Jack the Giant-Killer

Real Name

John Good

First Appearance

Eighteenth‐Century British folkore

Original Publisher


Created by

the Britons


Jack the Giant-Killer is a brave boy who lived during the reign of King Arthur. After a local giant named Cormoran raids his family's farm and steals their livestock, Jack decides to kill the creature, who lives in a cave by the sea. Jack sets out with nothing but farm tools as weapons, and an old horse named Dobbin. Although nobody takes him seriously, he manages to lure the giant into a hole and kill it with a pick to the head. After gaining a reputation as a "giant-killer," Jack is captured by the vengeful Blunderbore. However, Jack manages to escape and slay Blunderbore and his brother, Rebecks.

At this point, Jack becomes the servant of King Arthur's son, and goes on to slay more giants, dragons and demons (including the two-headed giant Thunderdel and Galigantus), eventually becoming a knight of the round table. He marries the daughter of a duke he rescued from captivity, in the court of King Arthur.

During the course of his adventures, Jack uses many weapons, including axe, sword and pick.  He also obtains magical items including a magic sword, a cloak of invisibility, a cap of knowledge and magical shoes of swiftness.

Public Domain Literary Appearances

Elfin Jack, the Giant‐Killer

  • The History of Jack and the Giants (1711)
  • A Little Pretty Pocket-Book (1744)
  • The last Speech of John Good, vulgarly called Jack the Giant-Queller (1745)
  • The Home Treasury (1842)
  • “Elfin Jack, the Giant‐Killer,” by Joel S. Stacy (pseudonym of Mary Mapes Dodge), St. Nicholas, vol. 1, no. 5, Mar. 1874. Elf version of the folk hero, who kills a hornet, a worm, a spider and a snail, all giants to him. (Internet Archive) (Google Books)
  • English Fairy Tales (1890)
  • The Fairy Ring (1910)

Public Domain Comic Appearances

  • Fairy Tale Parade #2: The original tale of Jack the Giant Killer.
  • Jack the Giant Killer #1: A 20th century boy named Jack Brown is taken back in time by Merlin to experience the adventures of Jack the Giant Killer.
  • Crack Comics #48: "Jack the Giant Killer" makes his beanstalk grow with the help of Thor, God of Thunder.

Public Domain Film Appearances

  • Jack, the Giant Killer (1912)


The character should not be confused with Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk for, although being similarly named and both vanquishing giants, they are NOT one and the same.

See Also

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