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We wait for the giant to fall asleep. And when he does, we'll sneak past him into his cave. It’s where the treasures are – where the compass lies.
Hook to Emma src

The Giants' Lair is an Enchanted Forest location featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It first appears in the sixth episode of the second season.

The Giants' Lair is based on the location of the same name from the folktale, "Jack and the Beanstalk".


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Before First Curse

The giants live in a castle on the very top of a colossal beanstalk. They once traded magic beans with humans. However, after humans began to use the magic beans for conquering other worlds, the giants stopped trading. Since then, the giants have grown magic beans in secret and harvested them as a means to keep them from human hands. Anton, the smallest giant out of all his brothers, has a fascination with human instruments, and he cannot understand why magic beans must be kept secret. When his brother, Abraham, deliberately crushes his golden harp, an upset Anton flees home and climbs down the beanstalk to the human world.

Soon, his appearance catches the eye of King George, and he sends his son, James, to investigate. Since the kingdom's coffers are almost depleted, James and his companion, Jack, conspire to gain the giant's trust and steal magic beans. The pair befriend Anton, who becomes sympathetic to their kingdom's debts and wants to help. Anton rushes up the beanstalk to procure treasures for his friends; not knowing that Jack and James have led a human army to ambush the giants. Using poisoned swords, the humans kill the giants while Anton's brother, Arlo, tells him to destroy all the beans. During the ensuing battle, Arlo is injured by Jack's sword, but he takes the weapon and stabs her with it as well. As the poison slips through her body, Jack calls to James for help, though he callously leaves her behind and descends the beanstalk with amassed treasures. Anton, with Arlo in his last moments, is given the last bean stalk to regrow magic beans one day. ("Tiny")

Forever changed from losing his whole family, Anton grows to hate humans. In the human world, the legend of Jack becomes twisted into a heroic tale of a male warrior who waged war against "evil" giants, who apparently grew magic beans to plunder other lands. The tale speaks of all the giants dying during the conflict, except for one, the biggest and most terrible giant, who survived and killed Jack. ("Tallahassee")

After First Curse

After a mishap lands Emma and Mary Margaret into the Enchanted Forest, they find allies in Mulan and Aurora. Due to similar goals, the foursome find themselves trusting a man named Hook, who claims he knows of a magic compass's whereabouts on top of a giant's beanstalk that is necessary for the return to Storybrooke. Powered by enchanted bracelets, Hook can only take one other person with him up the beanstalk, to which Emma consents. To get past the giant, Mulan gives Emma a pouch of poppy dust. During the climb, Hook tells Emma about the story of Jack and the giants, in which the evil giants grew magic beans to plunder other lands. The conflict ended when a human, Jack, led war against them, although the giants destroyed the beans. He also mentions there is only one giant left that guards a hoard of stolen treasure. Atop the beanstalk, Hook sounds a gong, which draws out the giant, who Emma knocks out with poppy dust. While the pair venture inside the giant's home, Anton awakens and goes to confront the intruders. His movements cause a quake, in which Hook is buried under rubble; leaving Emma to deal with the giant. Eventually, she gains Anton's trust and he gives her the compass. Distrustful of Hook, Emma enlists Anton to hold him off, and to ensure this, she shackles the pirate, so she can have a head start. ("Tallahassee")

At some point after this, Cora shrinks and traps Anton into a cage aboard a ship as she and Hook sail for Storybrooke. ("Tiny")


Popular Culture

Props Notes

  • One of the enormous shields left in the courtyard (the one that Captain Hook bangs on with a bone to lure out the giant), where "the final battle" took place, has a ship rudder embossed on it.[2] ("Tallahassee")


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.

See also


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