I'm looking for figures of important 'watchers'/'guardians'. Actually I don't know the right word, but it doesn't need to be like a 'security-guardian', who doesn't let someone get through (i.e. not like Kerberos or the like). I am thinking more of a figure who has a relatively boring but (very!) important task of making sure that "something keeps running smoothly" and doesn't protect or safe said thing, but rather alerts and gives notice.

A figure that just has to watch over some kind of process and he doesn't do a lot more than that. But if something goes wrong with the process, he has to alert, inform immediately.

Is there some kind of stereotypical figure for this kind of task? I am interested in such a figure from all/any kind of mythology.

If possible it should embody the idea of letting others 'sleep' or not needing to worry about that process, because that figure is taking care.

I would be very thankful for any kind of ideas of what that figure could be.

In one question: "What are some names of mythological or legendary figures that watch out and do alert/inform as soon something suspicious or bad happens? The a figure that is basically equivalent to the task of a watcher in a watchtower"

The watcher in the watchtower will not hold an army - he might not even carry arms. But he has to watch out for bad things and alert others as soon as something happens. The figure or name might even be the name of an important mythical watchtower itself.

For instance there might be someone who kept a bird or something to do exactly this task? Nothing more than make noise when someone comes close?

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    Off the top of my head I can think of a dozen or so. What specifically are you after?
    – Chenmunka
    Sep 15, 2020 at 15:45
  • I just am looking for these kind of figure... I want to compare them. Mostly I am interested on what kind of ‚process‘ they were watching over. Sep 15, 2020 at 15:50
  • @Chenmunka if you can throw in some names that would be great Sep 15, 2020 at 15:50
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    Where have you searched already? This avoids us going over the same sources
    – Tom Sol
    Sep 16, 2020 at 8:23
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    @Calaom I tried to clarify my question. I looked for guardians and similars - here and on google. But all the ones I find have more of a "gatekeeper" role. They are armed and will protect said process. I am looking for a figure whose job is to alert not to defend... Maybe you could link one of those many answers you are talking about and I just can't find? Sep 16, 2020 at 14:43

2 Answers 2


The first that comes to mind for me is Heimdall. He was a Norse god whose job was to watch over the Nine Realms and make sure nothing to crazy was happening. He was the gatekeeper of Asgard and he was in charge of who came over the Bifrost. He also had this horn that he was supposed to blow when Ragnarok was about to begin. He shows up in a lot of myths where one of the gods needs to see very far into the Nine Realms.

As for other creatures, there's obviously the Sphinx, like from Oedipus Rex but that doesn't really seem to be what you are after.

  • +1. thanks a lot! This one is already really good! The task he has comes pretty close to what I mean, but I‘d prefer of he didn‘t have the gatekeeper task. Like only „watching out and blowing the horn if something happens“. But this one definitely goes in the right direction! Thanks again. Sep 16, 2020 at 13:36

My answer is Ladon, a creature from Greek mythology. Ladon is a hundred-headed dragon that guarded the Garden of the Hesperides as well as the golden apples that grew on the tree there. "Ladon was given several parentages, each of which placed him at an archaic level in Greek myth: the offspring of "Keto, joined in heated passion with Phorcys" or of Typhon, who was himself serpent-like from the waist down, and Echidna or of Gaia herself, or Hera." from fandom the greek mythology wiki.

  • Hi and welcome to Mythology and Folklore. Interesting answer. Is it possible to elaborate a little further and maybe add some of the sources that are noted on the fandom page and your own research?
    – Tom Sol
    Dec 2, 2020 at 13:11

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