they can put down rebellions. When you throw them away like disposable tissue, it sends a clear message to the captured giants: that the same can be done to them.

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    $\begingroup$ This feels too scorched-earthy. Also the Giants may as well choose to die instead of slaving away $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 20:03
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    $\begingroup$ @VaradMahashabde, earth smells it's best when it's scorched :P $\endgroup$
    – GridAlien
    Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 20:04

A trench wider than the giant's stride and with the inside surrounded with a tripping hazard with a collapsible drawbridge and covered in net.

"Fun" fact. Elephants can't jump. They're too massive. Tripping is potentially fatal for an elephant.

A biologist once described it to me this way, "If a mouse, a human, and an elephant jumped off a twenty story building, the mouse would get up and shake it off immediately after. The human would die, but remain intact. The elephant would explode."

The point was the square inverse law.* The bigger a creature is, scaling up, the more the volume outpaces the directional support. A giant of anything remotely approaching fantasy proportions would not only be unable to jump, but a trip would be fatal and climbing short distances extremely hazardous.

* Explanation of Inverse Square law:

Imagine a child's letter cube.

🞖 -> 1 square tall, 1 square wide, 1 square deep = 1 cube

Now imagine 8 of them arranged into a larger cube.

⊞ -> 2 squares tall, 2 squares wide, 2 squares deep = 8 cubes

The vertical is only doubled, but the volume is octupled. That means it weighs 8 times as much for only being 2 times taller.

That means, direct scaling a giant, if the giant was twice human size (a 'tiny' giant at only twice human size) a bone is only going to be twice as wide (supporting twice as much weight) but it's going to weigh eight time as much. It's muscles and bones, proportionally, have to carry (8/2) 4 times as much weight. So to get a similar experience as your giant, you'd have to have a backpack filled with 3 more of you (to make the total of 4 of you). At that point, you'd roughly feel what it's like to be a twice-scaled-up human.

And that's just double scale. At heights often showing up in fantasy (say, tall enough to climb over a castle wall), their difficulty moving would be ridiculous.


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