A mythological giant in sixteenth-century French literature, found in a number of texts. Two of these so-called “Gargantuan Chronicles” are Arthurian.
Gargantua’s father, Grandgosier, had been created by Merlin from a bull whale’s bones and a phial of Lancelot’s blood. His mother, Gargamelle, was created similarly from the bones of a cow whale and ten pounds of Guenevere’s finger nails clippings. This impossible being, born of impossible parents, was obviously a simple derivation of the word ‘gargantuan’.
Merlin raised Gargantua and brought him to Arthur’s court, who supplied him with a sixty-foot club. Gargantua once had an encounter with Tom Thumb who placed him under an enchantment. The giant served Arthur for two centuries. At the end of his career, Gargantua was taken to Avalon by Morgan le Fay.
Les Croniques Admirables du Puissant Roy Gargantua | c. 1534