The Watchers (Aramaic עִיר ʿiyr, plural עִירִין ʿiyrin, ʕiːr(iːn); Theodotian trans: ir; from the root of Heb. ʿer, "awake, watchful"; Greek: ἐγρήγοροι, transl.: egrḗgoroi; Slav transliteration, Grigori, "Watchers", "those who are awake"; "guard",) were a group of fallen angels who mated with human women to create the race of hybrids known as the Nephilim. The apocryphal Books of Enoch (2nd–1st centuries BC) refer to both good and bad Watchers, with a primary focus on the rebellious Watchers.
It is the belief of certain sects that it was this forbidden union of human and angel that prompted the Biblical Flood, God's way of ensuring the Nephilim were prevented from growing as a new species and endangering His creation (however some Nephilim were reported to exist after the Flood).
The Watchers were said to number 200 and were led by the fallen angel Samyaza - as well as lusting over mortals.
These rebellious angels were said to bring forbidden knowledge to humanity about weaponry, cosmetics, mirrors, sorcery and other gifts of knowledge to the mortal human species was meant to learn over time without exterior aid.
As punishment for their treachery, God banished the Watchers to reside within the valleys of the earth until Judgement Day, and appointed Enoch as the intermediator between Him and the Watchers. He later caused the Great Flood to destroy the Nephilim, burying the Watchers in the process.
In Popular Culture
There have been many different depictions of the Grigori in fiction and wider popular culture.
In director Kevin Smith's 1999 religious satire Dogma, the renegade angel Bartleby is mentioned by the wise seraphim Metatron to have formerly been a Grigori.
In Darren Aronofsky's 2014 Biblical epic film Noah, there are a large number of Watchers and they are depicted as having been cast out of Heaven after deciding to help mankind.
In Traci Harding's book The Cosmic Logos, the Grigori were a group of fallen spiritual beings who watched over and assisted humanity's spiritual evolution thus gaining the title the 'Watchers".
In Season 10 episode "Angel Heart" of the hit TV show Supernatural mentions the Grigori with one, Tamiel (under the name "Peter Holloway") appearing as the main villain of the episode. At one point in this said episode, a picture is shown that is implied to be a painting of a grigori—it is, in fact, a classic depiction of the archangel Michael besting Satan/Lucifer.
In the popular The Black Tapes podcast, Grigori are mentioned in Episode 105 titled "The Devil You Know".
In his 2015 Sigma Force novel The Bone Labyrinth, author James Rollins describes the founders of the lost city of Atlantis as "Watchers", a superior hybrid species of early humans and Neanderthals who disseminated knowledge and possibly interbred with people throughout the world. They also created the protected land of Atlantis itself, which is said to be located somewhere within the northwestern South America country of Ecuador.
In Lauren Kate's book Fallen, a group called the "Watchers" studied angels who consorted with mortal human females, but more closely, Daniel Grigori the 6th archangel.
In novelist Darynda Jones' Charley Davidson book paranormal romantic thriller book series, Sean Foster was identified as nephelim, "part human, part angel ... descended from the union of a grigori and a human.".
In the Hellboy comics the watchers, led by Anum, created the dragon Ogdru Jahad, which proved to be a big mistake, as the beast became obsessed with chaos and discord. The other Watchers killed Anum, in order to shift the blame, which angered God, who then cast the watchers down to Hell. Later Satan and his faction was cast as well to hell, where they enslaved the watchers in order to built Pandemonium.
In the Chronicles of the Nephilim- and Chronicles of the Apocalypse-book series by Brian Godawa, the Watcher's serve as major villains and are in fact the gods of various pagan religions. Notable Watcher gods are: Nachash (also Mastema, Belial, Apolloyon) Samyaza (also Anu), Azazel (also Inanna/Ishtar/Asthtart/Astoreth), Gadreel (also Ninurta, Marduk, Baal), Zaqiel (also Utu, Shamash, Chemosh), Baraqiel (also Enlil), Arakiel (also Enki), Tamiel (Nanna), Eseqel (Ninhursag), Ramiel (Ereshkigal), Sariel (Nergal), Ninsun, Molech, Dagon, Horus, Isis, Anubis, Serapis, Asherah, Mithras, Ahura Mazda, Dionysus, Artemis, Asclepius, Cybele, Zeus, Athena, Poseidon, Hubal, Allat, Al-Uzza and Manat.