Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Giant Kingdom

I recently acquired a copy of the reprint of the Holmes-edited Blue Book that appeared in WotC's Silver Anniversary Collector's Edition, published in 1999. I was reading it last night before bed and came across what I thought was a typo peculiar to it in the "Foreword to the Original Edition."
From the map of the "land" of the "Great Kingdom" and environs -- the territory of the C&C Society -- Dave located a nice bog wherein to nest the weird enclave of "Blackmoor," a spot between the "Giant Kingdom" and the fearsome "Egg of Coot."
Clearly, "Giant Kingdom" is an error, since I was sure it must have originally read "Great Kingdom." So I figured that the error must have been an artifact of WotC's reproduction process, perhaps the use of OCR software or something. But, when I looked at my TSR copy of Holmes, I found the exact same phrase, "Giant Kingdom." This sent me running to my copy of Volume 1 of OD&D, since I was now starting to wonder whether it, too, referenced this mysterious "Giant Kingdom." If so, it meant I'd somehow not noticed it all these years and it made me wonder just what this "Giant Kingdom" was.

Alas, the original foreword has the phrase "Great Kingdom" in place of "Giant Kingdom," as I'd suspected. This disappoints me a little, since, if "Giant Kingdom" had been there, it would have suggested a hitherto unknown aspect of Dave Arneson's Blackmoor campaign. Still, it's an interesting error and the fact that it's unique to Holmes makes me wonder how it happened.


  1. That's the kind of typo that one could have fun with. Since the "Great Kingdom" later became a part of Greyhawk, this has me wondering where I would place the "Giant Kingdom." Hmm... Bone march might be fitting, if only for the word-association with "grind their bones to make their bread."

  2. Interesting. I noticed this in Holmes before but had assumed that "Great Kingdom" and "Giant Kingdom" were just different names for the same thing, not realizing that both were "Great" in the original version. There was a bit of editing done to the Holmes version, mostly in the right hand column to clarify references particular to the LBBs. Any chance that the change from "Great" to "Giant" could be a correction rather than a typo?

  3. Just made a quick check of the first and last printing of Holmes, and each has "Giant Kingdom", so this was never changed.

  4. I always thought the Giant Kingdom was legit myself, and  a major part, of the territories  showcased in the  Against the Giant" series.

  5. In the First Fantasy Campaign, it mentions a "Grand Kingdom" to the south.

  6. If it were a correction rather than a typo, I'd love to know to what it's referring, but it seems unlikely to me. Mind you, I'm no expert on Blackmoor lore, so I suppose it's possible there is a "Giant Kingdom" nearby that I simply can't remember.


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