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Karkus was the Gurg of the last known remaining giant colony on Earth.


Karkus presided over the effective extinction of their species when his people began fighting and wiping each other out, and they were forced to live (by wizards) in a dip beside a mountain lake between four extremely high mountains in Russia, leaving them no choice but to stick together for their own protection. Karkus was described as being twenty-three feet tall, the weight equivalent of a couple of bull elephants and having skin like rhino hide. He was a lazy giant who spent his days lying in the centre of a valley with his wife and waiting to be fed by the other giants.

In 1995, Rubeus Hagrid and Olympe Maxime, at Albus Dumbledore's request, journeyed to the colony to serve as envoys to the giants, in the hopes of making peace with them and securing their allegiance against Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters, before Voldemort could convince them to join his side. After a month's trek, the envoys found them, and carefully approached Karkus the next day, identifying him as the Gurg because he was the biggest, ugliest and laziest, sitting there waiting to be brought food by the others, such as dead goats.[1]

Karkus, at the time, was lying by the lake roaring at the others to feed him and his wife, when the envoys approached. Karkus received gifts of magic (which is favoured amongst his people), the first being a branch of Gubraithian Fire (or Everlasting Fire), bewitched by Dumbledore to burn forever more, which is something that not just any wizard can do. Hagrid proceeded to lay the branch down in the snow by Karkus' feet and said "A gift to the Gurg of the giants from Albus Dumbledore, who sends his respectful greetings". Karkus did not speak English, but knew enough to yell for a couple of giants who did and translated for the envoys. Once he understood what it was, Karkus liked the present. Hagrid then told the very pleased Karkus that "Albus Dumbledore asks the Gurg to speak with his messenger when he returns tomorrow with another gift", and departed. He wanted to take things slowly so he didn't overload Karkus with information.[1]

The following morning, Hagrid and Maxime returned, and Karkus was waiting for them, sitting up and looking eager. Karkus was then presented with a goblin-made, indestructible battle-helmet, and then sat down and talked with Hagrid and Maxime. Karkus and the other giants didn't talk much, but Karkus had heard of Dumbledore, and how he had argued against the killing of the last Giants in Britain, and seemed to be quite interested in what Dumbledore and Hagrid had to say. Hagrid and Maxime then departed, returning the next day with another gift; a roll of dragon skin.[1]

However, that night a fight broke out between the giants, which happened quite often. Hagrid and Maxime could hear the fight from their cave, which according to them went on for hours and made an "unbelievable" noise. During this fight, Karkus was killed by another giant, Golgomath, and his head was ripped off and found lying at the bottom of the lake the next morning, his helmet taken by his successor and murderer.[1]

Physical Appearance

Karkus was described to be one of the ugliest giants within the colony, a telltale sign of being the Gurg of the colony. He stood at twenty-three feet tall, the weight equivalent of a couple of bull elephants and having skin like rhino hide.

Personality and Traits

Karkus, being the Gurg, was very lazy, as he laid at the centre of his tribe's valley, waiting for his tribesmen to bring him and his wife food. He was open to wizardkind who would bear gifts, and eager for more. He also was interested in the reconciliation of giants and wizardkind, listening earnestly to Hagrid and Maxime. However, Hagrid believed that Karkus was typical of giants, not open to complicated matters and would kill such people to simplify things; he believed it would be better to present the facts slowly to gain Karkus' interest and favour.


Karkus' name may reference his eventual status as a carcass, a dead body or corpse, at the hands of Golgomath.

In the Doctor Who episode "The Mind Robber" (Season 6 Episode 2), the Karkus was a fictional gigantic superhero and the protagonist of a comic strip which appeared in the Hourly Telepress in the year 2000. The Karkus possessed superhuman strength and an anti-molecular ray disintegrator, wore a cowl and a short cape, and spoke in a German accent.

See also


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 20 (Hagrid's Tale)
Order of the Phoenix
Fawkes WB F2 FawkesIllustration V2 Illust.jpg
Albus Dumbledore
Albus Dumbledore | Alastor Moody | Kingsley Shacklebolt
Original Order of of the Phoenix:
Aberforth Dumbledore | Alastor Moody | Alice Longbottom | Arabella Figg | Benjy Fenwick | Caradoc Dearborn | Dedalus Diggle | Dorcas Meadowes | Edgar Bones | Elphias Doge | Emmeline Vance | Fabian Prewett | Frank Longbottom | Gideon Prewett | James Potter | Lily Potter | Marlene McKinnon | Mundungus Fletcher | Peter Pettigrew (defected) | Remus Lupin | Rubeus Hagrid | Severus Snape | Sirius Black | Sturgis Podmore
Reconstituted Order of the Phoenix:
Aberforth Dumbledore | Alastor Moody | Arabella Figg | Arthur Weasley | Bill Weasley | Charlie Weasley | Dedalus Diggle | Elphias Doge | Emmeline Vance | Fleur Delacour | Fred Weasley | George Weasley | Harry Potter | Hermione Granger | Hestia Jones | Kingsley Shacklebolt | Minerva McGonagall | Molly Weasley | Mundungus Fletcher | Nymphadora Tonks | Remus Lupin | Ron Weasley | Rubeus Hagrid | Severus Snape | Sirius Black | Sturgis Podmore
Order of the Phoenix allies:
Andromeda Tonks | Augusta Longbottom | Buckbeak | Dobby | Fawkes | Filius Flitwick | Firenze | Garrick Ollivander | Ginny Weasley | Grawp | Helena Ravenclaw | Horace Slughorn | Karkus | Karkus's wife | Kreacher | Lee Jordan | Luna Lovegood | McKinnon family | Mr Westenberg | Mrs Westenberg | Muriel | Nearly-Headless Nick | Neville Longbottom | Oliver Wood | Olympe Maxime | Rita Skeeter | Peeves | Percy Weasley | Pomona Sprout | Poppy Pomfrey | Sybill Trelawney | Ted Tonks | The Fallen Fifty | Westenberg family | Winky | Xenophilius Lovegood
Other affiliations:
Dumbledore's Army | Forbidden Forest Centaur colony | Headless Hunt | Hogwarts Hippogriff herd | Hogwarts house-elves | Hogwarts Ghosts | Hogwarts Staff |
Hogwarts students | Hogwarts Thestral herd | Ministry of Magic | Giant colony (Karkus's control)
Giants and half-giants
Giant colony

Gurgs: Karkus (Former) · Golgomath
Fridwulfa · Grawp (Former) · Karkus's wife · Group of injured giants (Former)

Other giants

Bran the Bloodthirsty · Cyclops · Death Eaters' giant army in the First Wizarding War · Goliath · Grawp's father · Hengist of Upper Barnton · Morholt · Morholt's brother · Unidentified giant in The Blind Pig
Unidentified giants at the Battle of Hogwarts: I · II · III · IV · V


Rubeus Hagrid · Olympe Maxime · Pronk