I knew what kinds of creatures would be my bad guys when I first saw pictures of Ogres. Then when I read they eat humans? Bonus! Perfect bad guys.
Of course, nothing is that simple. The word Ogre is used to describe most hideous, ugly, giant sized carnivorous creatures. A stereotype Mike Myers poked with a large green stick in Shrek. They are frequently depicted as hairy, stupid, with appalling personal hygiene. Including breath that will melt your face.
Known for having a voracious appetite, they are usually depicted with large heads, covered with hair, devouring human flesh ravenously. This particular aspect makes them the perfect villain.
Ogres have existed in fiction and myth for millennia. The word Ogre could possibly derive from the two mythical giants Gog and Magog (or from the Greek river god Oiagros, father of Orpheus). In one of my reference books, The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures, John and Caitlin Matthews attribute the ogres origin to Perrault in Contes (1697). In 12th century France authors portrayed England as the Kingdom of Ogres.
It seems the one quality of ogres, Shrek the exception, across myths is cannibalism. They are the bogeyman in your nightmares, they scare even the bravest of warriors/knights. It is one thing to die at your enemies hand, it’s entirely different to know you are on his menu.
For Contagion I had to find the answer to: “Do ogres cook their food?”
What do you think?