"Tyll the Giant" was based on an Estonian folk tale about of the gigantic hero, Tõll, who lived on the island of Saaremaa (Oesel) in the Baltic Sea. Though he was king of the island, Tõll often worked as a common farmer, tending to his crops and returning to his loving wife, Piret. He was a good king, often quick to anger but always kind and willing to help his fellow man. Tõll's greatest enemy is a devil by the name of Vanatühi ("Old empty one," "Old vile one"), the god of the underworld who specializes in sly, cowardly mischief. In this film, when War comes to Saaremaa, Tõll arrives to aid his dying army, but the evil Vanatühi takes advantage of his absence to wreak havoc on Tõll's home.