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1001 Stories Collection

Fionn Mac Cumhaill and the Giant

1001 finnmccoolandthegiant dimitryanikin
Added on 03rd September 2020

Oral tradition Folktale from Ireland
From Fianna Cycle, an Fhiannaíocht (c.1200)

UK and Ireland Action and adventure Magic Myths and legends
1001

A story of giants, trickery, cunning and magic.

Story

The stories of Fionn Mac Cumhaill and his followers, elite warrior huntsmen, tell of many adventures, fights, and magical happenings. The best known story is that of Finn and the Giant’s Causeway. Finn must fight the Scottish giant Benandonner. But when he sees how tall Benandonner is, Finn and his wife must use their cunning to escape…

Why we chose it

A great story about giants found in one of the great cycles of Irish folk stories. The tricks played by Finn and his wife to deceive the other giant will entertain children and there is plenty of humour in the story.

Where it came from

The Fianna Cycle collates the various stories of Finn and his warriors, narrated by Finn’s son, the poet Oisín. Finn’s legends feature in the mythologies of Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. Finn, a benevolent giant, was a popular figure of kingship in the 7th century

Where it went next

The stories of Finn McCool have heavily influenced Irish culture. Finn appears in popular ballads and songs, Irish Riverdance, as well as more modern comics and musicals. Modern Irish literature also draws on Finn, especially the novels of James Joyce.

Associated stories

The Fianna Cycle tracks Finn’s whole life, his birth, childhood, adulthood, and death, as well as his love life. His stories are also recorded in other 12th century manuscripts including The Book of the Dun and The Book of Lenister. Other well known stories about Finn include The Salmon of Knowledge and The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Grainne. Like many warrior kings in Britain and Europe Finn McCool is said to be sleeping in a cave ready to wake a time of national need.

Added on 03rd September 2020

Oral tradition Folktale from Ireland
From Fianna Cycle, an Fhiannaíocht (c.1200)

UK and Ireland Action and adventure Magic Myths and legends
1001