[[quoteright:350:[[ComicBook/FantasticFour http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/living_tribunal.jpg]]]]

Our universe is not the only one. In fact, it's just one of countless {{Alternate Universe}}s in TheMultiverse. The Multiverse is so big and complicated, that it needs a being capable of watching over all of it.

Enter the Guardian of the Multiverse.

He or she prefers to be TheWatcher, to observe and not interfere unless it's necessary. However, if your EvilTwin escapes his native universe bent on attacking yours, a GalacticConqueror, DimensionLord, or OmnicidalManiac wants to break the barrier between realities, an EldritchAbomination tries to spread its horror through the dimensions, or if two alternate worlds declare a war that threatens multiple realities, the Guardian Of The Multiverse will be the DeusExMachina called upon to stop it. If changes in one world's history will endanger others, he will gather a team to SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong and become their MissionControl. And if a MultiversalConqueror rises to enslave all worlds in all galaxies of all dimensions, the Guardian Of The Multiverse will gather an army needed to stop him (or be the very first person he kills, because of TheWorfEffect).

He's often an OriginalGeneration in a CrisisCrossover. Likely to be the BigGood of a setting.

He's one of the two highest-ranking AuthorityTropes, the other being MultiversalConqueror. The next rank down is DimensionLord.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* The Lord of Nightmares in ''Anime/{{Slayers}}'' is this. She created four worlds, put in a god and devil in each one and if called upon can undo anything in any of those worlds that she sees fit to.
* Creator/{{CLAMP}} has Yuuko Ichihara of ''Manga/XxxHolic'' as well as [[spoiler: Mokona]] in ''Manga/MagicKnightRayearth''.
* Toha Heavy Industries in the works of Creator/TsutomuNihei.
* ''Anime/DragonBallSuper'' gives us Zen-O, the King of All. He rules over the entire multiverse and is the single most powerful character in the entire franchise. He appears to be the watcher type who doesn't interfere with the happenings of the different universes, although he does show concern when Champa and Beerus don't do their jobs. He is stated to have destroyed 6 Universes simply because they upset him - there used to be 18, now there's only 12. [[spoiler: He also doesn't hesitate to wipe out the Future Trunks timeline that's been taken over by Fusion!Zemasu when he sees what has become of it.]] And in the current arc he's ready to reduce the number of universes down to 1, just to have a "prize" for the winner of the All-Universe Martial Arts Tournament he's hosting.
* ''Manga/SailorMoon'' gives us Sailor Cosmos, [[spoiler:the true form of Sailor Chibi Chibi Moon,]] who oddly resembles [[BigGood Usagi/]][[TheHero Sailor Moon]] and watches over the Galaxy Cauldron.
* ''Anime/DigimonAdventureTri'' introduced a guardian of the multiverse. As of part 4 she (it?) has only been "seen" once [[spoiler: possessing Hikari]] and only to give a cryptic warning about the severity the Digital World's infection poses to the entire multiverse. At the end of part 3 [[spoiler: the Digital World is reset in order to eliminate the infection - though part 4 reveals it didn't work.]] Which is what the Guardian warned would need to happen, and was presumably executed by it.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Creator/DCComics had The Monitor before ''ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths'' and Monitors after ''ComicBook/InfiniteCrisis''. In ''ComicBook/FinalCrisis'' [[spoiler: the original Monitor turned into a MultiversalConqueror, and The Monitors were in fact preying on the Multiverse, and were fired by one of them, who was turned into a human.]] In summary, they are ''really bad'' at this.
* This is really messed up in Creator/MarvelComics. The Watchers sometimes do it, The Timekeepers were doing it in their own sick ways, and The [[TimePolice Time Variance Authority]] once was also protecting the Multiverse like it was its duty. Then The Comicbook/{{Exiles}} came, and turned everything upside down. First we get a mechanism that takes the form of The Timebroker--combined minds of people gathered in order to save The Multiverse. Then a bunch of bug aliens becomes its [[TheManBehindTheMan "man behind the man"]]. And then some godlike couple pops out of nowhere and quickly disappears, to be replaced by a good, female version of Kang. [[spoiler:The latest issue gave us a theory, that changes in the Multiverse also change its guardian.]]
** And Comicbook/ManThing is the guardian of the Nexus of All Realities.
** It should be noted that--with the exception of Man-Thing--all of these characters are ''self-appointed'' guardians. They debate even with each other who has the right to the position. Generally speaking though the Living Tribunal is the one, true, official holder of this job, being second only to The One-Above-All; i.e. Kirby/God from the above, who rarely makes appearances.
** The Phoenix from ComicBook/XMen also serves this function in an official capacity; specifically, it guards the M'Krann Crystal, which amongst other things is a gateway to the multiverse. The most common holder of the power of the Phoenix Force is of course Jean Grey, who while using it once held an entire, broken universe ''in her hands'' and fixed it ''with her mind''.
** In the Marvel UK books the role is taken by Merlin (until he is killed by the effects of Mad Jim Jaspers's battle with the Fury) and Roma of Otherworld. Their appearances in the "main" Marvel books are limited mostly to those written by Creator/ChrisClaremont, who has never made any secret that he's a huge fan of the Creator/AlanMoore[=/=]Creator/AlanDavis run on ''ComicBook/CaptainBritain'' that introduced them.
* Access from the ''Creator/{{Marvel|Comics}} vs Creator/{{DC|Comics}}'' series. He can't even stay in either one for too long or else his power will start [[RealityWarper warping the realities]].
* Ringo from ''Webcomic/TheCrossoverlord''.
* The comics version of ''[[Comicbook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog Sonic the Hedgehog]]'' is destined to be the hero of all possible realities, according to Zonic the Zone Cop.
** Speaking of which, the Zone Cops, who prevent disturbances across realities, and arrest those who threaten multiple ones.
* The short-lived ''[[ComicBook/TwoThousandAD 2000 AD]]'' series ''IndigoPrime'' featured an agency whose job was to clear up the rifts in space and time left by careless time travellers and universe jumpers.
* ''ComicBook/{{WITCH}}'' has The Oracle, the Guardians and everyone else that is part of Kandrakar.
* ''ComicBook/SinisterDexter'' introduced Context, a group of [[HighlyVisibleNinja brightly-coloured ninjas]] with this role, in 2011's "Apocalypse Shtick" storyline. Since any action Context takes directly will harm the universe they're in, they prefer to hire local talent.
* In Magazine/DoctorWhoMagazine this is essentially what the Glory makes someone. [[spoiler:The position goes to the good Cyberman Kroton.]]
* In ''ComicBook/TheMultiversity'', this is supposed to be Nix Uotan's role, with his fellow Monitors gone. Unfortunately, the Gentry have other ideas for him.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* The Master in ''Fanfic/SlightlyDamnedWindOfRedemptionAndRebirth'' acts more as a watcher, while sending its [[BackFromTheDead Rebirths]] to carry out its will.
* The Endless Council from ''FanFic/JewelOfDarkness'' is a group of beings from across the multiverse who have gathered for the shared purpose of stopping the spread of evil across the universes. It should also be noted that there is much debate among them on the best way to do this; some (like Falcon) want to always step in an eliminate threats themselves, while others (like The Gentleman) prefer to simply influence events and let the respective forces of good in each universe handle things of their own free will.
* In Crossoverpairinglover's stories, Greek Titan Prometheus proclaim themselves this. They monitor worlds, and while they occasionally do a good job, they spend most of their time finding new ways to destroy the gods of Olympus in various realities and being quite morally gray. He's at times even compared them to Marvel's Illuminati and ''ComicBook/CaptainBritain'''s Corps merged together.
* In ''FanFic/{{Draknophobia}}'' The White Dragon, Sotrahkun, the Mother of the Dragons, Wife of Akatosh, White Dragon of the Feather etc etc is also the Guardian of the Maas (Meaning: Seed) and the Tree of Choices. Which basically is that she watches over all the time lines from the beginning. The Seed is the artifact the grows the tree, and with each major choice made, another branch is born if it dramatically alters the future. The story escalates that Alduin wants to destroy the Multiverse and therefore all existence itself. Sotrahkun is tied to time itself so if she dies, life will cease to exist. [[spoiler: The Dragonborn, Petra, has to [[AscendedToAHigherPlaneOfExistence ascend]] to become Sotrahkun]] mainly to stop this from happening because Alduin screwed things up badly that Sotrahkun was dying due to his meddling.
* In ''Fanfic/YuYuGiDigiMoon'', Sailor Cosmos is one who lives in the Galaxy Cauldron and watches over the nexus dimension connecting the series, ''Fanfic/DigimonFusionKai'' and many other universes.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/TheOne'' has the Multiverse Agency in the Alpha Universe, the only universe to develop interdimensional travel. The MVA was created to control travel between the 'verses, mostly from the people of the Alpha Universe.

* Adam R. Brown's fantasy series, ''Literature/AstralDawn'' features this in the form of the Aash Ra.
* The Magids in Creator/DianaWynneJones's ''Literature/DeepSecret'' are an organisation of wizards protecting the multiverse.
* The title character in Diana Wynne Jones's ''Literature/{{Chrestomanci}}'' series, on a more limited scale. His turf is not the whole universe, but a group of 100 universes called the Related Worlds.
* Creator/RobertAHeinlein's later novels have the protagonists forming a group with the goal of protecting the continuity of TheMultiverse, after the events in ''Literature/TheNumberOfTheBeast'' unlock pan-dimensional travel. It's implied that they are fighting not only against other dimension-hopping groups with nefarious intentions, but possibly even other authors. Considering that Heinlein is in fact the author of the novels, it's also an example of LeaningOnTheFourthWall.
* In Creator/MichaelMoorcock 's multiverse, this role is filled by an entity called the Cosmic Balance, which is all about [[BalanceBetweenGoodAndEvil maintaining the Balance]] [[OrderVersusChaos between Law and Chaos]]. It's not entirely clear whether the Balance is sentient in the same way as humans and gods, but it fits the trope either way.
* In Craig Shaw Gardner's Cineverse Cycle the balance of the various B-movie parody realities which make up the Cineverse is maintained by Captain Crusader, who goes around in disguise solving various problems and then dispenses a basic bit of advice right before leaving.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* [[Series/KamenRiderKiva Kurenai Wataru]] acts as a kind of world-guardian in ''[[Series/KamenRiderDecade Kamen Rider Decade]]'' - how he got the job is unclear, although it may somehow be related to his Fangire powers. Unusually, Wataru is [[GoodIsNotNice sort of]] [[HeroAntagonist the antagonist]], while Tsukasa (AKA the eponymous Decade), [[ShroudedInMyth said to be the]] [[MultiversalConqueror Destroyer of Worlds]], is the hero.
* ''Series/OnceUponATime'' reimagines the [[Disney/{{Fantasia}} Sorcerer's Apprentice]] as an elderly wizard who oversees the affairs of fictional worlds and makes sure no darkness can overtake them. He goes about this duty in a variety of ways: he guards the Sorcerer's hat and the stockpile of magic it contains, he assigns someone to be the Author to record the most important tales throughout TheMultiverse, and he does whatever he can to stop the the Dark One, a title passed down to dark wizards from the man who defeated and banished the Apprentice's master, [[spoiler:Merlin]].

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''[[TCoF Chaos]]'', a {{tabletop RPG}}, gives us the Devotus Chronos. A highly elite, highly trained, [[PersonOfMassDestruction highly powerful]], and [[StateSec highly secretive]] [[GovernmentAgencyOfFiction branch]] of the Omniversal [[TheFederation Union]]. They are given a variety of [[SeriousBusiness gravely important tasks to fulfill]], but what it basically boils down to is this: they're [[SpacePolice space cops]] and TimeCops whose job is to act as scouts and spies in multiverses yet to be Raptured into The Union, to deal with serious threats to omniversal security that arise in said universes and/or time periods, and basically to keep [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt all creation from going to hell in a handbasket]] (as much as possible).
* TabletopGame/{{Champions}} has Entropus, who oversees the multiverse from a crystal palace. He appears in the RealityStorm crossover with TabletopGame/{{Silver Age Sentinels}}.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''The VideoGame/SiegeOfAvalon Anthology'' has the Astral Guardian, who watches over the planes of existence. She gets locked in a magical flaming prison until the player breaks her out, and all sorts of trouble occurs in the meantime.
* {{Fanon}} usually places Master Hand in this role, since there's [[ExcusePlot not much else]] to explain his existence in the ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' universe.
* ''VideoGame/TheLongestJourney'' series features the Guardians of the Balance, whose job is to make sure that magic doesn't get into Stark and science doesn't slip into Arcadia, the two major worlds in that multiverse. Each Guardian serves for 1000 years before a new one is found in either world and sent to Guardian's Realm. It should be noted, however, that this is only a temporary measure, as the two worlds are expected to be rejoined in the indeterminate future when humans are finally ready to responsibly use both magic and science.
** Also, the Guardian is not actually expected to fight anyone. They have the Sentinels for that.
* Neue Einst Regisseur from ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' is the EldritchAbomination variety, or at least believes this to be his title, having existed since the beginning of time with no other purpose. He/it/[[HiveMind they]] decides to eliminate mankind, whose consciousness causes the entropy of universes, but also hints at trying to stop someone from retrieving the "twelve keys to the ancient records" which are scattered across TheMultiverse. However, his power to cross dimensions is limited by the same rules as anyone else, suggesting that he's nothing more than an alien who decided to butt into the multiverse's business and [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu got his ass kicked for his troubles]].
* ''VideoGame/BanjoKazooie: Nuts & Bolts'' has the Lord of Games, or L.O.G. for short. He's the godlike creator of all video games (his head is a computer monitor perpetually displaying an in-progress game of ''VideoGame/{{Pong}}'') and often makes sarcastic comments about game industry and trends. He even mocks the player for struggling with the previous game's infamous GuideDangIt moment.
-->'''L.O.G.:''' Remember Canary Mary? Did you have fun racing her? How I laughed when I was setting up those levels. I'm still laughing!
* In ''Videogame/HyruleWarriors'', Cia was originally a witch whose role was to observe Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda timeline and keep the balance of the Triforce. However, her [[StalkerWithACrush obsession with Link]] and [[GreenEyedMonster jealousy of Zelda]] eventually made her susceptible to [[HijackedByGanon corruption by Ganondorf]], making her into a villain obsessed with keeping Link all to herself.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* This is essentially what the ''WebOriginal/ProtectorsOfThePlotContinuum'' do.
* Given the problems brought by the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_inflation eternal inflation model]], that propose an infinite set of universes and thus among other problems ''[[MindScrew everything happening an infinite number of times]]'', [[http://arxiv.org/abs/1210.7540 some authors]] have proposed the existence of a kind of multiverse watcher[[note]]Something natural, not a sort of Universe-destroying Galactus or Unicron[[/note]], that would fix those issues.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Vector Prime in ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'', under the command of [[{{God}} Primus]]. There's a good chunk of them, all with different jobs; Primus is the guy who keeps [[EldritchAbomination Unicron]] from destroying the Multiverse, Vector Prime is the [[ClockRoaches Guardian of Time]], Nexus Prime is the guardian of Rarified Energon (used to create new Transformers) and keeper of fellow Firstforge Prima's [[InfinityPlusOneSword Star]] [[{{BFS}} Saber]], and The Fallen used to be the caretaker of the end of the universe ... depending on which continuity family you're currently following.