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Guardians of the Faith, or simply Guardians, are a caste in Gilead that function as uniformed guards and police. They serve as the personal soldiers, bodyguards and servants of Commanders. In the Novel, they are lower ranking than Angels, though they still have some privileges over ordinary men.

Role Edit

TV Series Edit

In the 2017 TV Series, Guardians of the Faithful serve as Gilead's soldiers and law enforcers, organized into different units which are controlled by Commanders.[1] Some Guardians serve on the front lines in Gilead's wars (as the Angel rank is not present in the TV series), while other Guardians act as police in Gilead-controlled territory. Individual Guardians are often assigned to the household of a Commander to act as chauffeurs, as well as escorts for Wives and Handmaids. They do odd-jobs around the house at times as well. Guardians are fighting American soldiers in the city of Chicago, and rebels in the Blue Hills. Florida is also mentioned as a conflict zone.[2]

Guardians receive promotions and rewards like favorable postings and possibly marriage to an Econowife for good service. Guardians in the TV series have an internal hierarchy with different ranks, including commissioned officers (although these are still not considered Commanders). For example, Nick is saluted[3] and referred to as "sir" by other Guardians.

Most Guardians wear black or blue-gray uniforms, with an indigo jacket and/or a ballistic vest. They may wear a black knit cap or beret, but many have been seen without a headdress. When they are serving in the day-to-day household of their Commander or participating in ceremonial functions, Guardians usually wear formal attire like suits and ties. Guardians in more "tactical" gear appear at times, usually in high security zones. They wear body armor, helmets, and sometimes a pair of ballistic goggles and/or a balaclava to cover their face.

The primary weapon of the Guardians is the ubiquitous Colt M4A1 carbine. Their primary sidearm is the Glock 17 semiautomatic pistol. When acting as riot police, they carry riot shields and batons. In a flashback sequence, Guardians were also seen using M240B and M60E4 general-purpose machine guns to fire at protesters.

Film Edit

In the 1990 film adaption, the term "Guardian" is not mentioned, though Angels are in a newscast. The Gileadean soldiers in the film wear green, blue or gray uniforms with caps or berets. They are seen armed with batons and FN FAL battle rifles. Some are seen wearing riot gear.

Novel Edit

"The Guardians aren't real soldiers. They're used for routine policing and other menial functions, digging up the Commander's Wife's garden, for instance, and they're either stupid or older or disabled or very young, apart from the ones that are Eyes incognito."[4]

In the Novel, the Guardians are usually described as wearing dark green uniforms while on duty. They wear berets with the symbol of two crossed swords above a white triangle. Guardians salute Wives and Handmaids for their service. While Angels fight on the front lines, Guardians act as police at home. They have the ability to be promoted to Angels for good service.

Known Guardians Edit

Images Edit

TriviaEdit

  • In the TV series, Kyle confirms that some American military units were integrated into Gilead's forces as Guardians. [5]
  • It isn't uncommon for Guardians to be privy to the secrets of their Commanders and their Wives; for example, Nick escorts Offred to the Commander's study and drives his Commander to Jezebel's.
  • Sometimes, Wives also arrange clandestine meetings between Guardians and their Handmaids, to increase the Handmaid's chances of conceiving.
  • Most Guardians are apparently single, as they do not earn the privilege of a Wife until they achieve the rank of Angel. However, Guardians can be issued with an Econowife by the Gilead government.
  • In addition to the roles mentioned above, the Guardians have also been used as foot soldiers in the Republic of Gilead's war against the United States Government-in-exile's forces e.g. the US Armed Forces and against the numerous American loyalist rebel and citizen militia units who are fighting to free the United States from Gilead rule.
  • One example of the Guardians being used as foot soldiers in Gilead's war against America is the battle for the city of Chicago, Illinois where Guardians (and Angels) are fighting against the US Army and the Illinois National Guard for control of the city.

ReferencesEdit

  1. S2E2: "I am taking command of all of your units." https://www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk/view_episode_scripts.php?tv-show=the-handmaids-tale-2017&episode=s02e02
  2. Episode 2, Birth Day
  3. Season 3 Trailer: https://youtu.be/RcTvQx1Wot0?t=46
  4. Novel, II Shopping, Section 4
  5. Episode 2.3, "Baggage"

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