The Threshold Guardian
The Threshold Guardian is the archetypal character whose job it is to keep your Hero/ine from entering where they must. The Threshold Guardian is an obstacle character which your hero/ine must overcome in order to move forward.
Think about the troll that makes a character answer three riddles before they can cross the bridge. The troll is a Threshold Guardian. If the hero/ine doesn’t answer the riddles they can not pass and move forward in the story, or they could be killed, or they will fail on their quest.
This is a test for your protagonist.
This archetype character can come in many forms: bodyguards, watchmen, trolls, defenders of the faith, etc. But the purpose is always the same—to impede the protagonist from easy passage from one part of the journey to the next. The Threshold Guardian’s job is to keep the unworthy from entering the next world.
The Threshold Guardian can be good or evil. They can be secret guides. They can also be the representative of the hero/ine’s fears, hatreds, obsessions, etc that the hero/ine must deal with internally. Or any combination of the above.
Examples of Threshold Guardians:
Professor Quirrell in Harry Potter
Heimdall in Thor, Thor: The Dark World
Cinna in The Hunger Games
Saruman in Lord of the Rings
Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy
Darth Vader and Darth Maul in the Star Wars movies
You might consider adding a Threshold Guardian type character to show growth in your character arc, or to add tension and conflict to your novel. Remember that the Threshold Guardian archetype comes in many forms. Use your creativity to make the archetype appear fresh and unique (unless, of course, you need a troll under a bridge).