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That's not the Archer of Azzure!

The term "Golden-eyed giant" has not been confirmed by official sources and is merely conjecture.

Enigmatic Giant (anime)
Golden-eyed giant
Biographical information

Presumably alive

Physical description




Eye colour


Hair colour

Brown (as giant, anime)

Personal information


Weapon of choice

Curved sword (formerly)

Chronological and political information

Bridge guardian (formerly)

First appearance

The Lake of Tears (only appearance)

The golden-eyed 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 who tried and failed to kill Thaegan via deception, with the intent of saving a friend. Thaegan cursed him, transforming the creature into a huge dark skinned man with a large, curved sword. He was forced to guard a bridge into her territory, asking passersby riddles and allowing only those who are correct to continue and killing those who fail until “truth and lies are one”.[1]

The Lake of Tears[]

The giant encountered Lief, Barda, and Jasmine early in their search for the Ruby. He blocked their access to his bridge until they answered his riddles. He first questioned 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 spelled the word “Nine”. When she crossed the bridge, the giant barred Lief and Barda from doing the same, informing them that only one of them could pass at a time.

Barda told Jasmine to go on, and the giant asked him “What is it that a beggar has, that a rich man needs, and that the dead eat?” Barda correctly answered “Nothing." With Lief left alone, the giant gave him his riddle in the form of a long, complicated rhyme:

Bird form Enigmatic Giant (anime)

The giant's true form, as it appears in the Deltora Quest anime.

Thaegan gulps her favourite 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?

The giant recited the riddle twice. Lief added up the numbers: 13 children, 13 toads, 26 grubs, and 52 fleas, totaling 104. He then added Thaegan herself and announced the answer as 105. The giant informed him that the correct answer was 106; Thaegan's favourite food was a live raven, swallowed whole. Lief protested that it was not in the rhyme, but the giant claimed that it was none of his concern what Lief knew.

Methods of demise

The giant's options for Lief's death, as seen in the anime.

Lief then insulted the giant, claiming that he deserved his fate for being a trickster - though Lief did this to buy time in order to toss the Belt of Deltora to safety. Angered by Lief's words, the giant decided to play one last game with Lief, with the following rules: Lief may make one 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 as a bird, and took off. As Lief crossed the bridge, it collapsed, but the restored bird caught him in thanks and as a way of repaying his debt. The bird then flew off to join with the other birds circling the canyon.[1]

Giant and Lief

The giant and Lief as depicted in the anime.


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]


Eleven sticks

The eleven sticks.



The riddle's solution.

The giant asks riddles of travellers hoping to cross his bridge. When he faced Lief, Barda, and Jasmine, he gave each a separate riddle.

  • In the first riddle, which Jasmine answered, the giant places eleven sticks on the ground, and asks her to "Change eleven to nine, without removing any sticks." She arranges them as to spell the word "nine" and crosses 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, 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.[1]



Deltora Quest[]

Deltora Quest 1[]

Deltora Quest anime[]



The giant's hourglass from the anime.

The giant's role in the anime is the nearly same as in the book. However, 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 the giant sings it only once. The rhyme is also altered slightly. It is:
Sorceress Thaegan gulps her favourite 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 the numbers. 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 book-self; Thaegan had eaten a live crow, which the giant claims he should have known already.

After Lief freed the giant, the bridge does not give way when Lief tried to cross it, so the giant promises to repay the debt later.

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

Strangely, the giant was able to speak when in bird-form, or at least communicate telepathically with Lief, something he never did in the book.


  • In the anime, the giant's 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 1.5 Rodda, Emily. The Lake of Tears. Scholastic Australia. May 29, 2000.

See also[]