How to Kill a Giant in Skyrim
Dragons? Pish tush. While the scaly monsters dominate most of the media around The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (and that little thing called a plot,) those already playing the game know that Giants are the first truly terrifying opponent you will encounter in Skyrim. In fact, they appear to be stronger than dragons.
Giants camp on the slopes of mountains, with large fires, painted rocks, and huge skulls signalling their presence. You will also see a symbol on your radar when you are close enough to their camp. Consider it a challenge or a warning, depending on what kind of gamer you are. Giants tend to travel with mammoths, who can be a dangerous foe in their own right. Both Giants and their mammoths are passive until you approach too closely or initiate an attack. What happens then?
Low level characters don't stand a chance against the mighty, vertigo-inducing club of the Giants! Well, unless you get a bit creative. The key to killing Giants in Skyrim is that they are slow and rather dumb. If you must attack one, start with either magic or arrows at a good distance, and then use whatever your current environment is to your advantage.
The most likely option will be to find a spot on a nearby mountainside, building, or rocky outcropping that the Giants and mammoths cannot climb up. You will want to be in your safe spot before you fire the first shot, as some unexpected clumsiness might give the monsters enough time to smash you. Keep pelting it with attacks as it walks toward you. This is going to take a very long time, so make sure it can't get to you. You may have to kill more than one, as well, so be prepared.
The only difficult part with this method is that the Giants and mammoths tend to run off once they realize they can't hit you. You will need to leave your safe-spot and lure them back, or hit them from a distance to infuriate them once again. Companions can either help or hinder you in this regard, as they tend to die, rejoin you, and then head off into the fray once again. This means they can lure the Giant back to you, or they can distract it from heading back into range.
If you're lucky enough to be near a body of water, taking down a Giant can be easy.Giants are afraid of water and will not follow you even into the shallows.Just hit the giant, get to the water, and start shooting. If he tries to flee, leave the water for a moment and he will come charging right back.
Note that this does NOT work with mammoths. It's recommended that you take out the mammoths first from a rock and then focus on the Giants, if you plan to kill from the water. Also: Giants WILL smash you with their clubs if you are in range or the water is very shallow. Brooks will not work for this.
Basically, you're so puny you need to exploit their relatively poor AI to make the kill. But whatever, you're Yogsmash Giant-Killer, now! The Giants are just one of many great little touches to Skyrim, showing off the immense depth and subtlety to the game. If you can speak Giantish, you can persuade them not to attack you and hold rudimentary conversations with them. It makes me feel a little bad killing them, knowing they're essentially just dumb shepherds defending their belongings from the little people, but hey, nothing beats killing a creature that can send you into low-Earth orbit!
Feel free to leave your own tips in the comments!