Follow TV Tropes

Following

Characters / Hollow Knight Lore And History

Go To

Historic Figures of Hallownest

Hallownest's many historical figures that shaped the kingdom when they were in their prime.
    open/close all folders 

Higher Beings

God-like creatures in the world of Hallownest that exist above all others. They have abilities and powers that regular bugs do not have, and many were deified; worshipped as gods by other bugs.

"Pale Beings" is a term that refers to two higher beings that once ruled Hallownest together, the Pale King and the White Lady.

Advertisement:

Pale Beings

    The Pale King 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pale_king.png

"No cost too great.
No mind to think.
No will to break.
No voice to cry suffering.
Born of God and Void.
You shall seal the blinding light that plagues their dreams.
You are the Vessel.
You are the Hollow Knight."
-The Pale King, heard while ascending the Abyss

The mysterious ruler and founder of Hallownest, venerated by his subjects. By the time the player character arrives, much of his kingdom has been in ruins for over a century following a devastating plague, and the King himself has long since departed for parts unknown.


  • A God Am I: The king of Hallownest was revered by his people as a deity. Born from a wyrm's corpse, the Pale King did everything in his power to replace the old light of the Radiance with his own and rule over Hallownest forever.
  • Abusive Parent: Subverted. While the details of what he was like as a person before the infection are unknown, his plan to create the perfect hollow Vessel to contain the infection required the sacrifice of thousands of his own spawn until one of them became perfectly "hollow" enough to contain Radiance. Ironically, it was because he wasn't heartless enough that doomed the plan, as he became attached to the Hollow Knight and raised them into adulthood, causing them to gain an "idea instilled" and become no longer truly hollow.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: His original form is of a gigantic Wyrm, specifically the giant discarded shell at Kingdom's Edge is actually his old corpse, containing a broken pod that is implied to be where his current form was birthed from and where the Knight obtains the King's Brand. It is unknown how many of the regular Hallownest citizens actually know the true origin of their King, and only the more ancient beings seem to be aware, such as his mate and Queen the White Lady, who only ever refers to him as the "Wyrm".
  • A God Am I: Revered by his people as a deity, and called himself one. The fact that his crown is virtually identical to the one worn by the Radiance — extra point notwithstanding — is unlikely to be a coincidence.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Just what happened to the Pale King? While the Knight finds a corpse in White Palace, it's unclear what the White Palace the Knight visited really was. The Godseeker in the Pantheon in Hallownest also never explicitly states that he died — rather that he was "erased completely".
  • Broken Pedestal: Eventually the lengths he went to in his desperation to contain the infection is revealed — he used thousands of his own children as the basis for the Vessels, a plan so "cruel" that it even turned off Ogrim, the King's most loyal Knight.
  • Cool Crown: The King's shell doubles as a crown. His four-pronged crown sigil can be found everywhere you look. Its points are quite similar to the three horns that decorated his archenemy, the Radiance. It also resembles the maw of the dead Wyrm from which he was born.
  • Founder of the Kingdom: Founded Hallownest and reigned as its king.
  • God-Emperor: The bugs of Hallownest worshipped him as a god. He certainly had the powers to back it up.
  • God Is Flawed: Powerful, wise and otherworldly, the King was not perfect. His initiative to tame Deepnest and his plot to seal the plague ultimately failed. He chose to sacrifice his own spawn by the thousands in order to save the rest of the Kingdom. However the plan failed when he ultimately could not be cold enough to the original Hollow Knight while raising them to adulthood.
  • Good Is Not Soft: The Pale King brought sapience to some of the bugs and guided them as their monarch. Despite being a reclusive figure, he was worshipped by his people. He was willing to go to any lengths to ensure the survival of his kingdom, even if it meant doing unsavory things.
  • Humanoid Abomination: He was apparently a reincarnation or a spawn of the dead Wyrm, and he had Lovecraftian Superpowers such as being able to manipulate the Void. More benevolent than the norm, but he did chain hundreds of Void spawn to do his bidding against the Radiance.
  • Light Is Good: It was said that he shone with a pure white light that could blind somebody if they look for too long. If the White Palace is any indication, it might be true.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Despite the lengths he was willing to go to, the inscription in front of the entrance to the Abyss indicates that the King was so disgusted with what he had to do to seal the Radiance that, after creating the Hollow Knight, he sealed the Abyss up and never set foot in it again.
    Higher beings, these words are for you alone. Our pure Vessel has ascended.
  • Posthumous Character: Possibly. His corpse can be found still sitting on his throne at the end of the White Palace, but the game keeps it ambiguous on whether the White Palace the Knight visits is a memory, or was the real deal transported to the dream world.
  • Power of the Void: The King had a knack for shaping the Void and making it do his bidding, and using it as a power source for constructs like the Kingsmoulds and Wingmoulds. Trouble is, the game also suggests it wasn't the safest thing to deal with, if the occasional corpses bleeding black from the eyes are any indication.
  • Royal "We": Spoke like this, judging by the inscriptions written for "higher beings" being written by him.
  • Sympathetic Adulterer: Though he was married to the White Lady, the Pale King had to give Herrah the Beast a child if he wanted Deepnest's loyalty. The White Lady not only feels no spite towards Herrah, she's actually very fond of the child that was born; that child being Hornet.
  • The Usurper: A lore tablet in White Palace reveals he wanted to rule as the only god by granting intelligence to certain bugs so they would worship him.
  • Walking Spoiler: Learning about the king and his actions reveal major parts of the game's backstory.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: As Hallownest was taken by the plague, he was willing to sacrifice anything to keep it at bay. Using the Dream Nail on his corpse reveals his final thoughts: "…No cost too great…"

    The White Lady 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/white_lady_cut.png

"To claim its role requires strength of some magnitude. Prepare yourself well before attempting the task."
-The White Lady, after attaining her White Fragment

A large treelike being dwelling in the Queen's Gardens. She gives the Knight half of the Kingsoul.


  • Blind Seer: For all her wisdom, the White Lady is nearly completely blind, and will believe that Ogrim the Dung Defender is with the Knight if they enter her chamber while wearing the Defender's Crest. She also does not know that Dryya, the Great Knight protecting her has long-since died just outside her hut.
  • Girl in a Box: The White Lady is confined to a solitary hut on the outer rim of the Queen's Gardens, unable to move and protected only by the motionless corpse of one of her loyal knights, seemingly not even aware of the other's passing.
  • Happily Married: Heavily implied to have been this with the Pale King. If she is talked to after obtaining the Kingsoul, she'll refer to the Pale King as her "beloved Wyrm".
  • Light Is Good: She's literally glowing.
  • Mother of a Thousand Young: An extremely rare non-monstrous example. We never get to see what exactly her "seeds" are, because she chose to bind herself to suppress her voracious desire to breed out of regret for something she did in the past. She was the mother of the thousands of Vessels left in the Abyss, and recognizes the Knight as one of her 'spawn'.
  • Plant Person: She is sometimes referred to as "the Root", and she speaks of herself using plant-like terms, such as sensing things through her roots or spreading seeds.
  • Psychic Static: Dream Nailing her will not yield thoughts beyond her noticing it, though you being able to use it in the first place gives her hope you'll be able to break the seals you need to.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: If the implications about her being the Queen of Hallownest are true. She is enormous compared to the Pale King who is relatively normal-sized.
  • Willfully Weak: She explains to the Knight that the bindings preventing her from moving were fashioned by her own hand, as she fears that her instinct to spread and reproduce would overpower her judgment.
  • Useless Bystander Parent: While she likely did not participate as directly as the Pale King in the conversion of their children into empty Vessels, she did know and seemingly allowed thousands of her spawn to die and be reborn in the Abyss. On the other hand, she is one of the most important and useful NPCs in explaining the plot and does aid the player-Knight by providing half of the King's Soul, and directing them to the Birthplace.
  • That Thing Is Not My Child!: Played with. The White Lady is never hostile or outright cold to the Knight, but she speaks to them very formally rather than addressing them like one of her children. Justified in that while she acknowledges that "there's a part" of herself in the Knight, and even calls them her "spawn", the process of becoming a Vessel basically killed and ripped out the insides of that child to be replaced by Void. She may also be deliberately keeping herself emotionally distant as the failure of the original Hollow Knight was because they were tarnished by "an idea instilled", which is implied to be because the Pale King bonded with the Hollow Knight while raising them to adulthood and they began to have a mind, will, and purpose of their own. In that case, for the greater good, she cannot fully acknowledge the Knight.

Other Higher Beings

    Unn 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/unn.png

"...She is calling... Home so close.."
-Moss Knight, at the Lake of Unn

A gigantic slug that lives in a secret cavern beyond the Lake of Unn.


  • Flat Character: She stares at you, spits out a charm for you, then leaves for good.
  • Green Thumb: She's implied to be the source of Greenpath's vegetation.
  • More Than Mind Control: Implied that the Mosskin are defending Unn and Greenpath rather than going after the Knight for the Radiance's sake, which is hinted at by the fact that their eyes don't glow when hostile, and that they are constantly thinking about protecting Unn. Despite that, they are still infected

Advertisement:

The Dreamers

    In General 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dreamer_masks_8.png
To protect the Vessel, the Dreamers lay sleeping.
Through their devotion, Hallownest lasts eternal.

In order to contain the infection plaguing Hallownest, the Pale King enlisted the help of three renowned bugs, placing each of them into a deep sleep in order to seal the Black Egg Temple. If the Knight hopes to bring the infection to an end, they must seek out each of the Dreamers, enter their dreams, and slay them in their sleep.


  • Black Cloak: All of them wear black garbs to indicate their status as Dreamers.
  • Dream Weaver: The deep sleep they've been put in not only grants them the power to each place a seal on the egg of the Black Egg Temple but also forms a protective barrier around their unconscious bodies, lets them project their voices and images to the Knight, and allows them to trap the Knight in the dream world until the Seer guides them to the Dream Nail.
  • Final Speech: Dream Nailing each of them multiple times in the dream realm before ending their lives provides their final thoughts. Their Dream Nail dialogue is notable for being much longer than any other NPC in the game.
  • Slain in Their Sleep: Using the Dream Nail, the Knight enters their dreams in order to end their lives and break their seals on the Black Egg Temple.

    Monomon the Teacher 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/b_monomon.png

"...For diversity, a Seal...
...A world forever unchanging...
...the Seals, must break...
...Forever...
...Forever...
...Better, an end..."
-Monomon's Final Speech

The chief researcher of Hallownest who makes her home in the Teacher's Archives, located in Fog Canyon. The Oomas and Uomas that populate the Canyon are creations of hers.


  • Batman Gambit: Implied to be why she gave Quirrel her mask before he left Hallownest. She knew that sooner or later, even with Laser-Guided Amnesia, she would call Quirrel back to Hallownest, allowing her to be restored and her seal broken when the time was right.
  • The Spock: Fitting for Hallownest's chief researcher, she's the most intelligent of the three Dreamers. She appears to be the only Dreamer that logically recognizes it is time for the seals to be broken, is responsible for many of the artificial lifeforms in Hallownest, and even sets up some extra protection for herself and her seal by entrusting her mask to Quirrel before he leaves Hallownest, knowing he'd return eventually.

    Lurien the Watcher 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/b_lurien.png

"...For King beloved...
...To sleep. To serve...
...Bonds must remain...
...Remain...
...Remain...
...Remain..."
-Lurien's Final Speech

A bug who watches over the City of Tears from the Watcher's Spire, protected by his force of Watcher Knights.


  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Lurien seems to believe that the Knight's quest to break the seals and confront the source of the infection will only end up making things worse, and attempts to discourage the Knight from going further in Greenpath before trapping them in the dream world when they reach the Resting Grounds.

    Herrah the Beast 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/b_herrah.png

"...Bound...For brood...For child...
...Fair bargain made...
...Give all...
...For her..
...For her..
...For her.."
-Herrah's Final Speech

Chief of the beasts of Deepnest. Her cooperation and enlistment as a Dreamer was part of a deal she made with Hallownest, in exchange for the Pale King fathering a child with her. She is secluded away in the Beast's Den.



Advertisement:

Warrior Dreams

    In General 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/grave_pin.png
Warrior's Grave Map Pin

The lingering ghosts of particularly strong bugs that can only be challenged once the Dream Nail is acquired. Defeating them rewards the knight with a large amount of Essence. They were all designed by Kickstarter backers


  • Death Amnesia: They're all unaware of their own deaths. Some of them realize the truth after being fought, but some don't...
  • Posthumous Character: They've all been dead for quite a while.

    Elder Hu 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dream_elder_hu.png
"Dreamborn god of travellers and sages"

Backer: Donald Lynch

"Never forget what once was lost, yet do not let it tie you down."
-Elder Hu (Hunter's Journal)

A traveling sage who sought to purify the borderlands of Hallownest from the Infection. He, unfortunately, became infected himself, and his own infected mind made him see the Mantis Village Tribe as afflicted by the plague. The Mantises killed him after he attacked them, and a memorial was erected in his name above the gates to the City of Tears.


  • Heel Realization: After being beaten by the knight, he realizes that he was wrong for attacking the Mantis Tribe, and comes to terms with his death.
    Elder Hu: If there was madness in that village, it was I who brought it. They were right to cast me out. When I attacked, they were right to... They were right to kill... To kill... me...? ...aah.

    Galien 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dream_galien.png
"Dreamborn god of heroic hearts"

Backer: Zachary Virden

"A Knight strives not only to protect the land and its people, but the hopes and dreams of the kingdom."
-Galien (Hunter's Journal)

A brave and undefeated warrior who claimed to be the strongest in Hallownest and desired to prove his valor to the Pale King as a Knight. He traveled to Deepnest in order to test his strength but eventually found death instead. His husk lies in a cave filled with unusually large glowing mushrooms.


  • Blood Knight: Greatly enjoys fighting.
    Galien: Let us test our strength in joyful combat!
  • Locked Out of the Loop: He never realizes that he's been killed, and acts as if the knight is the first person to defeat him. He's also unaware of the King's disappearance.
  • Strength Equals Worthiness: He ventures into Deepnest because he believes he needs to prove his strength to the Pale King to be a knight. He, unfortunately, fails to do this and dies as a result.

    Gorb 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dream_gorb.png
"Dreamborn god of the beyond"

Backer: Aladar Apponyi

"I am Gorb!"
-Gorb (Hunter's Journal)

Gorb the Great Mind, a mystic creature with a distended brain who claimed to be all-knowing. He goaded others to revere his mind and ascend with him to a different plane of existence. His remains were buried on a hill atop the Howling Cliffs.


  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: He claims he can do this, and wants others to do this with him for some reason.
    Gorb: Ascend! Ascend! Ascend ascend ascend with Gorb!
  • Storm of Blades: His only attack is firing a ring of 8 spears outwards in a circle from his location. As he takes damage, he'll start doing it in waves in alternating patterns.
  • Teleport Spam: He'll occasionally teleport to a different area of the arena.

    Markoth 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dream_markoth.png
"Dreamborn god of meditation and isolation"

Backer: Samuel Dixon

"May your efforts lead you somewhere worthy."
-Markoth (Hunter's Journal)

One of the only moths to carry a weapon, Markoth was an undefeated warrior who grew disgruntled from the world and the kingdom of Hallownest, rejecting them. He went to Kingdom's Edge to seclude himself and meditate, hoping to uncover a truth long forgotten, and fighting any who disturbed, regardless of their reasons. He eventually died, his remains never to be found in a lone cave of Kingdom's Edge.


  • Bullet Hell: Oh boy! Markoth spends the whole fight summoning Nails around the arena that aim in The Knight's direction for a moment before flying forward. He does this whenever he isn't doing another attack, and the Nail's spawn faster as the fight goes on.
  • Orbiting Particle Shield: He summons a Dreamshield at the start of the battle that orbits around him. At half-health, he summons a second one.

    Marmu 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dream_marmu.png
"Dreamborn god of gardens"

Backer: Zara Pellen

"If you believe in something as hard as you can, with your eyes shut tight... eventually it will come true!"
-Marmu (Hunter's Journal)

The innocent-minded yet strong protector of the Queen's Gardens. The Queen promised to teach her how to fly upon her return to the verdant retreat, but Marmu sadly passed away before that day came. A totem in her memory was placed upon her grave in the gardens' wilds.


  • Bouncing Battler: Her main method of attack is curling up into a ball and flinging herself at the knight.
  • Child Soldier: Implied, given that she's a caterpillar who's waiting to learn to fly (i.e. become a butterfly, i.e. grow up) and is very naïve.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: She's a Puss Moth Caterpillar! Not as cute as the game makes it look!
  • Tragic Dream: She's waiting for the queen to teach her how to fly, completely unaware that she's dead and will never get the chance.

    No Eyes 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dream_no_eyes.png
"Dreamborn god of fear and relief"

Backer: Liza Kretzschmar

"They're coming...
What's inside of you...
Strip it out!"
-No Eyes (Hunter's Journal)

A former warrior of Hallownest who fell to the Infection. She couldn't sleep knowing the dreams would infect her mind with the light, so she stripped both her and other bugs of their eyes to protect them from succumbing to it. They were all laid to rest in the Stone Sanctuary, a place in complete darkness, deep in Greenpath.


  • Eye Scream: She ripped her own, and some other's, eyes out to escape infection.
  • Flunky Boss: She never directly harms the knight, but rather summons the sanctuary's spirits to attack instead.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: The real challenge of her boss fight is this. She Teleport Spams around the arena every few seconds, so the player has to get to her before she does it again to damage her, while also avoiding the spirits that actually trying to hurt them.
  • Teleport Spam: She teleports around the arena every few seconds.

    Xero 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dream_xero_0.png
"Dreamborn god of faith and betrayal"

Backer: Constant Pham

"A life defined by tragedy and triumph. A death marred by sorrow and regret. A spirit burdened by sins and memories. Better to wander the world than be cursed with glory."
-Xero (Hunter's Journal)

A former warrior of Hallownest who believed he could fight the infection on his own and turned against the Pale King, for which he was executed. His tomb can be found in the Resting Grounds, a reminder to any who would betray the King.


  • Boss Arena Idiocy: You fight the dream warrior Xero atop a platform in Resting Grounds. But unlike the other boss fights which lock you inside the room, you can easily run past and go below the platform where he hovers or far off to the left of it. Here, you can heal yourself without interruptions because his nails won't reach you and Xero only moves above the platform. This is possibly Justified as Xero is technically the first dream warrior that you can encounter after obtaining the dream nail, and he gives 100 essence, just enough to introduce you to the other, more difficult dream warriors. However, this tactic becomes averted in the Godhome.
  • Heel Realization: After being beaten by the knight, he realizes his coup against the king was foolish and accepts his defeat.
    Xero: Ah... I can see now. Those who turn against the King are doomed as soon as they raise their weapon. Do not call me a traitor... Simply call me a fool.
  • Make an Example of Them: He was given a proper burial in the resting grounds to make others think twice about treachery. His tomb reads "Cursed are those who turn against the King." currently, and originally read "Here lies a Traitor" in an earlier version of the game.


Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report