Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Gog and Magog

Two Giants, or perhaps Gods, who may be brothers of the Irish god/giant Daghda (> Celtic Fantasy), or who may have some linguistic connection to the Biblical nations, Gog and Magog, which are scheduled to be in cahoots with Satan when Armageddon arrives. As far as legend is concerned, however, they are the giants captured by the Trojan, Brute, and brought to London, which he founded, calling it Troy-novant. The Goemagog of Edmund Spenser's The Fairie Queene (1590-1596) comes from an alternate tradition, in which there is only one giant, known also as Gogmagog. The famous statues at London's Guildhall show the two giants in the role of Liminal Beings, who act as Guardians of the town, a role given prominence in F W Fairholt's Gog and Magog: The Giants in Guildhall: Their Real and Legendary History (1859). It is in this light, though comically, that Charles Dickens introduces them into the Frame Story of Master Humphrey's Clock (coll 1841-1842). As part of the Urban Fantasy texture of London they are of some importance. Occasionally – as in Andrew Sinclair's Gog sequence (1967-1988) – a broader significance is accorded them: they warn and ward, and bespeak the Thinning of the old Story of Britain. [JC]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.