In the S6E9 we see a rather impressive battle.

Ramsay Snow has battle advantage, so for Jon Snow it is obvious to make his warriors useful as much as possible. But we see that a giant, who can be worth a hundred men, does not use any weapons at all. Is it so difficult to give him a club from a tree trunk and a big shield? Previously as I remember giants used huge bows at least.

So is there any reason not to give a weapon to the giant? According to books or maybe screenplay if I've missed it.

  • It doesn't seem that giants are crafty in that way, so a wildling would have to make the giant-sized battle equipment. Not sure there would be enough demand and available skillset to equip giants. Jul 6 '16 at 20:59
  • He used the enemy as a club. Does that count
    – Naib
    Jul 9 '16 at 6:48
  • @PoloHoleSet We know first-hand such "crafted" weapons already exist, as Dongo uses a massive bow during the Battle of Castle Black. Mar 13 '17 at 10:30
  • @b1nary.atr0phy - yes, an attack that was years and years in the making, with time to organize and equip or maybe bring items from the homeland. After they were defeated at Castle Black? Who there has experience in making giant-sized armor and weapons? Are we assuming that the giants made their own weapons, themselves? Why are we assuming that? Human warriors generally don't make their own armaments, they have craftsmen who especially make them. Most of that expertise would be lost or left behind in the chaos of fighting, losing, then fleeing their homelands. Mar 21 '17 at 16:22
  • @PoloHoleSet Your comment specifically claimed that "giants aren't crafty in that way," which is clearly false. Feel free to make assumptions about anything you like, but I'm dealing in verifiable facts here, not speculation. Apr 14 '17 at 20:47

From this wiki, you can read that they can use crude weapons.

In the books, it is mentioned more than once that they usually use tree trunks. I think it is mentioned once that they can tie a boulder at the end of the tree trunk to make a some sort of crude maul.

In the series they did not do it. I can speculate two reasons why the directors did not let him get a tree trunk.

  1. Shooting scenes with giants is not easy. One of the directors said having a man and digitally making it 4 meters is not good enough. So, they hired the tallest actors available, made him large by some foam suit and they got something about 2.5 meters. Only then they digitally enhance it to 4 meters. So, a club, i.e., a tree trunk over there might simply be too much work or might not look realistic.

  2. Giants can follow clear commands but lack the intelligence. A battle in fact is not only about brute force, but about fighting in formation. This requires more capability, trust and discipline. With a tree trunk, Wun Wun might unintentionally hurt his allies. As a similar information, you can check here how elephants running amok affects battles and how it is prevented.

  • But for some reason not in the important battle?
    – Gino Pane
    Jul 6 '16 at 18:06
  • Ok, I'll improve my answer :)
    – user65648
    Jul 6 '16 at 18:10
  • @GinoPane I think this form is more to your liking.
    – user65648
    Jul 6 '16 at 18:19
  • 4
    However, Wun-Wun has already used a tree trunk as a weapon, in the season 5 episode "Hardhome". Another giant has used a huge bow, and in GoT, while silent, they aren't stupid.
    – Petersaber
    Jul 6 '16 at 18:34
  • @Petersaber Good point! However the directors were already complaining about how long it took to shoot that scene, with seventy horses, so many special affects etc. Maybe they just did not want to bother with that. Or it might still be the second reason.
    – user65648
    Jul 6 '16 at 18:39

Like C. Koca said, giants are mentioned to use weapons, both is the books and in GoT (for example, think of the battle against the army of the dead at Hardhome, in the episode called ... Hardhome). So we got this fact : Giants use weapons, and, given their size and strength, a single giant with a tree thrunk would have destroyed the whole Bolton formation.

What I see is a scenaristic convenience. Of course, we can still search for reasons why Jon Snow might have chosen not to give him a tree trunk, but the series in itself doesn't provide one. As we clearly see the same giant use a crude maul in the Hardhome battle, the series don't give elements about him being to stupid to distinguish his foes from his allies for example.

So my guess is : Jon Snow's situation had to be super desperate before the Vale's knights' intervention. The salvation had to come from them. The Bolton's formation was great at rendering this situation : the brave but unorganized wildlings were trapped, had no possibility to actually fight, were just being butchered.

Put a 4 or 5 meters hight giant waving a tree trunk in the equation, and their testudo formation is gone.

The giant could have died before the melee, killed by the cavalry, but he was needed as a convenient (and rather badass) way to break Winterfell's doors.

So the scenarists had to make his impact minor until this point. Not giving him a weapon, thus lowering his reach, was a great way to do this, while being less absurd than Jon Snow fighting without his sword for example.

  • "the series don't give elements about him being to stupid to distinguish his foes from his allies for example." To be fair, that's not a matter of intelligence. Friendly fire is a fact of war. Even more so during large-scale, heated battles. And the larger the weapon you use (like a bullet versus a bomb, or a sword versus a tree trunk) the greater the chance of collateral damage. Mar 13 '17 at 10:45
  • In a close battle, as opposed to attacking a giant wall, the precision of using one's own hands vs waving a tree around could make the difference between a ton of collateral damage vs. little to none. Also, having broken down the gate at Castle Black, the tree would probably have to be discarded because it wouldn't fit into the tunnels below, possibly, so crude giant-sized weapons would still be a situational prospect, as well. Mar 21 '17 at 16:27

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