The Four Guards are posted to two doors in Jareth's Labyrinth, one leads to the next area of the Labyrinth and the other to 'certain death.' They present Sarah with a complex riddle she has to solve before she is allowed to pass the doors they guard.
The guards were puppeteered by Steve Whitmire, Kevin Clash, Anthony Asbury, and Dave Goelz, with the voices of Anthony Jackson, Douglas Blackwell, David Shaughnessy, and Timothy Bateson. The Creature Shop fabrication team consisted of Cheryl Henson, Ricky Eyres, Rollie Krewson, Polly Smith, Bernard Kramer, and Geoff Paige.
Role In The Film
Sarah encounters the Four Guards within the brick maze. They demonstrate the magically changing nature of the Labyrinth. Sarah is surprised that they appear in an area that was a dead end a moment ago, and then is surprised again upon seeing that the way out of that area from which she came is suddenly blocked.
The Four Guards present Sarah with a version of the Knights and Knaves logic puzzle. One of the doors out of the area leads to the castle, while the other leads to 'certain death'. In addition, one pairs of guards is a truth teller, while the other always lies, and only a single question can be asked. Sarah considers, then asks, 'Would he tell me that this door leads to the castle.' By involving both guards, Sarah gets the same answer regardless of whether the truth teller or liar is asked. In other words, either the truth teller truthfully tells her how the liar would lie, or else the liar lies about how the truth teller would tell the truth. Sarah knows to do the opposite of the answer she's given, which allows her to choose the right door. Of course, in the Labyrinth the right way isn't always obviously the right way. Sarah goes through the door, and immediately falls through a trap door into the Shaft of Hands.
Appearances In Other Media
Sarah names the Four Guards, Alph, Ralph, Jim, and Tim. Sarah names the upper guard on the left after her uncle Alf, who has shifty eyes similar to the guard. Sarah names the upper guard on the right Ralph, because it's 'R' for 'right' combined with 'Alph'. Sarah names the lower guards Jim and Tim, because they're the first rhyming pair of names that comes to her mind. The Four Guards aren't named in the film, however the Creature Workshop Team for the puppets is labeled 'Alph and Ralph' in the end credits.