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Guardian of the Multiverse

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"That's it, isn't it? All creatures searching for a place to belong. To call home. As for me, I am the Watcher. The Multiverse, every single world, every story is my home. And I will protect it to the end."
Uatu the Watcher, What If…? (2021)

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.

They prefer to be The Watcher, to observe and not interfere unless it's necessary. However, if your Evil Twin escapes their 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, they 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 them (or be the very first person they kill, because of The Worf Effect).

They're often an Original Generation character in a Crisis Crossover, and may be pitted against a Crossover-Exclusive Villain. Likely to be the Big Good of a setting.

They are 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 & 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 Xxx 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. 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. He also doesn't hesitate to wipe out the Future Trunks timeline that's been taken over by Fused Zamasu when he sees what has become of it. And in the "Universal Survival arc" he's ready to reduce the number of universes down to 5, just to have a "prize" for the winner of the All-Universe Martial Arts Tournament he's hosting.
  • Sailor Moon gives us Sailor Cosmos, the true form of Sailor Chibi Chibi Moon, who oddly resembles Usagi/Sailor Moon and watches over the Galaxy Cauldron.
  • Digimon Adventure tri. introduced a guardian of the multiverse. As of part 4 she (it?) has only been "seen" once 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 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.

    Comic Books 
  • DC Comics had The Monitor before Crisis on Infinite Earths and Monitors after Infinite Crisis. In Final Crisis one of the Monitors turned into a Multiversal Conqueror called Mandrakk, 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.
    • After Dark Nights: Metal, we were introduced to Tempus Fugunaut, the guardian of the dark multiverse. His role is specifically to prevent beings from leaving the Dark World so they won't spread their corruption to the rest of the multiverse. When the Final Knight learns that Tempus has been watching the horrors of the dark multiverse while doing nothing to help, he gives him a good suckerpunch.
  • 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. note 
    • And Man-Thing is the guardian of the Nexus of All Realities.
    • 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 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.
  • The Metabarons has the universe being a finite place. Each border of our universe tp others are guarded by a type of Cosmic Entity known as a Guardian who are suppose to prevent other dimensional threats from crossing over. One of these Guardians, the Phoenix, has become the patron of the godlike intergenerational warrior, the Metabaron.
  • Ringo from The Crossoverlord.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics): Sonic is destined to be the hero of all possible realities, according to Zonic the Zone Cop. And speaking of which, there's 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.

    Fan Works 
  • 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 Drakonophobia 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.
  • Fantine, the Keeper of The Lighthouse, serves as this in the Crisis Crossover Shattered Skies: The Morning Lights, though she says that she didn't always serve in this capacity. Initially, Fantine confines herself to a passive role of merely watching the multiverse and saving those that she can, for fear of her incredibly dangerous powers being misused. This changes after the central villain of the story inflicts a catastrophic Time Crash on one of the five vertices of the multiverse, forcing her to act to prevent even more destruction. From then on, she's Neutral No Longer.
  • In Sonic Origins (Ri2), the Ancient Watchers formed the Dominion, 12 cosmic beings that protect the Prime universes. Sticks is their number 4.
  • Tales of the Otherverse: Downplayed with Access, who oversees only three dimensions: the DC, Marvel and Amalgam universes.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The One has the Multiverse Authority (MVA) in the Alpha Universe; seemingly the only universe to develop interdimensional travel. The MVA was created to monitor and police illegal travel within the 125 universes, mostly from the denizens of the Alpha Universe.

  • In M. C. Ashley's works such as Lost Time, Broken Veil, and Resurrection Life, have Nathaniel David Parker in this roles. He works with God to protect the integrity of time, space, and the narrative flow of every reality in existence, using his unique Power Copying skills to gain an edge over everyone he fights, given that he's been alive long enough to copy and perfect anything that could be used against him. What keeps him from breaking every story he's in is the fact that he can only intervene as much as God allows and there are many worlds out there bathed in chaotic energy that react to a wound he received in his youth that causes him immense pain if he enters a reality with an overabundance of this energy within it.
  • 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 organization of wizards protecting the multiverse, employed by a group of Powers That Be whom the Magids refer to as "the Upper Room".
  • 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. The Cosmic Balance's agent, the Eternal Champion especially when it manifests as the Four in One, also fulfills this role.
  • 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.
  • In the Lafayette O'Leary series, the mysterious agency is known as "Central" is a sort of cross between this and Time Police. Charged with keeping the multiverse running properly, and sorting out cross-reality entanglements, their somewhat hidebound bureaucracy tends to make them less than completely efficient at their jobs, often leaving O'Leary in the lurch.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Kurenai Wataru acts as a kind of world-guardian in Kamen Rider Decade - how he got the job is unclear, although it may somehow be related to his Fangire powers. Unusually, Wataru is sort of the antagonist, while Tsukasa (AKA the eponymous Decade), said to be the Destroyer of Worlds, is the hero.
    • Ten years later, Kamen Rider Zi-O shows how Tsukasa himself has essentially become this, continuing his adventures through alternate worlds and vowing to destroy those that pose a threat to themselves and others, as he promises to eliminate the World of Zi-O when its Riders and enemies become multidimensionally hostile.
  • Once Upon a Time reimagines the 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 The Multiverse, and he does whatever he can to stop the Dark One, a title passed down to dark wizards from the man who defeated and banished the Apprentice's master, Merlin.
  • Ultra Series
    • Ultraman Nexus: Ultraman Noa served as this before losing most of their power as they travelled freely between dimensions to solve problems. In the original M78 Universe they were responsible for saving the Land of Light from Dark Zagi and his forces as well as defeating and sealing the Kaiju, Antlar and leaving a blue stone to the Baraji people to defeat it should the Kaiju arise again.
    • Ultraman Zero himself became a multiversal guardian after the events of Ultraman Zero: The Revenge of Belial, where he obtains the Ultimate Aegis allowing him to travel between dimensions.

    Tabletop Games 
  • 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 universal 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 Lady of Pain from Planescape is the absolute ruler of Sigil, the interplanar metropolis where one can go to anywhere in the multiverse of DnD. No one knows what she really is, but everyone knows that she is the only thing that keeps Sigil from being an inter-planar battleground, by swiftly eliminating anyone or anything that tries to stir up trouble.

    Video Games 
  • 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.
  • Played with in Super Robot Wars: the "Einst" from Super Robot Wars Compact 2 are more of the Eldritch Abomination variety, who believe they are this, claiming they have existed since the beginning of time with no other purpose than to create and destroy worlds, but are proven wrong once they're defeated. In other games, ancient, powerful Precursors could apply, but didn't have the reach and influence into The Multiverse as the trope dictates. The closest entity to this example is Cobray Gordon from the Super Robot Wars Alpha saga, who, at the end of the series, leaves the Alpha universe to journey into the rest of the The Multiverse, but even then, the character is portrayed more as a Time Police rather than a "guardian" of all existence.
  • 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.
  • Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology 3 explains late in the game that there is the Original Kanonno, who watches over the multiverse. Whenever one of the worlds is in danger, the World Tree sends out a Descender to save it and the Original Kanonno creates an aspect of hers in that world as that world's incarnation of Kanonno, to make sure that she and the Descender meet because both are required to keep the world safe.
  • The Realmwalkers of Rakenzarn Frontier Story take this role. Their job is to keep the worlds from being destroyed by outside forces such as spacial anomalies or from an unnatural death of each world's Beholder, the one who is essentially that world's main character.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Amphibia: The Grand Finale reveals the presence of The Guardian, an extremely powerful being who originally created the calamity gems to see how mortals would handle unlimited power. They revive Anne in a clone body after her Heroic Sacrifice and offer Anne to take their place as the new guardian, but she rejects it stating that she is still young enough to be like them. Given that Amphibia takes place in a Shared Universe with The Owl House and Gravity Falls, the same Guardian presumably watches over those shows as well.
  • 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.
  • What If…? (2021): To combat against the growing threat of a Variant of the rogue AI Ultron that gained the full power of the Infinity Stones and managed to escape his universe to wreak havoc on the Multiverse, Uatu the Watcher (himself the Trope Namer for the associate trope The Watcher) assembles a group of Variants of other heroes from other timelines he had been observing up until then, including Peggy "Captain" Carter, Star-Lord T'Challa, Prince Killmonger, Gamora the Destroyer, Thor Odinson, and Doctor Strange Supreme. In a subversion of the trope, while he names them the "Guardians of the Multiverse", it's more about what they will do rather than what they can do, i.e. stopping Ultron from annihilating the Multiverse as opposed to observing and protecting under Uatu's guidance forevermore. In fact, once Ultron is neutralized, the Guardians are then disbanded and sent back to their respective universes at the moment they originally left as if they never did.