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Denizens of Hallownest

The many friendly (or at least not kill-y) faces the Knight meets on his journey throughout Hallownest.
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Wanderers

Characters that are encountered in several locations as they wander around Hallownest.
    Quirrel 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/quirrel.png
"For so long I've felt drawn here. So many tales full of wonders and horrors. No longer could I resist. I just had to see it for myself."
-Quirrel, in the Temple of the Black Egg

An explorer who's fascinated by the myths of Hallownest, a place that beckons from his dreams. He's first encountered in the Temple of the Black Egg.


  • But Now I Must Go: After the Knight's last talk to him at Blue Lake, he plants his nail on the ground and disappears.
  • Flash Step: He zips all over the place when he helps you out against Uumuu, to the point that it seems like he's teleporting.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Shows up just in time to help with Uumuu.
  • Kiai: Similar to Hornet, he'll shout whenever he attacks during the Uumuu fight.
    Kha'sa!
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: He comes to remember that he used to live in Hallownest and studied under Monomon, but lost his memories after leaving Hallownest. He's rather thankful that he can't remember any tragedies from back then and that he got to witness the wonders of Hallownest a second time.
  • Mask of Power: Owns a mask that looks suspiciously like the one worn by one of the Dreamers. It has magic properties, like bouncing off an attack from Hornet in the prequel comic. It's the key to the additional seal Monomon placed on herself.
  • Walking the Earth: Quirrel's primary motivation prior to arriving at Monomon's Archives is to travel the roads of Hallownest and see its wonders in person.

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    Zote 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/npc_zote.PNG
Click here to see Grey Prince Zote 

"Know this, cur. I am Zote the Mighty, a knight of great renown. Cross me again, and you'll find out why they call my weapon 'Life Ender'."
-Zote, after being rescued in Greenpath

'My love, any creature who could bear to be away from you, who would willingly leave you behind or say unkind things to you... Pah! Lowly maggots, not worthy of standing in your glorious shadow!'
"She felt her cold body grow warm, a sensation she had almost forgotten..."
-'The Grey Prince' Chapter 112 (Hunter's Journal entry for Grey Prince Zote)

A self-proclaimed mighty knight who's seeking fame in Hallownest. He's totally full of himself and calling him "quite" foolish is an understatement. He's first encountered in Greenpath, "fighting" a Vengefly King.


  • Abusive Parents: During his "57 precepts", Zote implies both his mother and father were abusive enough that he ran from home. Given Zote's biases when it comes to his own history, the accuracy of this implication can be disputed.
  • Bonus Boss:
    • He becomes the "boss" of the first course in the Colosseum of Fools if you keep him alive through the game. As of the Hidden Dreams update, if you rescue Bretta and defeat Zote in the Colosseum, you gain the option to fight a much beefier and more lethal version of Zote as a dream boss.
    • As of the Godmaster update, there is a minigame called "The Eternal Ordeal" (complete with full screen splash, a right that was reserved for, until now, the True Final Boss, and the game's most difficult Bonus Boss), where you fight an endless army of Zotes (who can actually hurt you now), and Zotelings of various types for as long as you can, with increasing density of enemies on screen as time goes on. Kill over 57 for a new title screen.
  • Boss Subtitles: "Zote the Mighty". Grey Prince Zote also gets more and more adjectives added to his name the more times you defeat him.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Averted. After you defeat him at the Colosseum, Zote speaks ill of you in Dirtmouth and your fangirl Bretta falls for his lies.
  • Distressed Dude: Can be rescued from an untimely demise (or not) on two separate occasions during the story.
  • Fearless Fool: He believes fear is a waste of time and is unaffected even when creatures are about to make a snack out of him.
    "Fear can only hold you back. Facing your fears can be a tremendous effort. Therefore, you should just not be afraid in the first place".
  • Fighting Clown: His Grey Prince Zote form is only slightly less bumbling than the real thing, but far more deadly due to his sheer unpredictability.
  • Hero of Another Story: Zote goes on his own journey around Hallowest, inexpicably surviving against most of the odds on his own. He was meant to be the 3rd playable character, but his Kickstarter campaign's stretch goal wasn't funded. On one hand, the Colosseum of Fools and the Abyss weren't funded either but were still put in the game. On the other, they lack several features promised by the campaign, leaving Zote's playable appearance a question.
  • Hidden Depths: Double subverted. When you read his mind at the Colosseum, he laments not being able to fulfill a promise while trapped there, only for it to be a selfish promise of glory to himself. However, it is also suggested that Zote came from an abusive home and craves the approval of his parents.
  • Hypocrite: One of his 57 rules is to show respect to those who are superior to you in strength. Considering that he treats the Knight like crap despite it being much, much stronger than him, he's blatantly breaking his own rules.
  • I Call It "Vera": His wooden nail is named "Life Ender" because he reasons that if names have power, then naming a weapon should make it powerful.
  • Insane Troll Logic: He follows a set of 57 rules that range from surprisingly sound advice to utter nonsense (like never trusting your own reflection and statues being meaningless, which even in context don't make too much sense).
  • Jerkass: A pretty insufferable guy.
  • Joke Character: When you face Zote, you find all he does is swing his sword around like a kid and fall flat on his face while doing rolling jumps. Even more amusingly, if you take pity on him and take a hit, you discover that the so-called Life Ender cannot harm you! Just how did this guy survive any area of the game? His Grey Prince dream form is still very much a Fighting Clown, but he actually poses a significant threat with his shockwaves, stomps, and minions.
  • Musical Gag: The Gods and Glory update brings us a minigame where you can try and take out as many Zotes as you can. The theme that plays is called "Truth, Beauty and Hatred feat. Zote". It's his Grey Prince boss theme with Zote humming the tune in his hoarse voice. Terribly.
  • Sore Loser: For most of the game, he can't be bothered to even remember who you are, but after you kick the crap out of him at the Colosseum of Fools, he returns to Dirtmouth and begins badmouthing you to the bugs there, telling them what a monster you are. Apparently, the only one who buys it is Bretta.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: He's convinced that he's the most awesome guy around, but the truth is that he's a complete weakling. When he returns from the Colosseum of Fools, he proudly displays a trophy from his triumphant victory there...a helmet from the first standard enemy you fight at the beginning of the first trial in the Colosseum.
  • Smug Snake: For all his arrogance, Zote has literally no fighting skills and will die like a chump if you don't help him out. To drive home just how harmless he really is, even the Hunter thinks he's too weak and pathetic to be worth killing.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: He calls you a hindrance whenever you save him.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: As Grey Prince Zote — unlocked as an optional encounter after saving Bretta from the Fungal Wastes and defeating Zote in the Colosseum of Fools — he retains his pitiful swordplay and tendency to fall flat on his face, but adds shockwaves to every one of his attacks.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: As stated above, Zote's thoughts and opinions on things are ones to be disputed as whether they are legitimate or the delusional ramblings of a self-serving egoist, but when Dream Nailed during the "boss fight" with him in the Colosseum, one of the Dream Nail Dialogues is this:
    "I'll kill a thousand more... Will that be enough, father?"
  • Wooden Katanas Are Even Better: His Life Ender is a hand-made wooden nail. Averted, as it can't actually hurt you. Double Subverted in the "Bonus Boss" version of Zote, where it can hurt you.
  • Vague Age: He's about the same size as the Knight who is heavily implied to be a child with the reveal of the Hollow Knight's origins where it is shown to look almost identical to the former back in the day. However, Zote has the voice of a grown man. Most characters who are implied to be adults are usually at least a little taller than the Knight.

    Cloth 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cloth.png

Backer: Noah Sturtridge

"You act so confident in battle. You show no fear before your foes. I'll try my best to do the same."
-Cloth, in the Ancient Basin

A cicada warrior who's working up the courage to battle the beasts of Hallownest. She's first encountered in the Fungal Wastes.


  • Carry a Big Stick: Wields a club as her weapon.
  • Damsel in Distress: If you spare her the encounter with the Traitor Lord, you can find her cornered by several Aspid Hunters and Lesser Mawleks (signified by her Club lying on the ground), and can save her. This too inspires her to be braver.
  • Death Seeker: Wants to die in battle and reunite with someone named Nola in the afterlife.
  • Ghost Amnesia: Averted. If Cloth dies, then she is one of the few ghosts in the game who realizes she just died and will leave the area on her own to be Together in Death with a friend. If you don't absorb her first, that is.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: She shows up to help you with the Mantis Traitors and the Traitor Lord. She'll die in the battle, though, and the only way to prevent that is to go out of your way to avoid meeting her before the fight.
  • Mutual Kill: Gets fatally impaled by the Traitor Lord, but crushes his head in return. This does not happen if you don't meet her in Ancient Basin first.
  • Took a Level in Badass: During her first encounters, she reveals herself as not that strong and a bit of a scaredy cat. But, if you get her key encounter in the Ancient Basin, then Cloth will gather up enough courage to fight the Traitor Lord alongside the Knight.

    Tiso 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tiso.png

Backer: Tiso Spencer

"Though few could truly challenge me, I'm hoping this arena presents the sort of brutal challenge I'm after."
-Tiso, in the Colosseum of Fools

A smug warrior who's looking for the Colosseum of Fools. He's first encountered in Dirtmouth.


  • Blood Knight: He wants to find the colosseum as soon as possible and find glory there.
  • Butt-Monkey: Is built up for the majority of the game as a tough opponent to face in the Colosseum, only to be killed offscreen, and unceremoniously dumped down the pit for you to discover later. His status as one is fully cemented in the Godmaster campaign: when it seems he's finally got his chance to shine as a full-fledged Boss Fight...they literally drop a Brooding Mawlek on him.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: For all his bluster, Tiso suffers an ignominious offscreen death after he arrives at the Colosseum.
  • Famous Last Words: Or rather thoughts. "…Why?…"
  • Hero of Another Story: Much of his adventure goes unseen aside from meeting him in a few specific areas (Dirtmouth, Blue Lake, etc.) but considering he's having no trouble with enemies like Zote, it seems like he has enough skill to justify his smug behavior at least.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Uses a shield as a weapon, and it has some sort of trick. You never find what it is, but the sketch of the person who made him states its like a boomerang.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: What his "special trick" presumably entailed. Whatever it was, it didn't protect him in the long run.
  • Smug Snake: He boasts a lot about his combat ability and insults the Knight often. Reading his thoughts with the Dream Nail reveal less-than-positive things, such as musing about killing the Knight but refusing to do so because it would be a "pitiful end".
  • The Unfought: The game sets him up as a big obstacle in the big colosseum, but in the end he's a Red Herring since he dies before you even meet during a trial in the colosseum. Subverted now that the gods and glory update has been made, as he is a full-fledged boss...who gets killed again by a Brooding Mawlek in a hilarious double subversion, which seems to go against everything about the point of the campaign (bringing planned-but-unused bosses to the forefront).

    The Last Stag 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/laststag.png

"I've grown stiff and tired over these many years and I've forgotten much, but the sound of the bell will always call me back."
-The Last Stag, when first encountered

During the height of Hallownest's prosperity, legions of stag beetles served as mounts and taxis for the citizens. Now, only one stag remains, but despite his age, he is still willing to ferry the Knight across the kingdom as more routes are reopened.


  • Foil: One to Elderbug and the Grey Mourner. All are old creatures, who are relics of their times. The Grey Mourner has completely succumbed to her sadness unless helped (which she expects no one to do). Elderbug likes company and helps, but refuses to leave Dirtmouth out of fear, and sees his virtue as a duty. But The Stag is a constant helpful companion who revels in exploring now that he has company and in the end is a very hopeful character.
  • Job-Stealing Robot: Is annoyed to see the Knight holding a pass for the tramways.
  • Last of His Kind: It's in his name. However, after you find a hatched egg in the Stag Nest, he decides to hold onto hope that other stags are out there. His name changes to "Old Stag" when this happens.
  • Mr. Exposition: Tells you how each area used to be in the old days.
  • Nice Guy: It wouldn't be a stretch to call him the game's friendliest character. The Stag is helpful, protective, and loyal towards the Knight, and is one of the few characters to be optimistic about the future. If the two of you talk while in Deepnest, he admits that he's afraid for your safety and wishes you would leave as soon as possible. Even when he discovers the Stag Nest, he refuses to abandon his duty as a transport and will only go if you choose to take him there.
  • Nonindicative Name: While he's called a stag beetle, he bears a much closer resemblance to a rhinoceros beetle.

    Mister Mushroom 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mister_mushroom.png

"Caps and shells may fall to dust, But Mr Mushroom readjusts..."
-Mister Mushroom, when Dream Nailed

A strange fungoid being that only appears late in the game, in secluded spots that must be tracked down. Finding out what he is or is after is another story...


  • Ambiguously Evil: Finishing his quest unlocks a new bit to the ending cinematic where he is shown still flying over Dirtmouth. The camera zooms in close to his face, making him seem particularly intimidating with the Sketch-Swirl style eyes and emphasized shadow on his face.
  • It's the Journey That Counts: In the final conversation with him, he expresses this sentiment after noting it took a long journey just to find him every time.
  • Mushroom Man: His name is Mister Mushroom. What else did you expect?
  • Mythology Gag: His first conversation is a nod to the simple game Hungry Knight, Team Cherry's previous game which in many ways was the prototype for Hollow Knight.
  • Signs of the End Times: Going by the tablet that gives hints on where to find him, he IS the sign, called the "Master Herald, he who would signal an Age's end". Considering he only appears once you have slain all three Dreamers, well...
  • Talkative Loon: How he comes off, between his multiple strange lines and the fact that he's talking to himself up until you approach him. His final conversation indicates he isn't a total Cloud Cuckoolander, though.
  • Time Abyss: Going by his Dream Nail lines, Hallownest was just the most recent kingdom to be founded by a spawn of the Wyrm, and he's witnessed an unknown number of them rise and fall, unaffected every time.
  • Word Salad Philosophy: Most of his lines are vague advice that have no obvious relevance, if any, on what you're doing or have done in-game.

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Dirtmouth NPCs

NPCs that spend most of their time small town of Dirtmouth.
    Elderbug 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/elderbugsmol.png

"Ho there, traveller. I'm afraid there's only me left to offer welcome. Our town's fallen quiet you see. The other residents, they've all disappeared. Headed down that well, one by one, into the caverns below."
-Elderbug, upon the Knight's arrival to Dirtmouth

One of the oldest bugs in Dirtmouth. He welcomes any adventurers willing to brave the ruins of Hallownest, regaling them with stories about the kingdom's glory days.


  • Foil: Has this in the Grey Mourner and The Last Stag, as described in their entries.
  • The Eeyore: Downplayed, he's obviously a little depressed over how Dirtmouth has gradually been abandoned, but he doesn't let that get in the way of helping people and enjoying company when it comes.
  • Hint System: Whichever location he's bringing up when you talk to him is usually the one you should be exploring next.
  • The Lost Lenore: Mentions and thinks about someone close to him who died and is now in the nearby graveyard. At one point he tries to visit, but Jiji accidentally scares him off.
  • Mr. Exposition: The man has a lot to say about the various regions of Hallownest and the people the Knight meets during his quest.
  • Stepford Smiler: A light example, he dislikes that adventurers are constantly going down to their near-certain demise, but he does what he can to guide them regardless. Upon receiving the Delicate Flower, he reveals that he basically believed he should carry on being considerate because no one else would.
  • Wasteland Elder: One of Dirtmouth's original residents, Elderbug watched as many among the quiet hamlet's population descended into the well, never to return.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: You can give Elderbug one of the Grey Mourner's Delicate Flowers (at no risk to the quest itself). It doesn't seemingly unlock anything or give an achievement, but it brightens up the Elder's mood considerably and he holds it from then on.

    Cornifer and Iselda 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cornyselda.png

"I'm a cartographer by trade, and I'm working on mapping this area right now. Would you like to buy a copy of my work so far?"
-Cornifer, when first encounter

"At times my husband makes Hallownest sound a wonder, but sometimes it seems a ghastly, dangerous place."
-Iselda, after selling some items

A married couple who run a cartography store in the village. Cornifer is extremely passionate about mapmaking and thus is often found in the depths of Hallownest charting the various regions, leaving Iselda to run the store.


  • Affectionate Nickname: Iselda usually calls her husband Corny.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Iselda behaves very surly and depressed when you meet her at first, miffed at being left behind to tend the counter in a tiny shop while Cornifer is off charting ruins. When you get the Dream Nail, though, you discover that not only did she willingly abandon a prestigious warrior career to settle down with her beloved Corny, she’s literally never been happier in her whole life and never regretted it even a single bit. Aw.
  • Bold Explorer: Cornifer is by his own admission getting on in years, and every map you buy from him is incomplete, but he still arrives to every new location in the game world well before the Knight does.
  • Calling Card: If you clear a region without finding Cornifer and buying his map, he'll leave behind a card with a symbol of his glasses inviting you to buy the region map at his store.
  • The Cynic: Iselda is considerably more jaded and cynical than her husband.
  • Notice This: A patch added two signs of Cornifer's presence in a room: scattered pieces of paper and the sound of him humming.
  • Retired Badass: The Dream Nail reveals that Iselda used to be a soldier or an adventurer. Although she dislikes working retail, ultimately she doesn't regret "hanging up the nail to settle down with Corny."
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: A good hint of the dangers Deepnest has is that when you find Cornifer, instead of humming happily while scribbling away at his map he's visibly terrified and quiet.
  • Post-Victory Collapse: Once you've bought all of Cornifer's maps, and he has nothing left to explore, he'll go back home and finally collapse into his bed, sleeping until you finish the game. According to Iselda, this is a common happening and he'll likely be asleep for a long time.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Iselda towers over her husband and most other NPCs, to the point where Elderbug expresses concern about whether the doorway to her house is tall enough for her to get in and out comfortably.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Cornifer is much older-looking and fatter compared to his curvy, feminine, and more youthful-looking wife.

    Sly 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sly_2.png

"All's fair in a world made of Geo."
-Sly, after Iselda opens shop

A firefly merchant who the Knight saves from succumbing to the plague in the Forgotten Crossroads. He runs Dirtmouth's main shop.


  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: He sells each health and soul upgrade shard at a higher price than the last. At first he argues that those are rare enough that he undersold the first few, but he eventually drops the excuses and starts joking about it. Justified by the Elderbug, who says Sly can afford to be so greedy because he is the only merchant in Dirtmouth.
  • All Your Powers Combined: During the first phase of his boss fight, he utilizes all nail arts from his pupils.
  • BFS: The sword seen in his storeroom is larger than he is by a fair margin, and even considering his size that thing is enormous. The Godmaster update confirms that it is indeed his sword and that he is very capable of wielding it.
  • Bonus Boss: A dream version of himself is now one, as of the Godmaster update.
  • Charged Attack: Naturally uses variants of all three charged skills he taught to his students.
  • Foreshadowing: When you first meet him, dizzy with infection, he mistakes the Hollow Knight for his student Oro and scolds him for wielding his nail like a club.
  • Graceful Loser: Bows when defeated in Godhome.
  • Hidden Depths: It is repeatedly hinted that he's more than he seems, even before his identity as the Great Nailsage is revealed.
  • Killer Rabbit: How badass could this tiny firefly be? Enough to be the Nailmasters' teacher.
  • Old Master: Unbeknownst to the residents of Dirtmouth, Sly acted as a teacher to all three of the reclusive Nail Masters the player character can encounter in the game world. He rewards you with a charm to reduce start-up on charge attacks after you've studied with each of his pupils.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: He is tiny, about the same size as the Knight, but he is also a master of the art of combat who has trained some of the most skilled Nail wielders in the world.
  • Retired Badass: Once one of the deadliest warriors in Hallownest and beyond, now a greedy merchant.
  • Rolling Attack: Performs one as a Shoryuken at the end of his standard combos. In his second phase, Sly will instead zip all around the room and then attempt to smash-roll you into a corner.
  • Spin Attack: One of his staple attacks, when fought, is to take his massive sword and turn himself into a living buzzsaw that follows the Knight around the room.

    Bretta 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bretta.png

"The maiden's shell felt suddenly tight. Her claws curled. No glance was shared, no claws touched, just perfect, aching love shared in silence, together..."
-Bretta's second diary entry: The White Saviour Returns

A rotund beetle girl whom the player character can rescue in the Fungal Wastes. Quiet and withdrawn, she nevertheless expresses an unmistakable crush towards her "White Saviour".


  • Adorkable: Introverted and pathologically quiet, but has a penchant for writing romantic prose shipping herself with the player character. Notably, has a plush in the knight's likeness resting next to her bed.
  • Broken Pedestal: If Zote makes it back to Dirtmouth, he badmouths the Knight to her and causes her to get over it in favor of Zote.
    • As the player repeatedly defeats Grey Prince Zote, she starts to recognize Zote for the faker he truly is, to the point where she'll leave Dirtmouth if Grey Prince Zote is defeated four times.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Often found sitting on the bench in Dirtmouth, and clearly seen sneaking peeks at the player character as it passes, but has no 'Listen' prompt. Sitting next to her has her blushing brightly.
  • Character Development: It's small, but after realizing that The Knight doesn't actually feel anything for her, and seeing through Zote's deceptions (with some help from the player), Bretta comes to the conclusion that you can't just wait for love to come to you, and she gains the self-confidence and bravery to set out on an adventure of her own, this time as the Knight in Shining Armor rather than The Damsel In Distress.
  • Covert Pervert: If dream nailed while she sleeps, she turns out to be having an apparently saucy dream involving the Knight.
    White Wanderer...don't be shy....cold outside....bed is soft...
  • Crush Blush: Starts to develop one whenever you sit next to her on the bench in Dirtmouth.
  • Damsel in Distress: Fancies herself one to the player's Knight in Shining Armor, if the prose found in her room is any indication. Technically true, considering the Knight has no real reason to save her in the Fungal Wastes.
  • Longing Look: One of her sitting animations.
  • Rescue Romance: Unreciprocated due to the Knight's outwardly apathetic disposition.
    • If you defeat Grey Prince Zote four times, she'll eventually leave Dirtmouth intending to start one of her own.
  • Shipper on Deck: She writes embarrassingly mushy romance starring herself and the Knight.
  • Shrinking Violet: When you encounter her for the first time, she expresses surprise that anybody would come looking for "Bretta, the girl that everybody ignores". Thereafter, the only character in Dirtmouth lacking a 'Listen' prompt.
  • Stalker Shrine: As mentioned, she keeps a few items in the image of the Knight in her room, which she later changes when looking up to Zote instead. Bretta also adds a statue in her basement in the likeness of an idealized Zote. She grows so obsessed about him that the statue holds dream power you can access to find her surrounded by a harem of Zotes and a fearsome, bulky "Grey Prince Zote" whom you must fight.
  • Thinks Like a Romance Novel: She thinks of herself as a maiden who needs to be saved by the hero, falls in love very easily and completely idealizes her crush, even if she barely knows them. Then again, until you defeat Zote in the Colosseum, what other reason does the Knight have to visit her room while she's seemingly sleeping there?

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    Confessor Jiji 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/confessor_jiji.png

"If we don't deal with these regrets, hope starts to drain from us."
-Jiji, when first encountered

An ancient bug in a turban who lives in a cave past the graveyard of Hallownest after unlocking it with a Simple Key. She's able to pull your Shade (which she calls a Stain of Regret) over to her cave in exchange for her favorite food — Rancid Eggs.

In Steel Soul Mode, since her services are not needed in a permanent death run, she is replaced by Steel Soul Jinn.


  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: The only thing you can see of her until you get close enough is her big orange eyes, it can come as a Jump Scare when she hops out of the darkness to talk to you face-to-face.
  • Cool Old Lady: Either extremely old, or The Ageless, since she states that she's been sleeping in that cave until the Knight Unlocks it. The service she provides is an essential if you feel like your next run in the ruins will end in you dying before you find the Shade you left behind again.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: In a recurring trend, she has powers associated with darkness in her drawing your Shades to you, but this service is probably one of the best Anti-Frustration Features the game has to offer, and she only wants bugs to come to terms with past regrets.
  • Hidden Depths: Hitting her with the dream nail seems to imply that she (ironically) regrets being asleep for so long, and fears that whatever darkness is present now will destroy her if she somehow falls asleep in such a way again. For added irony while there is a ton of darkness and void that spawns Siblings and Tendrils in The Abyss that do pose a very real threat to her, the more immediate danger that could consume her is a Light Is Not Good plague.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Rancid Eggs, which other bugs are noted to die from trying to eat, mind you.

    Steel Soul Jinn 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/steelsouljinn.png

"Jinn, little know... cannot tell of self. Too young, its thought, its mind. Born to provide, to trade."
-Jinn, when not bartering with the Knight

A mysterious, stark white creature that replaces Confessor Jiji if you play the Harder Than Hard Steel Soul Mode. Since Rancid Eggs aren't useful in a Permadeath mode, Jinn buys them with geo instead.


  • Single Task Robot: Jinn mentions being that her only purpose seems to be to trade geo, discusses how much sturdier her body is than the Knight's, and has a highly unusual voice.

Forgotten Crossroads NPCs

NPCs that can be found in the ancient Forgotten Crossroads.
    Grubs and Grubfather 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/npc_grubfather.png
The Grubfather

A colony of Grubs and their apparent patriarch who are among the first friendly creatures the Knight meets in Hallownest's Forgotten Crossroads. The animals and plague seem to leave them alone, but the Collector has captured all of them in glass jars and left them in hard to reach nooks and crannies, or well-guarded areas. The Grubfather rewards you as you get more and more grubs back home.


  • All There in the Manual: The Indiebox for Hollow Knight comes with a pdf called "Grub Care Instructions". In it, it explains all their habits and how to raise one.
  • Ambiguous Situation: The Care Instructions also have some indications that The Grubs might be connected to Moths and Radiance, or are at least are much more than they seem. among them are flag raising details that they gain an "unseemly appetite" for eggs and flesh when presented with it, that their song has restorative, invigorating properties (proven by the Grubsong charm) and the last paragraph, which is as follows:
    As with all things, your time together with your adopted grub will come to an end at some point, when your grub moves on to the next stage of its life, do not try to stop it or mourn on the event as a loss. Everything has its time, and everything obeys its nature. Hold onto the happy memories you shared with your grub. Perhaps you will meet each other again, in your dreams...
    • Also of note are that several Moth Larvae are green in Real Life, such as Luna moths and Winter moths.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: After saving all the grubs, getting the rewards, and resting at a bench, its almost alarming to find the Grubfather bloated and sitting in the middle of the room, having apparently eaten all 46 other grubs whole. They're still alive — and happy, apparently. The Grubberfly charm suggests that this is the next natural step in a Grub's life, and the Grubfather is simply acting as a protective cocoon of sorts for their development. Even so, for an insect this is is a strange sight.
  • Chest Monster: There are enemies that imitate grubs, jar and all, and they are really convincing until released. Reading their minds with the Dream Nail is how you pick out a faker.
  • Living MacGuffin: What the Grubs function as.

    Myla 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/myla.png

"Ohhh, bury my mother, pale and slight,
bury my father with his eyes shut tight!
Bury my sisters, two by two,
and then when you're done, let's bury me toooo!"
-Myla's song when first encountered

A carefree, jovial bug girl toiling away in the mines of Crystal Peak. Although friendly and cheerful, it quickly becomes apparent that there's something not quite right about her.


  • And I Must Scream: If you hit her with the dream nail after her infection, you find she's still thinking about the song she sung when she first met you.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: She acts rather odd, even before she becomes infected.
  • The Corruption: She becomes infected sometime after the player defeats the Soul Master, and her condition rapidly deteriorates until she becomes a husk.
  • Foreshadowing: If you hit her with the Dream Nail right before the point she goes mindless, you find there is someone commanding her to "kill the empty one".
    • The fact that she shares the same basic model and look of the standard Husk Miner enemies in Crystal Peak (found just beyond her) hints at her final fate.
  • The Insomniac: She offhandedly mentions skipping sleep while she labors in her mine, seeming to consider it a perk of her solitude.
  • Kill the Cutie: She does not survive the events of the game, catching the infection and becoming a husk, forcing the player to put her down.
  • Musical Chores: Sings and hums a somewhat morbid song to herself while she works, though she occasionally forgets the lines.
    Ohhh, bury the knight with her velvet gloves,
    Bury the thief with the one she loved!
    Bury the priest in her tattered gown,
    Then bury the beggar and his golden crooooooown!

    (...)
    Ohhh, bury my mother, pale and slight,
    Bury my father with his eyes shut tight!
    Bury my sisters, two by two,
    And when you're done, let's bury me too!
    • Madness Mantra: She continues to try singing as her infection worsens, ominously lingering and stuttering on the verses. Upon becoming a relatively-silent husk, using the Dream Nail reveals that she is still thinking of the song, possibly out of a failed attempt to preserve her crumbling sanity.
      ...Bury my body... c-cover my shell,
      What meaning in darkness? Yet here I remain...
      I'll wait here forever...till light blooms again...
      ...Bury... body... cover... shell,
      Darkness. No meaning... DANGEROUS... Still, remain...
      LIGHT.... again...
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: She constantly hums her song to herself while she eagerly chips away at the crystals in her mine. She eventually stops both due to catching the plague, and being unable to sing coherently due to the voice in her head. When she succumbs and becomes a husk, she resumes working, but is eerily silent.
  • Sanity Slippage: Starts becoming increasingly unhinged as the plot progresses due to her infection.
  • Speech Impediment: Stutters constantly in normal conversation (likely due to not having many people to talk to), though it mostly disappears when she sings.
  • Tragic Monster: She gets infected early on and eventually becomes a husk.
  • Unique Enemy: Infected Myla shares the attacks and appearance of a Husk Miner, though she has unique lines when hit with the Dream Nail, as well as a unique death cry. She also does not respawn upon being slain.

    Charm Lover Salubra 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/salubra_1.png

"I can see you've started your own collection. Very nice! I'll show you some of my own, and you can take one home with you if you like!"
-Salubra, when wearing at least one Charm

A morbidly obese mollusk living at the bottom of the Crossroads with a passion for charms; will enthusiastically sell charms and slots to the player character.


  • Abhorrent Admirer: Not necessarily, since the Knight can't really object, but based on her thoughts, flirtatious remarks and the way she administers her blessing (a big sloppy kiss), she finds the Knight attractive, mysterious and dashing.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: To a lesser extent than Sly, since most of her merchandise is unique. Nevertheless, every charm slot you buy from Salubra will be substantially more expensive than the last.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: She's a giggling doofus obsessed with charms sitting in technical isolation, but she's, well, obsessed with charms, so she know a great deal about them, giving sound advice like talking about how specific charms complement each others effects. In addition her blessing confirms that she knows how to perform magic without using SOUL, the void, light, or dreams.
  • Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry: Even discounting her necklace and affinity for selling accessories to the player, Salubra's shop appears well-stocked with jewelry and shiny trinkets.
  • Gonky Femme: Salubra cuts a large, flabby figure, with a tonality to match; this doesn't discourage her from wearing jewelry or tending to her eyelashes.
  • The Hyena: Can be heard laughing constantly until business is made with her. Her Blessing also causes her to appear by you in spirit.
  • While Rome Burns: Upon encountering the player character for the first time, Salubra asks if the neighbors recommended her services. Considering that the village she's situated in appears to be ruined and deserted save for a few shambling Husks, she may not have left her cabin in a long time.

    Snail Shaman 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/snail_shaman.png

"Say no more, friend. I'm going to give you a gift, a nasty little spell of my own creation. It's just perfect for a little one like you! Ohoho!"
-Snail Shaman, when first encountered

An eccentric snail mystic who lives by a place called the Ancestral Mound. He gives the Knight a spell before forcing him into clearing out a creature that has made its home in the Mound.


  • Action Survivor: In a way. Once the plague overruns the Crossroads, the easiest route to get to him is walled off by an obscene amount of boils. However going through the original left-most route reveals that he is fine and his mound is unafflicted.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Given that snails are hermaphrodites, it's possible that the snail shaman isn't actually male, but merely has a masculine voice.
  • Ambiguous Situation: The game states that he's a snail, but visually he appears to have more in common with characters like The Collector and Kingsmoulds, further strengthened by the spells and spell upgrades you get from him and his kin being based around the void. However, nothing ever confirms this or if the snails had anything to do with the Pale King's efforts to keep Radiance away and forgotten, barring the Soul Sanctum experimenting on one in their own efforts.
  • Butt-Monkey: A non-humorous example: his family appears to have all died out before the events of the game, and you get their powers from what remains of them. The Shaman never seems to become suspicious and believes they are all voluntary gifts (which may or may not be true in two cases).
    • You do not get Desolate Dive from a Snail, rather you get it from Soul Master, who likely experimented on one — considering how the Shaman mentions an ill-tempered third uncle. It's more or less confirmed when you find the apparently undead snail strapped to a dissection table in an optional area, which — fittingly — gives you the Vengeful Spirit upgrade.
    • The Cousin in the Overgrown Mound is dead of some kind of fungus and shrubbery growing on it. you get the Howling Wraiths from her.
    • The fourth aunt in the Crystallized Mound is trapped in a prison of crystal, and upon shattering it and her, gives the Descending Dark upgrade.
    • A snail's sarcophagus can be found in the Resting Grounds, which gives you the Soul Eater Charm. The Snail Shaman makes no mention of a buried relative, but its not out of the question if they are related.
  • Foil: To the Seer, both are mystics who are apparently the Last of Their Kind of their tribes. The snails are centered around the void/black magic focused on damaging foes and affecting things in the waking world; the moths are worshippers of the light whos powers are typically uncombative and affect dreams.
  • Last of Their Kind: The only snail in Hallownest by the time the Knight gets there.
  • Sink-or-Swim Mentor: Essentially, after giving you the spell, which causes the Knight to pass out, he puts you in the Ancestral Mound (gate barring your exit) to take care of the Elder Baldur, forcing you to use it in the mini-boss fight.

Greenpath NPCs

NPCs that can be found in Greenpath's overgrowth.
    The Hunter 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hunter_83.png

"Venture the depths of this land and slay its beasts. Prove yourself worthy to bear the mark of Hunter."
-The Hunter, when first encountered

A mysterious, bloodthirsty bug warrior who's obsessed with battle and war. He tasks the Knight with cataloging the many monsters that infest the ruins of Hallownest, promising rewards the more he kills and discovers.


  • The Ace: It has comments on every monster in the game, which implies it is aware of every single creature in Hallownest and still hunts with impunity, as though none are a threat to him. Once you complete the journal (which requires defeating the Final Boss), it makes you think it will face you in a Boss Battle for a moment, theme music and all. Even though he doesn't fight you, the fact the game highlughted how threatening he was even post-Final Boss suggests that he would be a strong opponent even by comparison.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Upon completing the monster compendium, he breaks the floor underneath himself and stands up to reveal a monstrous true form (face still hidden by the bush around his head) and roar as if he's initiating a boss battle… only to hold his hand out with the reward he promised. The battle music even starts, but peters out in seconds.
  • Blood Knight: He really enjoys the hunt, and welcomes anyone who shares his enthusiasm. He is not particularly picky about whose blood is spilled, either—you have to kill several completely harmless creatures to complete the journal. When you finally complete the Journal and use the Dream Nail on him, his thoughts reveal that he inwardly admits you're stronger than he is now, wondering and hoping you'll come back to hunt him for both your sake and his own.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: As far as anyone knows, the Hunter's Mark does nothing except proving that you have competed the bestiary and giving you an achievement.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The Hunter has no problems killing defenseless creatures, but even he considers Zote too pathetic to kill.
  • Extreme Omnivore: True to its name, it will eat almost anything it can kill - and there don't seem to be many creatures that it can't. One Journal Entry notes it and its siblings used to hunt each other in the nest, and now it hunts alone. This could be reminiscing about family nostalgia now that the siblings are split up... or the Hunter ate its own siblings.
  • Face Framed in Shadow: All we ever see of him is his glowing eyes. He stands up when granting the Knight a Hunter's Mark.
  • Hidden Depths: He's not just a murderous feral beast; several completed journal entries show that he's quite eloquent when he wants to be, has a solid understanding of the world around him, knows the plague isn't worth the cost of his free will for the extra power, and muses about the desire to find someone special and have children.
  • Monster Compendium: He's the one who gives you it and tasks you with filling it out.
  • Warrior Poet: Several of his comments on the journal are either contemplating the big questions of life or explaining why Hallowest was doomed to ruin from the beginning.

    Moss Prophet 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/moss_prophet.png

"Light is life, beaming, pure, brilliant. To stifle that light is to suppress nature. Nature suppressed distorts, plagues us. Embrace light! Achieve union! Oohh..Ahhh."
-Moss Prophet, when first encountered

A large Moss covered bug in Greenpath in the early stages of being infected by the plague. He preaches about a being of light to a bunch of Mossy Vagabonds and pushes for them to accept the light.


  • Anti-Frustration Features: Since it's very possible that his Vagabonds will be dead and un-fightable by the time you get to him, once you examine their corpses, the entry for them is given to you then and there.
  • Body Horror: Not only is he covered in the plague's boils to the point that he can't move, but it also seems as though a fungus is growing and overtaking him too. Once you beat the Broken Vessel, both leave him in a state of And I Must Scream, along with his followers, both of which look like nothing more than infected foliage at that point.
  • Dirty Coward: Hides away once his Vagabonds attack you, and once they're dead, he continues to sing the Light's praise.
  • Mad Oracle: The Moss Prophet himself is harmless, but clearly the infection has left him a bit off his rocker. His ramblings are extremely vague.
  • Posthumous Character: If you beat the Broken Vessel and haven't gone to his area yet.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: He and the Vagabonds who listen to his every word are so far out of the way of where you are going in Greenpath that the player is likely to find them all dead on an initial run. However, the Prophet sets up that there is a higher being causing this Hate Plague Hallownest is being infected by, and his death reveals just how bad even those who try accept the infection, and therefore the Big Bad, are afflicted by it.

Fungal Wastes NPCs

NPCs that can be found within the spore-filled, noxious caverns of the Fungal Wastes.
    Leg Eater 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/legeatersmol.png

"If you have enough Geo, you become a king. When I get enough Geo, I'll become a king..."
-Leg Eater, when Dream Nailed

A carnivorous, milky-eyed termite taking residence on the outskirts of the Fungal Wastes. Offers home-made fragile charms to the player, for a price.


  • Breakable Weapons: Leg Eater sells the only charms in the game that break if the player character dies while wearing them. He will gladly offer to repair them in exchange for another payment.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: If you have Divine upgrade all his fragile charms, he will venture to the surface to investigate, attracted by her scent. Returning to Divine's tent sometime later will reveal his severed claws littered on the floor, with the implication that Divine ate him.
  • Evil Sounds Raspy: Has dry, strained-sounding vocals in keeping with his character design.
  • Greed: Coerces the Knight into paying a fee before he even deigns to show his merchandise, and is implied to intentionally make them breakable in order to get more Geo out of you.
  • The Nose Knows: Leg Eater will compliment your scent and offer a discount on his wares if you have the Defender's Crest equipped when you speak to him.
  • Picky People Eater: Leg Eater probably didn't get his name for his interior decorating skills.
  • Scavengers Are Scum: Preys (both economically and literally) on the travelers passing through the Fungal Wastes. He never attempts to physically harm the Knight, though, so whether the corpses strewn about his hollow are his victims is left ambiguous.
  • Tragic Dream: The Dream Nail reveals that Leg Eater is hoarding Geo out of the misguided belief that if he gathers enough, he'll become a king.

    Willoh 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/willoh.png

"Oh! Come in search of treats have you? I chanced upon a unique little fungus growing right above us. I've found it only in this station and the taste is just divine."
-Willoh, when first encountered

Some kind of Giraffe Weevil that lives in Queen's Station around Greenpath, munching on something and seemingly unaware of the Plague.


  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: States that she likes your company, but reading her mind reveals that she is contemplating eating the Knight. The only reason she doesn't is because the Husks she's eaten have tasted bland and she's found something already good to eat. Furthermore, the nook above her head contains a dead bug whose final moments were apparently spent begging Willoh not to eat him while he cowered just out of her reach.
  • Satellite Character: She serves no purpose other than being a random NPC who's position gives you a hint towards a collectible hidden in the nook she sticks her head into for her food.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: A Giraffe Weevil.

City of Tears NPCs

NPCs that can be found within the tragic City of Tears.
    Relic Seeker Lemm 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lemm_desk.png

"There's a forgotten history hidden in this kingdom's antiques, though few seem willing to look. Others come just to claw away at the cracks and ruins."
-Lemm, when not bartering with the Knight

A grumpy, long-haired old bug with a fondness for the history of Hallownest that lives in the City of Tears in his curio shop. He doesn't sell anything from his collection, but he's not above paying you for the ones you find instead.


  • Collector of the Strange: Averted, collectors interested in history are both fairly important and not actually that uncommon, both in-game and in Real Life. In fact, he's probably actually one of the most level-headed characters you can meet in Hallownest as a whole.
  • Older Than They Look / Vague Age: Actually hard to say if he's that old, since he is looking into Hallownests history in the first place, but the reason behind the fact that he thinks the Knight looks familiar is subject to discussion.
  • Vendor Trash: The relics you can find are this to you, but since he loves to spend his time finding the meanings and history in them, they hold great value to him, which is dependent on what relics you find.
    • Wanderer's Journals are semi-common stone messages written by various bugs in Hallownest, typically as they lay dying. They come in various languages that Lemm likes to decipher.
    • Hallownest Seals are Exactly What It Says on the Tin, and are more prized for rarity alone.
    • King's Idols are mysterious figures bugs worshipped the king through, no two are exactly alike, and they may be clues to finding out who he was.
    • Arcane Eggs are the rarest of rare finds, coming from before Hallownest's time. They too have some messages etched into them that Lemm is interested in.

    The Nailsmith 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nailsmith.png

"I'm not much for talk, but if it's a nail that needs repair then you've come to the right bug."
-The Nailsmith, when first encountered

An old rhino beetle and blacksmith who still toils away in his workshop on the outskirts of the City of Tears. As his name suggests, he can upgrade the Knight's nail for the right price and with enough materials. The Knight is first directed to him by Quirrel, who strongly advises it to get its nail upgraded before facing the Mantis Lords.


  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: After he's done forging the Pure Nail, the smith suddenly grows weary and asks the Knight to kill him with the very weapon he's perfected. If you ignore him instead, you'll later find that he came across Nailmaster Sheo and started learning how to craft things other than weapons.
  • Suicide by Cop: He attempts this if you fully upgrade your nail. Can either be played straight or subverted.
  • Ultimate Blacksmith: A reclusive blacksmith who knows how to unlock the true potential of your nail.
  • Eyes Always Shut :

    Eternal Emilitia 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/emilitia.png

Backer: Gavin Douglas

"Have you met them, my former fellows? That's them outside, their bodies shambling around all mindless and empty. And I'm still alive to witness their pathetic demise. Ahhh, I'm just so happy. Fate can be a wonderful thing."
-Emilitia, when first encountered

An unjustly (according to her) disavowed member of Hallownest's social upper crust. Although untouched by the plague, Emilitia seems rather eccentric.


  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: If the Knight uses the Dream Nail on her, we can see that beneath her polite speech, she looks down on the Knight, calling it a litte grub and assumes that it will die from the bugs outside.
  • Dancin' in the Ruins: She's overjoyed at the disintegration of the society from which she was outcast. Upon breaking into her home, the player finds her giggling merrily to herself with nary a concern for the Husks wandering out in the street.
  • Idle Rich: In a literal sense, given that she likely hasn't ventured outside her house since the kingdom's collapse.
  • Noodle Incident: The circumstances surrounding Emilitia's expulsion from her socialite cliques are never made clear.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Emilitia claims to have witnessed the collapse of Hallownest; given that the event in question occurs over a hundred years prior to the start of the game, her 'title' may be justified. She momentarily confuses the Knight for the Pale King if you talk to her after having obtained the King's Brand.
  • Socialite: Formerly.

Deepnest NPCs

NPCs that can be found within the horrors of the Deepnest.
    The Mask Maker 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mask_maker.png

"Is it mask or face upon the creature? In Hallownest, a difficult thing it can be to decipher."
-The Mask Maker, when first encountered

A strange creature that lives by Deepnest, making masks for those in the world that need them.


  • Dark Is Not Evil: States that it's his duty to make faces for those that do not have any of their own, and isn't even mad if the Knight hits him in the face with a spell. He also knows what the Vessels are.
  • Excuse Me While I Multitask: Is constantly painting and using a pick to make masks. He doesn't stop, even when talking to you.
  • Nightmare Face: knocking off whatever mask he's wearing reveals a bird-like face with flared nostrils and two huge — apparently bleeding- eyes that have constantly moving, sketchy swirls in them.

    Midwife 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/midwife.png

"Well I'm sorry. I'd love to tell it, but I'm just, I'm very, very sorry, and I haven't eaten in some time... And oh, I'm STAA-AARVING..."
-Midwife, when first encountered

A mysterious resident of Deepnest with a suspiciously over-happy mask on her face. She explains the history of the area bit-by-bit to you but has a nasty surprise that interrupts her each time...


  • Missing Mom: Somewhat subverted. It's implied that she was Herrah's midwife and possibly could have been Hornet's Parental Substitute after Herrah became a Dreamer, and while she clearly does care about her and wish for her to do well, it's become obvious that her current mental faculties are probably not the best and haven't been for quite some time.
  • Expy: Bears an uncanny resemblance to No-Face from Spirited Away.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Again, somewhat subverted. She's very friendly at face value, and although she does attempt to eat the Knight, it's implied that she's not intentionally trying to be malicious and that it's just her instincts momentarily getting the better of her.
  • Mrs. Exposition: Downplayed, but she does give the Knight a few nuggets of info about Deepnest's history in between her attempts to eat them.
  • Nightmare Face: Her mask splits open to reveal this to you in order for her to attack, and you can't talk to her again until you drive her back or run away and reset the area.
  • Hidden Depths: We don't know anything about what her inner thoughts could possibly be, as she can detect when she's being Dream Nailed and refuses to allow the Knight access to her mind.

Resting Grounds NPCs

NPCs that can be found within the somber Resting Grounds.
    Seer 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/seer.png

"Quick work! Things come naturally to you, don't they? No wonder the Dreamers tried to bury you in that old dream. Perhaps you frighten them? Or perhaps, being prisoners themselves, they desired your company?"
-Seer, when returning with 100 Essence

A moth who watches over the Resting Grounds and the Glade of Hope. She tasks the Knight with collecting enough essence to strengthen the Dream Nail.


  • Ambiguously Evil: Well, evil may be stretching it, but her tribe were the main worshippers of Radiance, and she finds shame in the way they turned from her. Her choosing a wielder for the dream nail also helps Radiance in the end since it breaks the seals holding the Hollow Knight. However, the Seer seems to be looking for a worthy wielder for the sake of having someone master it after she's gone, and expresses no desire to release anything.
  • Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: A unique case, in that it seems at least partially involuntary. She remembers Radiance, glows with red Dream energy, asks for forgiveness and vanishes. The achievement for doing this is even called "Ascension".
  • Foreshadowing: Hints at several late-game revelations in many of your conversations with her, with her final dialogue telling you who the True Final Boss is, albeit vaguely.
  • Last of Her Kind: The last of her tribe, further confirmed by the Dream Nail dialogue for the altar holding the Dreamshield charm underneath her home. In your final conversation with her after collecting enough essence, she remembers Radiance and vanishes.
  • Ms. Exposition: Collect enough essence for the Dream Nail and she'll tell you the backstory of the setting in clear detail.
  • My Greatest Failure: Considers her kind turning away from both Radiance and then the Pale King (once they started dreaming of the original Light all over again) to be one for her whole race, to the point that she openly asks the Knight that they not be remembered or honored because they don't deserve it.
  • Psychic Static: Prying into her mind with the Dream Nail will not get you any thoughts beyond a small admonishment that you'll find nothing interesting in a "dusty old mind" like hers, followed by an encouragement to keep being that curious with it.
  • Seers: It's even in the name.

    The Grey Mourner 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/greymourner.png

Backer: Felyndiira

"Ahhhh.... Me'hon. This world. This cruel, sinful world. Why does che' wake? Why does che' persist? Ahhh Le'mer, you could not know of tragedy as complete as che's, true lovers stripped apart, two worlds that could not meet. And now meled'lover, dead so long in time. Dead, so far away. Buried, moina? Ai."
-The Grey Mourner, when first encountered

A mysterious bug dwelling in the Resting Grounds. She asks the Knight to deliver a Delicate Flower to the grave of her mantis lover.


  • Action Girl: If that giant broken nail beside her is any indication, she was one once.
  • Bury Your Gays: When you complete her quest, she fades into nothing and leaves behind a mask shard. Presumably, her desire to honor her departed lover was all that was keeping her alive, and now that it's done, she can finally be Together in Death with her.
  • Despair Event Horizon: She clearly crossed it a long time ago with the death of her lover. She's not even surprised if you don't want to help her, believing the world is nothing but heart-ache and generally just wanting to be done with this life as quickly as possible, since there's nothing left but pain.
  • Foil: Is this to Elderbug, who can receive one of her flowers if you so choose and become more of her opposite in the process. Both are old, fairly dour and have had bad experiences of an unfair life, but while the Elderbug finds satisfaction in making an effort being helpful despite the worlds challenges and how values of virtue are no longer held high, the Grey Mourner seems to only want to wallow in her isolated misery until the Knight comes by and offer to help her.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The flower will disintegrate if the player should take any damage during the journey; although the Grey Mourner claims that the Delicate Flower is rare and one of a kind, she will provide the Knight with as many of them as necessary until a successful attempt is made.
  • Indo-European Alien Language: The Grey Mourner's dialogue is liberally sprinkled with vaguely Celtic words and phrases to reinforce her foreign origins.
  • The Lost Lenore: She mourns the loss of a long-deceased love far beyond her reach, hence her title.
  • Retired Badass: There's a large nail propped on the wall behind her, and she is possibly Ze'mer, one of the five legendary knights of Hallownest.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: She and her mantis lover, whose kin hated their union because she was an outsider.

Fog Canyon NPCs

NPCs that can be found within the misty Resting Grounds.
    Millibelle the Banker 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/millibelle.png

"Losing one's Geo is a terrible thing and it's so much more likely if you carry it about on yourself."
-Millibelle, when first encountered

A humble bug who runs a bank in Fog Canyon, offering a way to keep some money safe in the event you die.


  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She's actually trying to scam you out of geo, and succeeds if you put at least half the money cap in her "bank".
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Any charms that summon allies or objects for you, such as Grimmchild or Dreamshield, will attempt to attack Millibelle if you approach her, scaring her and locking the "bank" until you change charms.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: She can be found in the Pleasure House after stealing your geo, where you can beat her up to your heart's content and get back the money she stole, and then some.

Kingdom's Edge NPCs

NPCs that can be found within the ash-filled Kingdom's Edge.
    Little Fool 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/little_fool.png

"Aha! Another warrior finds their way to our fair Colosseum. Ours is the final destination for all seeking trials of intense and deadly combat."
-Little Fool, when first encountered

A little Bug hanging upside down from the ceiling in chains in the Colosseum of Fools' entrance. By paying him, you unlock the trials the Colosseum has to offer.



    Bardoon 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bardoon.png

"Tiny thing... Oh hmm... The mark of Wyrm you bear. Is it change you seek? Or to save this ruin? That choice is yours. Always the smallest creatures that attempts the largest things."
-Bardoon, if the Knight has the King's Brand

A prodigious grub found dozing at Kingdom's Edge.


  • An Odd Place to Sleep: Bardoon scaled the lofty crags of Kingdom's Edge to escape harassment from simple minds, lost to light.
  • Mr. Exposition: Tells the Knight about the Wyrm and the Pale King.
  • Nigh Invulnerable: He just sees the Infected as bothersome rather than a threat, and hitting him with your nail literally just tickles him.
  • Gentle Giant: The great caterpillar's gigantic, serpentine body is visible in the background as the Knight makes its way up the treacherous cliffs towards the Colosseum of Fools. Despite his size, Bardoon is non-confrontational and only seeks some peace and quiet while he hibernates.
  • Psychic Block Defense: You can't pry into his mind much with the Dream Nail, you'll only get a polite warning that's a fairly rude thing to do.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Bardoon recounts the arrival of the Wyrm and his transformation into the Pale King as though he'd witnessed it himself. He is likely among the most oldest still-living characters within Hallownest.

Royal Waterways NPCs

NPCs that can be found within the depths of the Royal Waterways.
    Tuk 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tuk.png

Backer: Emily Doolan

"The water brings me everything I wish for... I just need to find it. It brought you here, too. Are you hungry? I'll share my food with you... if you give me Geo."
-Tuk, offering the Knight a Rancid Egg

A big bug digging through garbage in the Royal Waterways of Hallownest. Fairly protective of her belongings, but is willing to share her "food" with the Knight for some geo.


  • Ambiguous Gender: Tuk lacks any Tertiary Sexual Characteristics, so the only thing that tips her off as female is her voice.
  • Damsel in Distress: Possibly. Wearing the Defender's Crest charm while talking to her has her essentially say that the Dung Defender helped her at some point.
  • Death by Adaptation: A unique case because it's in the same game. Since Rancid eggs are more akin to Vendor Trash in Steel Soul Mode, Tuk is sadly dead of the plague when the Knight goes to her location, her final thoughts being a plea to help her find what he was looking for.
  • Hidden Depths: Stays in the Waterways searching around and praying that someone will come back to her eventually, apparently after they got into a fight where the other left her alone. This bug is implied to be Boon, another bug Quirrel meets in the tie-in comic. They also really value friends, which is the reason they're staying put and looking around at all.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Implied to be what's happened to her.

    Fluke Hermit 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fluke_hermit.png

"Gla! Wualala! Mother! M-mother! Gla gla gla! Little sisters... grow grow grow! Gla gla... Mother... Am I... Mother...? Gla gla…"
-Fluke Hermit, when the Flukenest is equipped

A sentient female Fluke wearing a cloth that can be found in a secret room in the Junk Pit as of the Gods and Glory update. Prodding a smaller fluke in her room, she becomes worried and heads to higher ground once the Godseeker is awakened.


  • Cute Monster Girl: In comparison to her mindless violent family members, yes.
  • Hidden Depths: Seems to hide away in the Junk Pit not just because she thinks its safe, but because her mother's treasures are there too and she is protecting them as a responsibility. Her dialog also suggests that she is raising her siblings now.
  • Mother of a Thousand Young: Wearing the flukenest charm has her recognize it as part of the Flukemarm, as well as an epiphany that she might become the next Flukemarm in her mother's place.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Downplayed, she's the only friendly Fluke the Knight meets, as well as the only one developing speech, but she doesn't seem to acknowledge the Knight unless they have the Flukenest charm equipped.
  • Verbal Tic: "gla gla" and variations of it dot her dialog.

    The Godseeker 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/godseeker.png

"By what right dost thou trespass here, in this home of the Gods? Shrivel away and begone! Begone!"
-The Godseeker, when first entering Godhome

A seemingly immortal bug wearing a golden mask that is found sealed in the Junk Pit by the Royal Waterways. She performs a mysterious ritual that takes the form of a Boss Rush in her dreams. Said bosses are "imprints" of various strong creatures and warriors of Hallownest, which she describes as "Gods".



Nailmasters

    In General 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sheoromato.png

Three warrior brothers who live at certain corners in Hallowest, spending their days in quiet introspection of their art. They were all trained by the Great Nailsage and will pass their knowledge on to the Knight.


  • Always Identical Twins: All three brothers look exactly alike, save for Sheo's painting garb.
  • Bonus Boss: As of the Godmaster update, all three Nailmasters are now able to be fought in Godhome. Sheo still uses his artist tools to fight rather than his nail, though.
  • Graceful Loser: Like their master, they all bow when defeated as bosses.
  • Nice Guy: Sheo and Mato are happy to teach the Knight and have its company. Oro, however, prefers to be left alone and charges you for the lesson.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Mato is loud, passionate, and openly friendly to the Knight when they meet. Oro is quiet, reserved, and want's to be left alone. This is furthered by the fact that they are literally on opposite sides of Hollownest: Mato is in the Northwest corner and Oro is in the Southeast corner.
  • The Unfought: Initially the case. According to the Kickstarter campaign, they were supposed to be beaten in duels in order to learn their skills. In the original release they amounted to cutscene bosses, and Sheo doesn't want to fight anymore anyway. Thankfully, all three eventually got battles put in the game.

    Nailmaster Mato 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mato.png

"Now I know how my own master felt when he passed down his teachings to us."
-Mato, after teaching the Knight

The least skilled but most passionate disciple of the Great Nailsage, who now resides in a hut at the top of the world in the Howling Cliffs. He teaches the Knight the "Cyclone Slash" Nail Art.


  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Despite him holding a deep grudge against his brother, he jumps to Oro's assistance when Oro is seemingly beaten by the Knight in Godhome.
  • Charged Attack: Mato teaches the Knight the "Cyclone Slash", a charged Spin Attack that deals less damage than other Nail Arts but strikes several times. He uses this attack himself during his boss fight.
  • Death Glare: When he comes to Oro's aid during their boss fight, they briefly glare at each other.
  • Dual Boss: Oro fights alone for the first phase, but then Mato shows up and they set their differences aside to defeat the Knight.

    Nailmaster Oro 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/oro.png

"It is the law of the Great Nailsage that I must pass down my teachings to those who are worthy. But no law forbids me from exacting a payment for my time."
-Oro, before teaching the Knight

The second most skilled disciple of the Great Nailsage, who lives in solitude in the far reaches of the Kingdom's Edge to avoid company while perfecting his arts in the nail. However, if the Knight finds him and is willing to part with some Geo, he'll teach them the "Dash Slash" Nail Art.


  • Charged Attack: Oro teaches the "Dash Slash", a charged Dash Attack which he also uses during his boss fight.
  • Death Glare: When Mato comes to his aid during their boss fight, they briefly glare at each other.
  • Dual Boss: He fights alone for the first phase, but then Mato shows up and they set their differences aside to defeat the Knight.
  • Noodle Incident: Oro has done something in the past that caused bad blood between him and Mato, but neither of them explains what it was. Sheo has no idea either and wishes they'd just get along.

    Nailmaster Sheo 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sheo.png

"The wielding of a nail, the wielding of a brush... these things are not so different. We cut into the world so that we can peer deeper inside."
-Sheo, after teaching the Knight

The most skilled disciple of the Great Nailsage, who has hung up his Nail for a simpler life as an artist. He resides in a hut deep in Greenpath, where he'll teach the Knight the "Great Slash" Nail Art. Sheo can be fought in the Pantheon of the Artist and is called "Paintmaster Sheo".


  • Art Attacker: Sheo has become an artist but his boss fight is among the most difficult. He uses his paintbrush to throw damaging patches of paint across the screen.
  • Charged Attack: Sheo teaches the "Great Slash", a normal charged attack. During his boss fight, he uses several charged paint blasts. One is the same one he taught the Knight, but he can also perform another that reaches all across the arena.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: During his boss fight, the color of his paintbrush telegraphs what kind of attack he's about to use.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Uses a paintbrush in his Pantheon fight, to lethal effects. Since it all happens in a dream world, it may be his passion for art that empowers his paintbrush so much.
  • Mr. Exposition: If Sheo and the Nailsmith become friends, you can meet the two making figurines of the King's knights. Sheo talks at length about the five greatest, though he doesn't seem to remember (or doesn't care for) the last one, Ogrim the Dung Defender, who ironically appears to be the last living great knight.
  • Retired Badass: Sheo has put down his nail to become an artist, much to Mato's confusion.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Regularly rolls away to start charging a slash during his boss fight.

Grimm Troupe NPCs

NPCs that were introduced in the Grimm Troupe DLC.
    Divine 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/divine2.png

"We came, and I can smell something. Something deep below us. I want it... I want it!"
-Divine, when first encountered

Ostensibly a queen termite and a member of the Grimm Troupe, she occupies the tent adjacent to that of Troupe Master Grimm. She will strengthen Leg Eater's breakable charms into unbreakable ones for a substantial donation of Geo.


  • Ambiguously Evil: If you talk to the denizens of Dirtmouth, they all comment that there's something "sinister" about the Troupe, but it's not entirely clear what it is.
    • Divine is a follower of Grimm, and is therefore already keeping morally dubious company. Whether her cannibalism of Leg Eater at the conclusion of her quest line is altogether consensual is also unclear, because it happens off-screen.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Upon her arrival to Dirtmouth, Divine appears more than eager to consume charms, Geo and potential love interests.
  • Literal Maneater: If the player character approaches Leg Eater after having upgraded all of his charms, Leg Eater will comment on their irresistible scent and travel to Dirtmouth to seek out Divine. He is eaten off-screen, leaving nothing behind save his disembodied claws in the corner of Divine's tent.
  • Money Sink: Cumulatively amounting to 36 grand, Divine's prices for upgrading Leg Eater's charms are easily the highest in Hallownest, and are intended as a post-game sink for players that have accumulated a surplus after buying everything else. By the time you finish the process of strengthening the charms, Divine will be incredibly wealthy, which Leg eater takes as a symbol of leadership and is implied to be part of the reason he's drawn to her.
  • Toilet Humour: Her method of strengthening your charms is eating them and then pooping them out. It works, though.
  • Two-Faced: May very well be the case, considering that Divine is never seen without her trademark half-mask.

    Brumm 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/brumm_tent.png

"When flame burns bright inside one's mind
Kin heed the call 'cross lands and time."
-Brumm, when Dream Nailed

A gruff, top-heavy member of the Grimm Troupe, Brumm plays the accordion at the entrance to Troupe Master Grimm's tent. Initially withdrawn, Brumm's motivations become clearer as the Knight starts collecting flame for Grimm's ritual.


  • Bamboo Technology: If you look closely, the accordion that Brumm plays appears to be another, smaller bug.
  • Creepy Circus Music: The accordion leitmotif gives the Grimm Troupe a decidedly more French-sounding interpretation of this trope.
  • Defector from Decadence: If the Knight meets Brumm in the Distant Village before defeating Nightmare King Grimm and completing the ritual, Brumm will profess that although he is still loyal to Grimm, he has grown disillusioned with The Ritual. He bids that the Knight extinguish the Nightmare Lantern to banish the Grimm Troupe from Hallownest. This leads to the Banishment ending and allows the player to complete the Grimm Troupe questline without beating Nightmare King Grimm.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: He very much wants to stop the Grimm Troupe's ritual from taking place, which is presented in the game as a good thing. Brumm himself, however, speaks cryptically and doesn't communicate his goals well, making him come across as creepy despite his good intentions.

    Nymm 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nymm.png

"The old bug over there was very welcoming, but still I find the place a little melancholy, what with the wind, and the darkness, and the sense of decline... I was hoping my music could go some way to livening up the place."
-Nymm, when first encountered

A bug who plays an accordion-like bug to bring cheer to the fading town of Dirtmouth. He only appears if the Knight performs specific actions after summoning the Grimm Troupe.


  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: If the player should proceed to extinguish the Nightmare Lantern, the Grimm Troupe will disappear from Dirtmouth without a trace, save for Nymm. Nymm appears visually similar to Brumm, but is shorter, more verbose and lacks his mask. He has no recollection of how he'd arrived to Dirtmouth, but offers the Knight a charm that bears a peculiar resemblance to Brumm's mask, and comments that the charm seems oddly familiar if equipped. It's therefore quite likely that Brumm became Nymm after being freed of the ritual, losing his memories in the process.


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