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There's some specific region of dimensional weirdness--possibly a Hell Gate, though it doesn't have to be malign. In any case, strange things regularly come out of it, or are attracted to it, and at least half of them are dangerous somehow. It's the job of Our Heroes to hang around near the weirdness and deal with everything related to it. As a consequence, in serial works, it's the standard justification for the show's Monsters of the Week. The weirdness may have caused the surrounding area to become a City of Adventure.

Examples of Guarding the Portal include:


  • At some point in the Wheel of Time series, Rand sends guards to each of the known Waygate locations in order to prevent their use by the bad guys to travel quickly around the world.

Live Action TV

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer is about guarding the Hellmouth.
  • For series 1 and 2, Torchwood was about guarding the Cardiff Rift.
  • Deep Space Nine is about guarding the Bajoran Wormhole.
  • Stargate SG-1 as a whole tends to take place on the other side of its portals; it does have the occasional episode which uses this kind of plot, though.
    • And the various locals and Jaffa garrisons they run into could be seen as doing the same thing, with SG-1 as the weirdness.
    • Any time more than one team is sent through the gate one it told to stay and guard it.
  • Stargate Atlantis is a borderline example, as they're actually guarding the portal from the inside - they only have one door back to this galaxy, and everybody's trying to take back the territory it lies on so they can get through it.
  • Primeval is about guarding temporal rifts in the South of England.

Video Games

  • It's Up to You to guard and shut down the Oblivion gates.
  • In World of Warcraft, the forces manning Nethergarde Keep watch over the Dark Portal.
    • World of Warcraft fit this trope back in vanilla WoW (before the release of the first expansion, The Burning Crusade). Now that Outland is well-trod ground, though, it's more like "guarding the toll booth on the highway".
  • Keyholes in Kingdom Hearts; you have to close them, but it's close enough.

Web Original

  • SCP Foundation-354, "Red Pool", from which monsters emerge regularly.
  • Strange and horrible things regularly pop out of Jonathan Wojcik's The Fear Hole ( but the characters are a bit lax in guarding it.

Western Animation

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