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Enigmatic Giant

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Enigmatic Giant
Physical description




Hair color

Brown (as giant, anime)

Personal information


Chronological and political information
First appearance

The Lake of Tears (only appearance)

The Enigmatic Giant was a giant who challenged Lief, Jasmine and Barda to various riddles during their journey to find the Ruby. Originally a large bird, he was turned into a giant after he tried to kill Thaegan.[1]


The giant was originally a large bird that tried and failed to kill Thaegan via deception, with the intent of saving a friend. Thaegan cursed him, transforming the creature into a huge, tan skined man with a pointed nose, golden eyes, and large, curved sword. He is forced to guard a bridge into her territory, asking passersby riddles and allowing only those who are correct to continue, killing those who fail. He must do this until “truth and lies become one”.[1]

The Lake of TearsEdit

The Giant was encountered by Lief, Barda, and Jasmine early in their search for the Ruby. He first questions Jasmine by laying eleven sticks on the ground and telling her to change eleven to nine, without removing any sticks. She solved the problem by arranging the sticks so that they spell the word “Nine”. When she crossed the bridge, the Giant bars Lief and Barda from doing the same, informing them that only one may pass at a time.

Barda told Jasmine to go on, and the Giant decided to question him next. Barda’s riddle is “What is it that a beggar has, that a rich man needs, and that the dead eat?” with Barda answering “Nothing." With Lief left alone, the Giant gave him his riddle in the form of a long, complicated rhyme:

Thaegan gulps her favorite food
In her cave with all of her brood':
Hot, Tot, Jin, Jod,
Fie, Fly, Zan, Zod,
Pik, Snik, Lun, Lod
And the dreaded Ichabod.
Each child holds a slimy toad.
On each toad squirm two fat grubs.
On each grub ride two fleas brave.
How many live in Thaegan’s cave?

Lief added up the numbers: 13 children, 13 toads, 26 grubs, and 52 fleas, totaling 104. He then added Thaegan herself to make 105. The Giant, however, informed him that the correct answer was 106; Thaegan had swallowed a live raven. Lief protested, saying that that was not in the rhyme, but the Giant claims that live raven was her favorite food and that it was none of his concern what Lief knew.

Lief then insulted the Giant, claiming that he deserved his fate for being a trickster in order to toss the Belt of Deltora to safety. Angered by this, the Giant decides to play one last game with Lief, with the following rules: Lief may make on

The Enigmatic Giant's true form.

e statement. If it were true, the Giant would strangle him, if false, he would behead him. Lief answered that the giant would cut his head off, creating a paradox and making truth and lies one.

The Giant was freed of his curse and restored to his true form, a bird, and he flies away. As Lief crossed the bridge, it collapsed, but the restored bird catches him in thanks. He flies off, and is not seen afterward.[1]

Physical appearanceEdit

When in human form, the giant had tanned skin, large, powerful arms, and a hooked nose. His bird form was covered in brown feathers.[1]



The Giant is known for asking riddles of travelers hoping to cross his bridge. When faced by Lief, Barda, and Jasmine, he gives each a separate riddle.

  • The first riddle, answered by Jasmine, is started when the Giant places eleven sticks on the ground, asking her to "Change eleven to nine, without breaking or adding any sticks." She arranges them as to spell the word "nine", and successfully passes the bridge.
  • Barda is asked "What is it that beggars have, that the rich need, and that the dead eat?" for the second riddle. Barda answers "Nothing" and crosses the bridge.
  • Lief's riddle is in the form of a long rhyme (above), which the Giant says twice to be fair. The correct answer is 106; 13 children, 13 toads, 26 grubs, 52 fleas, Thaegan herself, and a live raven in Thaegan's gut (though the Giant omits the last one, assuming that it is common knowledge).
  • After Lief fails to answer his riddle correctly, the Giant tells him to make one last statement: if it is true, he will strangle Lief with his bare hands, if it is false, he will cut off Lief's head. Lief says that his head will be cut off, creating a paradox; if the Giant cuts off his head, the statement will be true, which will mean that the Giant must strangle him, but if the Giant strangles him, Lief's head must be cut off for the false statement. This makes "truth and lies one" and frees the Giant of his curse.

In the anime, because of language and other differences, the riddles are significantly altered. He shrieks in pain and frustration when the riddles are solved and each question has a time limit, in the form of a large hourglass the Giant summons by snapping his fingers. Only the Giant's last "game" with Lief is unchanged.

  • Jasmine's riddle is to take five sticks and, without removing any of them, make three. She does so in the same manner as her book version solves her riddle, arranging the sticks into the shape of a calculator-style number 3. The Giant asks this question to the group as a whole as opposed to Jasmine alone, but neither Lief nor Barda have a clue as to the answer.
  • Barda's question is completely different. He is shown five wooden tablets with a different, strange symbol on each and is told to arrange them in order. Barda is frustrated and stumped until he sees his sword's reflection in a nearby puddle. He cuts the tablets in two with his sword, revealing that they were the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 combined with their mirror image. With the tablets now numbering ten total, Barda is allowed to pass.
  • Lief's riddle is still a rhyme, but it is now sung by the giant only once. The rhyme is also altered slightly. It is:
Sorceress Thaegan gulps her favorite food
In her cave with all her brood.
And the names of her children are:
Hot, Tot, Jin, Jod,
Fie, Fly, Zan, Zod, Pik, Snik,
Lun, Lod and of course the dreaded Ichabod.
Each child holds a slimy toad,
On each toad squirms two fat grubs,
On each grub rides two fleas brave.
Here's my riddle and so beware,
Answer this riddle now if you dare.
How many things are living in Thaegan's cave?

Lief repeats the song to himself, adding up the same numbers as in the book. He initially gives the answer 104, but takes it back and adds Thaegan, revising his answer as 105. He is wrong for the same reason as his old book-self; Thaegan had eaten a live crow, which the Giant claims he should have known already.[1]



Deltora QuestEdit

Deltora Quest 1Edit


The Gian'ts role in the anime is the same as the book. However, the riddles he presented to Jasmine and Barda are different. Jasmine was told to arrange five sticks into three without removing any. She does this by arranging them into the symbol 3. Barda is told to arrange several strange tiles in the correct order. At first he was confused and tried to fight the giant, but after seeing the reflection of his sword in the water, realized the answer and cuts the tiles in half, showing they were mirror images of actual numbers. Lief's riddle remains the same, though with a few added lyrics. Also, the bridge does not give way when Lief freed him, so he promises to repay the dept later.

He returned to save Lief during the battel between the Resistance and the forces of the Shadow Lord, and aided him in an aerial battle with the seven Ak-Baba.


  • In the anime, the Giant eyes are on either side of his head and he always looks ahead with his head tilted, one eye facing forward, in much the same way as birds do for he was a bird himself before Thaegan hexed him.
  • The English translation of the Japanese Anime version of the riddle is: 'Witch Tegan has a pot; And she cooks children in it; The names of the children are; Mato, Toto, Jini; Jito, Freni, Brini; Zano, Soto, Pikani, Sunik, Rani, Roto; And the last one has a gift; The frog time the children; Two worms times them both; Two fleas times the grubs; Now, now, how many things are in Tegan's pot?
  • Lief's riddle might be based on "As I was going to St Ives" published in c. 1730


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Rodda, Emily. The Lake of Tears. Scholastic Australia. 2001.

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