Madame Giry is the major character mother of Little Meg. In the original book she is the box keeper for The Phantom, and his loyal servant in other ways: For example, transporting the twenty thousand francs from the managers to Erik. In the book, she claims that he is very kind, often leaving her things such as English sweets, which she is very fond of, and up to ten francs. She also says that he promised to make her daughter an empress if she did what he wanted.She started Meg on a leadership career by telling the manager to put Meg in charge of a line of dancers. Madame Giry exhibits great faith in him.
In the stage version of the musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, she knows the Ghost on a personal basis, being aware of his history to some extent. In the 2004 film version of the musical, she rescued Erik from an abusive band of gypsies and brought him to live in the opera house. The movie also says that Madame Giry had brought Christine Daaé to live and train in the opera house at age 7 after her father died, and that she continues to think of Christine as a kind of second daughter as she is Meg's best friend. In both versions of the musical, she is the head of the ballet department, and her daughter Meg is good friends with Christine. It is she who shows Raoul de Chagny the secret entrance to Erik's lair, who warns him to "keep his hand at the level of his eyes", and who warns Joseph Buquet to stop talking of the Phantom, or to fear his wrath. She is undeniably afraid of him at the same time. In the play, she warns the management and Raoul against attempting to trick or capture the Phantom. "There is no way of turning the tide!" And yet she refuses to help them. She continues to warn them, pointing out "we have seen him kill!" In many aspects, she has taken over the original role of the Persian. The Persian is not found in Andrew Lloyd Webber's version.
In some versions of the story, she is entirely absent, or briefly mentioned. In PHANTOM by Susan Kay, the later is the case. In the 1943 Universal Studies version, directed by Arthur Lubin, she is not mentioned at all. And in the Lon Chaney version, she plays no major role. However, in THE PHANTOM OF MANHATTAN by Frederick Forsyth, she is a rather more prominent figure, the story being started from her point of view as she lays on her deathbed.