The Earth Giants are one of four elemental spirits in the Enchanted Forest, the others being the fire spirit Bruni, the water spirit Nokk, and the wind spirit Gale. They typically only roam the forest at night. During the daytime, they can be found sleeping near a raging river. Their dormant states resemble rocky mountains.
Like the other spirits, the Earth Giants were once on peaceful terms with the Northuldra tribe. When a war between the Northuldra and neighboring Arendellians broke out, however, the Earth Giants became hostile and turned against the humans that brought destruction to their forest. Only by destroying the source of the conflict—a dam commissioned by King Runeard—can the giants be tamed.
The Earth Giants resemble large stone golems. Their bodies are composed mostly of black rock, although some members have hides of moss and lichen growing on their backs.
Role in the film
After taming both Gale and Bruni, Elsa thinks that she can handle the Earth Giants as well, but Anna warns her against pressing her luck. Later, Elsa sends Anna and Olaf drifting down a river, into the Earth Giants' territory. The duo desperately try to keep quiet so not to disturb the spirits, and find an escape route into a cave leading to an underground cavern.
Elsa meanwhile ventures to Ahtohallan and discovers that she is the fifth spirit. She also discovers the source of the conflict between Arendelle and the Northuldra; King Runeard had constructed a dam to weaken the forest’s magic, and he also killed the Northuldra leader. As she discovers this, Elsa ventures too deep into Ahtohallan and begins to freeze. Before she is completely frozen, she manages to inform Anna that it is necessary to destroy the dam in order to free the Enchanted Forest from its curse. Anna draws the attention of the Earth Giants, who grow hostile from being disturbed from their sleep and pursue her towards Runeard's dam, leading them to fling heavy rocks which destroy the structure. With the dam obliterated, the Earth Giants are once again at peace and make amends with the Northuldra and Arendellians. Their first showing of good will at having the dam destroyed and the bane of their rage gone is approaching Anna and Elsa (who had been revived by the destruction of the dam). The lead Earth Giant leans down so Anna and Elsa can touch its nose, showing the newfound peace and support between the spirits and Elsa and thanking them for restoring the unity between Arendelle and the Enchanted Forest. The lead Earth Giant is later seen helping Elsa and the Nokk up a cliff so they can travel to Ahtohallan while watching Ryder Nattura and Honeymaren take their reindeer herd out for a run.
- Unique among the elemental spirits, who each have a sole individual embodying them, the element of Earth is embodied by multiple Earth Giants rather than a single Earth Giant.
- The Earth Giants share similarities with trolls from Scandinavian mythology/folklore. Where as the trolls in the Valley of the Living Rock are based on benevolent depictions of trolls, the Earth Giants are based on depictions of trolls as being giants. Large stones in Scandinavia have been attributed to either being trolls who have turned to stone after being exposed to sunlight or to having been tossed by trolls.
- The directors asked visual development artist Manu Arenas to incorporate elements of the trolls from Valley of the Living Rock into the giants.
- It is very possible that they are also inspired by the Jötunn of Norse/Scandinavian mythology and folklore who are giants often depicted as having power over (or being composed of) rock and frost; even personifying mountains and hillsides in some cases.
- Larger trolls and Jötunn are very similar just as smaller trolls and Huldrefolk ("hidden folk") are very similar. In fact, the names troll and Jötunn have been used interchangeably.
- They may also be inspired by golems, creatures of Hebrew mythology that are created from the earth.
- In real-life European elemental theology, rocks and earth are represented through gnomes rather than giants.
- They are the only spirits Elsa did not tame before the curse was lifted.
- Spirits of Nature
- Knight, Rosie (November 5, 2019). "Frozen 2: Breaking Down the New Characters" (Article). IGN.