Fantasy settings frequently include giants or dragons or similar creatures with human-like or superior intelligence who are also much larger than humans, and weigh many tons. If our giants or dragons live in or near human-majority settlements, they need vastly more living space to achieve the same quality of life, and all land is claimed by one nation or other, so gaining living space is a matter of buying it, renting it or taking it by force.
The other obstacle to their participation in human society is the high cost of consumables. Let's say that in fantasy biology land, their energy use is proportional to the square of their height. A 5m giant needs approximately 12,500 food calories per day at a minimum, and one doing physical labour could easily consume 25,000 calories per day. A 10m dragon doing physical labour could consume 100,000 calories per day. This is extended to most things they need to buy, which are huge, and so require more labour and materials to produce.
- Because Magic, for the purpose of this question, they don't fall foul of the square-cube law. Their bones and muscles are proportionally stronger and more efficient than those of humans.
- Despite their large size and high energy consumption, they have no particular issues with thermoregulation, although they generally prefer colder climes.
- They have no inherent magical abilities other than this.
- Unlike in many works, they have no more propensity towards good or evil than humans.
- Their lifespans and birth rates are proportionally adjusted with their height. 5m giants live two and a half times longer than humans, but give birth two and a half times less often.
- Their populations are low. Humans outnumber them fifty to one.
- They are no more or less intelligent than humans, but their long lifespans mean they are able eventually gain more skills and knowledge.
- Their prehistoric population densities were low, due to the large amount of land required to support their hunter-gatherer lifestyle. By the time humans and giants realised that they were both intelligent, their populations were roughly colocated. Because of this, human civilisation grew around their small isolated tribes, and the notion of land ownership was impressed upon them as they were unable to practically control enough territory to form independent nations without human collaboration.
In a preindustrial society, what roles could these creatures take to cover their humungous living expenses? How badly would they be hit by industrialisation?
This question considers architecture, but not economy, so is only partially relevant here.