This said that the wizard Merlin made a giant called Grandgousier from the bones of a whale and the blood of Sir Lancelot. He made a giantess called Gargamelle from a whale's bones and Guinevere's nail clippings. The whale bones were from whales of the appropriate sexes for making sure the giants were male and female. Their son was Gargantua.
But where did the romancer get his ideas? Gargantua may, in fact, be based on a giant from Breton folklore. This giant was called Gwrgam and was lame. In Welsh folklore there is a lame giant called Gwrgnt, who is probably the same character.
Whether the giant Gargam was a god in origin we cannot say. This may, indeed, have been the case. Celtic heroes in the Middle Ages were often based on Celtic gods and the same could well be true of the occasional giant. The Welsh and Bretons both descend from the ancient Britons and their languages are allied.
|Gargantua by Gustav Doré|