One thing about stories based on folk tales is you can generally count on the reader to know the original and fill in the gaps. For example, when I heard “Giant,” by Stephanie Burgis on PodCastle, I recognized the narrator as a cousin of the giant from Jack and Beanstalk or one of many wizards who have concealed their hearts.
This version gives sympathy to the giant with lines like this:
…it was only a week ago that she stopped screaming whenever I stepped close to her. I hate it when they scream.
His relationship with his latest princess has a lot in common with the one the evil genius has in the Jonathan Coulton song “SkullCrusher Mountain.” As the chorus says:
If you could find some way to be
A little bit less afraid of me
You’d see the voices that control me from inside my head
Say I shouldn’t kill you yet.
There are plenty of clues that the giant ignores and denies that he knows what’s coming. Through his memories, you get the sense that he thinks he deserves it. Then the story ends at the point where he is about to make the inevitable fatal mistake. You know what happens next.