Being giants, they are literally giant humans in appearance, although many giants seen have been noted as having more exaggerated proportions and features than most humans. They are so large that when they cry, their tears can cause large areas on the ground to appear flooded. Many giants from Elbaf are based on Vikings in both design and beliefs, though there are also giants from elsewhere that do not share that theme such as Jaguar D. Saul who told Nico Robin not to mistake him for the brutes of Elbaf. Marine Vice Admiral John Giant was born in Elbaf, but being sold to the Marines by Carmel at a young age, he did not show any beliefs from his former brethren.
They are not to be confused with large-sized humans such as the Franky Family's Kairiki Destroyers or Bartholomew Kuma. To a giant, these large humans are no more than "oversized ants." Large-sized humans at their tallest reach knee-height of a giant, a normal human only reaches as high as the ankle in comparison. Edward Newgate, a large-sized human, has shown that his entire body is barely taller than the giant Ronse's head alone. Normal giants are 12 meters tall at minimum, while the tallest known human, Charlotte Linlin, is only eight and a half meters tall.
Certain giants, such as Oars and his descendant Oars Jr., are bigger than average giants by roughly four times that of an average giant and grow horns out of their heads, and can have unique skin colors as well (such as pink or yellow). However, Sanjuan Wolf is even larger than them, being as big as the Marineford headquarters building and is considered to be one of a kind among giants due to his massive size.
|Jaguar D. Saul †||Oars †||Little Oars Jr. *||Sanjuan Wolf||Morley|
|Bobby ≠||Pogo ≠||Big Pan *||Sebastian * ≠|
|Road||Goldberg||Gerth||John Giant ‡||Dorry ‡|
|Brogy ‡||Jarl *||Jorl †||Raideen *||Eiri *|
|????? *||????? *||????? *||????? *||Blyue ≠|
|Panz Fry ≠||Lily Enstomach ≠|
- †: the character is deceased.
- *: the character's status is unknown. Hovering the symbol may give further details.
- ≠: the character is non-canon.
- ‡: the character is no longer part of this group. Hovering the symbol may give further details.
Giants have a much greater lifespan than all other races, and are able to live for at least three times longer than human beings. Giants age moderately slower than normal in youth and childhood, but seem to slow down thereafter. Hajrudin resembled an older pre-adolescent child at the age of 18; as a giant in his early 80's in the present day, he has full color in his hair and does not look considerably younger than Dorry and Brogy, who are almost twice as old. Jorl and Jarl are the oldest known giants at almost three and a half centuries old, and have the appearance of old men. They are also frail, as Jorl died after being thrown to the ground because his body could not take that kind of injury.
- Wotans: Giants are known to interbreed with fishmen - the resulting offspring of such a union is known as a wotan. Though wotans are larger than most fishmen, and huge by human standards, they are still uniformly smaller than actual giants.
During the Straw Hats adventure on the island of Punk Hazard, they encountered the giant bones of a corpse resembling the giants of Oars and Oars Jr. Coincidentally, the front gates housed a logo showing the image of the same giant skull with horns. The island was the home for many experiments in creating artificial giants for the World Government's use; a practice that had been passed down hundreds of years, that had often disastrous results. When Trafalgar Law explains about the experiments, a figure of a giant resembling Oars is shown.
The procedure of gigantification has been unsuccessful for many centuries due to the complexity. Even Vegapunk, the leading scientist of the Marines, had failed in his attempt. His rival Caesar Clown had more success, but his unethical procedures requires the recipients to be at a childhood age, and the side effects of continuous experiments placed their lives in mortal peril, and they would have died had they not been rescued. In light of this, it is unlikely that successful gigantification would grant the same extended lifespan to its subjects that giants enjoy.
About a hundred years ago, after the infamous Giant Warrior Pirates lost their captains, some members of the crew were captured by the Marines and was about to be executed before Carmel saved them as a "message from heavens" and opened an orphanage on Elbaf to build a bridge of friendship between humans and giants.
Generally, giants seem to get along fine with other races, though many humans think twice about upsetting them. Normally, they seem very casual, lighthearted, and friendly towards just about everyone despite their size. Though a different race, they are still regarded as "men" by humans, noting there is a respectful acceptance between them and humans. However, Carmel claimed that they would have formed an army and waged war against the rest of humanity had members of the Giant Warrior Pirates been publicly executed by the Marines, showing that friction between races did exist.
The giants have tremendous hatred towards the Yonko Charlotte Linlin. Big Mom takes pride in her empire, Totto Land, as a multi-species utopia where every manner of sentient race co-exist in fair harmony, yet there is not a single giant living in its territories. This stems from Linlin's actions as a 5 year old child. Linlin lived among the orphans of the Sheep's House on Elbaf, where she was originally accepted by the native giants. However, Linlin failed to control her food cravings during the 12-day fast the giants undertake before the Winter Solstice, devastating the village that half-adopted her and fatally injuring the legendary giant hero Jorl. This fateful event would spread far and wide throughout Elbaf and beyond, resulting in every giant in the world, even those not of Elbaf, to hate Linlin for her actions. This only worsened when she caused the deaths of Carmel and the orphans of Sheep's House, which led the giants to scorn Linlin so much that speaking her name has became a taboo. Many years later, Linlin attempted a reconciliation via a political marriage between her 23rd daughter Lola and the giant Prince Loki. The attempt ended in disaster, as Lola fled the marriage and Linlin tried to pass off her twin sister Chiffon in her place, a failed deception that only deepened the distrust from the giants. Linlin then ultimately gave up on trying to befriend the giants and decided to pursue the artificial manufacture of giants. Despite this, she remains furious over the entire situation to current times, and cannot help but express it whenever the topic is broached, as evidenced when Vinsmoke Judge mentioned the giants' apparent absence in Totto Land's racial panoply. Publicly, Linlin seems to be in denial, as she swiftly suppressed her anger and told Judge that he might have just missed them. Also despite giving up on bridging this gap, Linlin remains attached to the proud nation of giants, going as far as to name one of her attacks Spear of Elbaf: Ikoku, which is similar to the giants Dorry and Brogy's attack Hakoku.
Carmel has managed to earn immense admiration and respect among the giant community, since she saved the members of the Giant Warrior Pirates from a public execution, and the citizens of Elbaf welcomed her onto their island with open arms. In fact, their respect for her was great enough for them to spare Charlotte Linlin's life at Carmel's request despite their new found hatred towards Linlin for her atrocious actions of destroying their village and killing Jorl. Although Carmel was simply acting with the Marines in order to sneak into Elbaf in order to sell children, the giants never learned of her true nature. In fact, sometime after Carmel and the Sheep's House children moved to another island, one giant was worried about them and went out of his way to check up on them, only to be horrified by the events that caused Carmel and the orphans to disappear. It was Carmel's death that intensified the giants hatred towards Linlin.
They are a strong and almost unstoppable race. An average human cannot stand up to them, making them both ideal guards and deadly warriors. Throughout the series, characters are regularly aware of just what the power of a giant is. Oars' strength was said to be powerful enough to move continents, and his fearsome reputation was one of the attractions for Moriah that led to his desire to gain the corpse of both him and his descendant Oars Jr. to use their power to become the Pirate King. Big Mom believed that had she managed to gain the army of Elbaf, she would have been able to defeat the other three Yonko and become the Pirate King herself. Saul had lifted up and smashed a number of the large Buster Call fleet ships during the destruction of Ohara. He had been noted to have more strength than an average giant. In fact, many giants are servants of the World Government and the Marines, enforcing the latter as one of the Three Great Powers. Their overall strength is the primary aspect that the World Government is conducting research on Gigantification, in the hopes of creating their own giants. When Carmel brought on the possibility that Elbaf might form an army to declare war against the world for execution of their Giant Warrior Pirates members, the Marines released the captives in fear of such a possible event, a fear they did not show even in the advent of war against the entire Whitebeard Pirates 100 years later.
At Enies Lobby, the sight of seeing the giants Oimo and Kashi made the Franky Family comment on how using giants was "unfair". The Marines have an entire squad consisting of giants, and these giants were placed in charge of guarding Ace's execution platform. When they were ordered to prepare themselves, the pirates advancing took note of the incoming giants and warned each other that "the big-boys are advancing". They also have many other giants as high-ranking officers.
Just as large-sized humans have an advantage against "normal" humans, large-sized giants like Oars have a huge advantage against "normal" giants. Large-sized humans, even those with great strength, are usually just too weak to take on a giant, as Oimo and Kashi proved to the Kairiki Destroyers. Most giants thus far have either been taken down by the strongest of the human fighters or by tactics. Thus far, the most common method to take them down is by using one giant against another as seen with Oars Jr., Oimo, and Brogy. Oimo and Kashi were taken down by the joint efforts of Galley-La, Zambai, and Sodom and Gomorrah. While Sodom and Gomorrah had the strength and size almost equal to the giants, the others who aided them had used more tactical efforts such as pinning down Kashi's face when he fell, and using Oimo to deal a knock-out blow to his partner. Mr. 3 had to devise a plan in order to take down Brogy and Dorry. While he took down Dorry by using an explosion in his stomach (Brogy had finished him off), the giant had survived. During the Sabaody Archipelago Arc, the kidnapping group known as the Coffee Monkeys reported that they only captured their giant because he was asleep.
They are often shown surviving being hit by cannon blasts and explosions, which usually simply knocked them down temporary and they come out with only minor injuries. Even when suffering major injuries, they still have some life left in them to fight again. Perhaps due to their size, they also have greater resistance to diseases that would kill humans. At Enies Lobby, when the allies of the Straw Hats appeared to have been wiped out by the Buster Call fleet, whose cannons are able to wipe out whole islands with their cannon blasts, it was revealed that Oimo and Kashi had taken the brunt of the attack, yet they were largely unaffected with no visible injuries. Saul had also taken several hits of cannon fire while on Ohara from Buster Call shots, although the ships used in that incident were not as strong as the Enies Lobby incident. Oars Jr. had taken many hits by cannon fire before he was initially taken out by the Shichibukai Kuma, Doflamingo, and Moriah. Despite his severely injured state, Oars Jr. had just enough strength to take Whitebeard to the plaza where one final cannon blast finished him off. Despite the fact that they survive these blasts, they will still feel the pain from the impact even if it does not topple them.
It should be taken into account that when a giant goes on a rampage, there is a general fear from the weakest of men, as very little can stop a giant normally and seemingly even less when one is angry. As equal as they make for dangerous guards and enforcers, they likewise make for dangerous criminals and such giants end up in the lower levels of Impel Down, even as far down as level 6.
However, while they are incredibly strong, their size is also their biggest disadvantage. The larger giants such as Oars and Oars Jr. are so big that they make for easy targets during battles. Another disadvantage is space, as giants need room to maneuver themselves without damaging buildings or stepping on allies. Notably, no giant so far has been known to have eaten a Devil Fruit (with the exceptions of Blyue and Lily Enstomach, who are both non-canon), making them one of the most physically reliant races in the world. This can also put them at a disadvantage as they have no alternative ways of fighting. However, they do use weapons of their choice to effectively increase damage. Additionally, while no giant has demonstrated Haki, at least four giants (John Giant, Saul, Ronse, and Lacroix) have achieved the rank of vice admiral in the Marines, and some degree of proficiency in Haki is said to be a requirement of that rank. Furthermore, the giant who was chained together with Silvers Rayleigh during his time as a slave in the Human Auction House was able to discern the latter's use of Haki when Rayleigh used it to render Disco unconscious. Therefore, it must be concluded that giants are not only aware but also capable of manifesting Haki. Also, they are not above trying to intake a Devil Fruit power, as Hajrudin once attempted to gain the Mera Mera no Mi.
One should also take into account that the giants seen thus far seem fearless of Sea Kings (even seen hunting them), a remarkable note as fishmen are wary of them and careless mermaids (such as Keimi) may fall prey to their jaws.
The majority of giants seen so far believe that to die in battle is a great honor, and that duels are sacred battles between the strong to determine who wins the favor of the Gods of Elbaf. Upon returning to Elbaf after a victorious battle, the winners are treated as heroes. By contrast, Elbaf giants see any other kind of death as a terrible disgrace, and those who inflict such a death upon a giant as evil and criminal. When the veteran warrior Jorl died after being thrashed by his beard by the young Charlotte Linlin, the entire giant race was filled with disgust and spite towards her.
However, not all giants believe that fighting and dying in battle is a great honor. For example, Jaguar D. Saul considers the Elbaf giants' lust for battle "barbaric" while expressing that gentle giant races do indeed exist outside Elbaf, and dislikes it when others believe that all giants are warriors like those of Elbaf. Although not all giants are from Elbaf, and some of such rejecting the battle-oriented beliefs, they nevertheless are able to sympathize with their brethren from Elbaf, as they too came to hate Charlotte Linlin for the unprecedented destruction she brought unto that proud nation, particularly when she killed the elder giant hero, Jorl, and later causing the deaths of Mother Carmel and Sheep's House's orphans, leading to their absolute absence in her empire Totto Land.
The Elbaf denizens also believe in offering their thanks to the sun, by fasting for 12 days before a great feast, a tradition known as the Winter Solstice Festival. Linlin's rampage that ruined the traditional fasting made Jorl declare that she was not fit to pay thanks to the sun.
Due to their exceedingly long lifespan, giants tend to treat time differently to humans. Where spending 50 years on a single mundane task would be a waste of a human lifetime, 50 years is only 1/6 of a giant's typical lifespan. As such, a vow that demands a giant spend decades on a single task can be seen as "nothing" by them.
- The land of Elbaf, and by extension the majority of giants, are strongly themed around Norsemen.
- Giant pirate and mercenary crews sail in Vikings longships scaled to their massive proportions, and wear historic and mythic Viking attire.
- Many artifacts and techniques are named after elements of Norse myth; for instance, Hajrudin's ship is named after Naglfar, and he used a technique called Gungnir during his fight against Machvise.
- Other races can grow to the same scale as giants, as seen in Wadatsumi's and Shirahoshi's cases.
- Charlotte Linlin was born as a regular human, but her size was comparable to an actual giant (with strength surpassing even their standards), putting her in a class above typical "large-sized/oversized humans".
- John Giant is the first giant to be enlisted into the Marines.
- Giant — Wikipedia article about fictional giants.
- Giants — Monstrous.com article about fictional giants.
- Giant — Monstropedia article about fictional giants.
- Viking — Wikipedia article about the culture the majority of giants are based on.
- The Viking Network - Site about Vikings.