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This old kingdom... A terrible thing awakens. I can smell it in the air... I know what you are. I know what you'd try to do. I can't allow it...
~ Hornet preparing to fight the Knight in Greenpath.

Hornet is the deuteragonist of the 2017 indie video game Hollow Knight and the main protagonist of its upcoming sequel Hollow Knight: Silksong. A mysterious wanderer wielding a needle and thread, at first she serves as an adversary determined to stop the Knight on their quest to rid the Infection that threatens Hallownest. After several encounters, she realizes that the Knight may be the key to save the fallen kingdom and allies with them.

Appearance

Hornet has a black body with a white mask that has two eye holes and two long horns. She wears a red cloak that covers her body from the neck to her legs. Her arms are rarely seen under her cloak, but are as black as her legs are.

History

Origins

Hornet is the daughter of Herrah the Beast, one of the three Dreamers who seals the entrance to the Temple of the Black Egg. It is uncertain if Hornet is biologically Herrah’s daughter, although the White Lady mentions that she was a dalliance between the Pale King and Herrah. Herrah offered allegiance to accept the Pale King’s rule and become a Dreamer in exchange for a child.

Hollow Knight

Greenpath

Hornet makes her first appearance in-game during the Knight’s entrance to Greenpath, just east of the Forgotten Crossroads. The Knight encounters her several times along the path, but she quickly dashes away when they get too close. She is last seen at the end of the zone, in a room observing the corpse of a Vessel, stopping the Knight from getting any closer. She mentions sensing a presence awakening within Hallownest, and knowing what the nature and the goal of the Knight is, she cannot allow them to go further and engages in battle against them. The Knight manages to best Hornet, and she zips away with her thread in retreat.

City of Tears

Hornet briefly appears in the Fungal Wastes before walking towards the City of Tears entrance. When the Knight reaches the statue of the Hollow Knight, Hornet appears and tells them that if they wish to obtain a role in Hallownest’s perpetuation, they should seek the “grave in ash” and retrieve its mark, referring to the King's Brand within the Cast-Off Shell. This scene will not play if Hornet was already encountered in Kingdom’s Edge.

Kingdom's Edge

At the far east corner of the Kingdom's Edge, before accessing the Cast-Off Shell, Hornet appears and challenges the Knight in another duel for them to prove to her their worth to claim Hallownest's future for themself. Again the Knight defeats her, to which she orders them if they have the will, they should claim the King's Brand. After the Knight obtains the brand, the shell collapses on itself, resulting in Hornet rescuing the Knight from the rubble before zipping away.

The Abyss

After the Knight obtains the Shade Cloak from the Abyss, Hornet can be seen at the top of the area. Knowing the Knight is now shaded in shadow from the Void, she tells them about two options they could do: prolong Hallownest's stasis or face the source of the Infection.

Deepnest

After the Knight absorbs Herrah the Beast, Hornet appears next to the bed from which Herrah rested, mourning her mother. She shows no aggression to the Knight, knowing her mother's death was necessary to open the Black Egg. This event does not occur if Hornet was not fought at the Kingdom's Edge first.

Finale

If the Kingsoul charm has been obtained and converted into the Void Heart and the three Dreamers are killed, Hornet will appear at the entrance to the Temple of the Black Egg. She tells the Knight she cannot join them in fighting the Hollow Knight, as its bindings would drain her, but does tell them that she could help if an opportunity presents itself.

During the final battle with the Hollow Knight, Hornet appears during the final phase, in which she restrains the Hollow Knight using her needle to open the wound within its head, allowing the Knight the chance to Dream Nail the Hollow Knight and enter its dream to face the source of the Infection, the Radiance.

Sealed Siblings

If the Knight chooses not to Dream Nail the Hollow Knight and instead continues attacking it, it throws Hornet aside and continues battling the Knight until its death. Once the Knight becomes the new Vessel of the Infection, the seal of the Black Egg displays Hornet's face, implying she became a Dreamer. With Hornet unreachable within the Black Egg she’s imprisoned in, there is no other way how to stop the Infection should it ever continue.

Dream No More

After the Knight uses the Dream Nail on the Hollow Knight to enter the Dream World and defeat the Radiance, Hornet wakes up from the destroyed Black Egg and looks at the cracked shell of the Knight on the floor.

Godhome

In a cutscene following the Knight destroying the Radiance within Godhome and coating the Godseeker with Void that leaks into Hallownest, Hornet notices vines inside the Temple of the Black Egg shriveling away the Infection. Suddenly, a large bug, presumed to be the Hollow Knight now free of sealing the Infection, limbers toward Hornet causing her to ready her guard.

Hollow Knight: Silksong

Hornet wakes up in a cage and finds herself within a new Kingdom called Pharloom. Escaping the cage with thread, she sets out to find out more of the kingdom and its residents.

Trivia

  • Hornet is one of the two bosses who are fought twice, the other being the Crystal Guardian.
  • Hornet is one of the few bosses to survive their fight.
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