This is an excerpt from the 2013 Galactic History series with Andrew Bartzis and Lance White.
There are some sources who have answered this sometimes-rhetorical question. The answers vary, depending on which perspective the respective source is coming from. Being a Galactic Historian, Andrew Bartzis naturally explains the Archons from that perspective.
Here is the 7+-minute clip that has Andrew's answer.
The Archons' most important role is to hold Court to determine who is allowed to reincarnate into our world, especially pertaining to high-vibration Souls, and insert the fine-print into Soul contracts. However, some of these hi-vibe Souls found a back-door way in, leading to concerted attempts by the Archons to take out the Indigos and Crystals in the 80s, thus the vaccines. They reside in the Astral realms.
They have forced Earth to drop her vibrations throughout the ages by bringing in low-vibe Souls; Earth has no choice but to do so to accommodate the general lower frequencies of her people, because she needs to have and nurture Life upon her.
Galactic Ascension machine set up 490,000 years to resolve 66 timelines of drama; 385,000 y.a. Archons came in after neutral parties were expelled (from Galactic Council?). Set up and conditioned to believe they are gods, Archons manipulate and exert their control over Humanity to prevent people from claiming their Sovereignty due to "inserted" negative habit patterns.
Most of the 52 Archons are 4D - 7D. Not being able to exist for long in this reality, they would fade out in time and new ones brought in to replace them. They are under the 15 Multidimensional Beings.
Some of these Archons have been taken out, while some have a conscience ~ "I can't do this anymore". These are the ones that revealed the "back doors" of the reincarnation grid. Many of them have to be forgiven as their roles have largely been forced upon them by the 15.
They will be judged by the Spiritual Court of Equity; for those who are beyond redemption, they will be sent to the Galactic Central Sun for recycling.
They are playing both Light and Dark sides in the hope that they will get turned into Walk-Ins because they also want to get out of this situation. They know they are stuck, like everyone else.