Our universe is not the only one. In fact, it's just one of countless Alternate Universes in The Multiverse. 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 The Watcher, to observe and not interfere unless it's necessary. However, if your Evil Twin escapes his native universe bent on attacking yours, a Galactic Conqueror, Dimension Lord, or Omnicidal Maniac wants to break the barrier between realities, an Eldritch Abomination 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 Deus ex Machina called upon to stop it. If changes in one world's history will endanger others, he will gather a team to Set Right What Once Went Wrong and become their Mission Control. And if a Multiversal Conqueror 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 The Worf Effect). He's often an Original Generation in a Crisis Crossover. Likely to be the Big Good of a setting. He's one of the two highest-ranking Authority Tropes, the other being Multiversal Conqueror. The next rank down is Dimension Lord.
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Anime And Manga
- The Lord of Nightmares in 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.
- CLAMP has Yuuko Ichihara of ×××HOLiC as well as Mokona in Magic Knight Rayearth.
- Toha Heavy Industries in the works of Tsutomu Nihei.
- Dragon Ball Super 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. So far, 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.
- DC Comics had The Monitor before Crisis on Infinite Earths and Monitors after Infinite Crisis. In Final Crisis the original Monitor turned into a Multiversal Conqueror, 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 Marvel Comics. The Watchers sometimes do it, The Timekeepers were doing it in their own sick ways, and The Time Variance Authority once was also protecting the Multiverse like it was its duty. Then The 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 "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. The latest issue gave us a theory, that changes in the Multiverse also change its guardian.
- And Man-Thing 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; IE Kirby/God from the above, who rarely makes appearances.
- The Phoenix from X-Men 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 Chris Claremont, who has never made any secret that he's a huge fan of the Alan Moore/Alan Davis run on Captain Britain that introduced them
- Access from the Marvel vs DC series. He can't even stay in either one for too long or else his power will start warping the realities.
- Ringo from The Crossoverlord.
- The comics version of 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 2000 AD series Indigo Prime featured an agency whose job was to clear up the rifts in space and time left by careless time travellers and universe jumpers.
- W.I.T.C.H. has The Oracle, the Guardians and everyone else that is part of Kandrakar.
- Sinister Dexter introduced Context, a group of 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 Doctor Who Magazine this is essentially what the Glory makes someone. The position goes to the good Cyberman Kroton.
- In The Multiversity, this is supposed to be Nix Uotan's role, with his fellow Monitors gone. Unfortunately, the Gentry have other ideas for him.
- The Master in Slightly Damned: Wind of Redemption and Rebirth acts more as a watcher, while sending its Rebirths to carry out its will.
- The Endless Council from Jewel Of Darkness 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 Captain Britain's Corps merged together.
- In 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. The Dragonborn, Petra, has to 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 YuYuGiDigiMoon, Sailor Cosmos is one who lives in the Galaxy Cauldron and watches over the nexus dimension connecting the series, Digimon Fusion Kai and many other universes.
- The One 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, Astral Dawn features this in the form of the Aash Ra.
- The Magids in Diana Wynne Jones's Deep Secret are an organisation of wizards protecting the multiverse.
- The title character in Diana Wynne Jones's Chrestomanci series, on a more limited scale. His turf is not the whole universe, but a group of 100 universes called the Related Worlds.
- Robert A. Heinlein's later novels have the protagonists forming a group with the goal of protecting the continuity of The Multiverse, after the events in The Number of the Beast 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 Leaning on the Fourth Wall.
- In Michael Moorcock 's multiverse, this role is filled by an entity called the Cosmic Balance, which is all about maintaining the Balance 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.
Live Action TV
- Chaos, a tabletop RPG, gives us the Devotus Chronos. A highly elite, highly trained, highly powerful, and highly secretive branch of the Omniversal Union. They are given a variety of gravely important tasks to fulfill, but what it basically boils down to is this: they're space cops and Time Cops 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 all creation from going to hell in a handbasket (as much as possible).
- Champions has Entropus, who oversees the multiverse from a crystal palace. He appears in the Reality Storm crossover with Silver Age Sentinels.
- The Siege of Avalon 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 not much else to explain his existence in the Super Smash Bros. universe.
- The Longest Journey 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 Super Robot Wars is the Eldritch Abomination variety, or at least believes this to be his title, having existed since the beginning of time with no other purpose. He/it/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 The Multiverse. 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 got his ass kicked for his troubles.
- 'Banjo-Kazooie: 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 Pong'') and often makes sarcastic comments about game industry and trends. He even mocks the player for struggling with the previous game's infamous Guide Dang It 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 Hyrule Warriors, Cia was originally a witch whose role was to observe The Legend of Zelda timeline and keep the balance of the Triforce. However, her obsession with Link and jealousy of Zelda eventually made her susceptible to corruption by Ganondorf, making her into a villain obsessed with keeping Link all to herself.
- This is essentially what the Protectors of the Plot Continuum do.
- Vector Prime in Transformers, under the command of Primus.
- There's a good chunk of them, all with different jobs; Primus is the guy who keeps Unicron from destroying the Multiverse, Vector Prime is the Guardian of Time, Nexus Prime is the guardian of Rarified Energon (used to create new Transformers) and keeper of fellow Firstforge Prima's Star Saber, and The Fallen used to be the caretaker of the end of the universe ... depending on which continuity family you're currently following.