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Again we meet little ghost. I'm normally quite perceptive. You I underestimated, though I've since guessed the truth. You've seen beyond this kingdom's bounds. Yours is resilience born of two voids. It's no surprise then you've managed to reach the heart of this world. In so doing, you shall know the sacrifice that keeps it standing. If, knowing that truth, you'd still attempt a role in Hallownest's perpetuation, seek the Grave in Ash and the mark it would grant to one like you.
~ Hornet to The Knight, describing them. Also telling them how to find out what their purpose is.
Masterful! Even a vessel discarded bears fierce strength. Fine craft dear Wyrm, and perfect tool to prolong the heart of Grimm.
~ Grimm's thoughts on The Knight after the player defeats his regular form.

The Knight is the main protagonist of the 2017 indie video game Hollow Knight. This mysterious and mute character appears when Hallownest comes under attack by the ravenous disease known as the Infection. To save the falling kingdom, they begin a quest to stop the Infection by absorbing it within their hollow body.

Appearance

The Knight is small in size with a black body covered with a teal cloak. Their head is white with two eye holes and two horns.

History

Origins

The Knight is a Vessel, a being made of Void. The Knight, as well as the other Vessels, were creations of the Pale King of Hollownest in his attempt to seal away the Radiance, the previous ruler of Hallownest, as she had the ability to break through minds and turn the bugs into hostile, mindless monsters. As a Vessel, it was their duty to seal away the Infection without thought for the Radiance to be able to break through. The Knight was born in the Abyss littered with deceased bodies of their Vessel siblings. Upon making it to the top of the Abyss, they watch the Pale King guide the chosen Vessel, the Hollow Knight, out into Hallownest before plummeting back down into the Abyss. Sometime after the Hollow Knight was sealed in the Black Egg, the Knight managed to make it out of the Abyss and escape Hallownest.

Hollow Knight

As the Hollow Knight was ultimately not hollow enough to complete seal the Radiance, she managed to return by cracking the Hollow Knight's shell and screaming. The Knight heard this scream and set on a quest to replace the Hollow Knight as the next Vessel to seal away the Infection. To do so, they must absorb the Dreamers, three wise bugs who seal the Temple of the Black Egg that restrains the Hollow Knight.

Along the way, the Knight encounters friends and foes who aid or interfere with their progress. One notable character is Hornet, who at first is against the Knight, as she is aware of the Knight's purpose as a Vessel and knows at its base form, the Knight has no chance of fully sealing away the Infection forever.

With Hornet's advice, the Knight travels to the Kingdom's Edge to obtain the King's Brand from the Cast-Off Shell, allowing them to enter the Abyss and obtain the Shade Cloak to traverse the Queen's Gardens, defeat the Traitor Lord, and obtain half of the Kingsoul charm from the White Lady.

Another key character the Knight meets is the Seer who gives the Knight the Dream Nail, allowing the Knight to obtain Essence and absorb the Dreamers to remove their seal on the Black Egg. With enough essence, the Seer can awake the Dream Nail, allowing the Knight to enter the White Palace and obtain the other half of the Kingsoul from the corpse of the Pale King.

With both halves of the Kingsoul, the Knight can transverse to the bottom of the Abyss to morph the Kingsoul into the Void Heart, allowing the Knight to unite the Void under their will.

Endings

Depending on the Knight's progress, three different endings can occur once they enter the Black Egg after absorbing all three Dreamers. If the Void Heart is collected, Hornet will assist the Knight in opening the wound on the Hollow Knight's head, allowing them to enter its dream to face against the source of the Infection, the Radiance.

The Hollow Knight

The basic ending if the Knight has not collected the Void Heart. The Knight kills the Hollow Knight and absorbs the Infection leaking from it to become the next Vessel to seal the Infection.

Sealed Siblings

Should Hornet assist the Knight, but not Dream Nail the Hollow Knight, the Hollow Knight breaks free of its stun and knock Hornet aside, continuing the battle until its death. Much like the regular ending, the Knight becomes the new Vessel, but Hornet becomes a Dreamer, unwillingly sealing the entrance to the Temple of the Black Egg. With Hornet trapped inside her own seal, there is no longer a way to stop the Infection should it ever comes back.

Dream No More

Should the Knight Dream Nail the Hollow Knight, they will be warped into the dream of the Hollow Knight to face the Radiance. As the fight progresses, Shades of the Knight's Vessel siblings enter the Dream Realm and aid the Knight in fighting the Radiance, including the Shade of the Hollow Knight itself, who opens the weak spot in the Radiance's head, allowing the Knight to break away from their physical form to deal the finishing blows to the Radiance. This allows them and the rest of the Shades to pull her into the Void and end the Infection for good. What remains of the Knight in the physical world is only their cracked shell.

Embrace The Void

Going into Godhome and completing the Pantheon of The Master, The Artist, The Sage, The Knight, and finally The Pantheon of Hallownest(which requires the Voidheart). Will unlock a fourth ending, where the Knight seemingly transforms into a huge behemoth and utterly destroys The Radiance rather than dragging her into The Void. The behemoth then goes and kills The Godseeker, her physical body erupts with void. Hornet looks around The Black Egg temple as The Hollow Knight, now freed of his infection, walks up to her. Hornet then readies herself for battle.

Powers and Abilities

  • Nail: The Knight's signature weapon. While weak at first, the Knight can take their nail to the Nailsmith in the City of Tears and upgrade their nail using Pale Ore. The nail can be upgraded up to four times. The Knight starts with the Old Nail, then it can be upgraded to the Sharpened Nail, Channeled Nail, Coiled Nail, and lastly Pure Nail.
  • Nail Arts: Special nail techniques taught by the Nailmasters. When holding down the nail command, the Knight can charge a powerful attack.
    • Cyclone Slash: Taught by Nailmaster Mato. Releasing the nail button while pointing up or down will make the Knight perform a spinning slash.
    • Dash Slash: Taught by Nailmaster Oro. Dashing while releasing the nail button will make the Knight perform a dashing slash.
    • Great Slash: Taught by Nailmaster Sheo. Releasing the nail while pointing forward will make the Knight perform a large slash.
  • Mothwing Cloak: A cloak made of Mothwing silk. It grants the Knight the ability to dash.
  • Mantis Claw: A claw-shaped hook carved from bone. When touching a wall, it allows the Knight to cling on and perform a wall jump.
  • Crystal Heart: An energy core from an ancient mining golem. Grants the ability to Super Dash.
  • Monarch Wings: A talisman with wings made of ethereal matter. Allows the Knight to double jump.
  • Isma's Tear: A fruit produced from a hardened tear. Allows the Knight to swim through acidic water.
  • Shade Cloak: An upgrade to the Mothwing Cloak, available when first accessing the Abyss. Allows the Knight to dash through enemies and Shade Gates placed in certain areas of Hallownest.
  • Dream Nail: Given to the Knight by the Seer, this weapon allows the Knight to read the thoughts of other bugs. When used on enemies, they can obtain Soul without damaging them. If used on sleeping or certain characters, they can enter their dreams.
    • Dreamgate: Allows the Knight to use the Dream Nail to set a warping coordination. Only one Dreamgate can be active at a time. Awarded after giving the Seer 900 Essence.
  • Spells: By collecting Soul, the Knight can perform a spell. The Knight can only Focus at the start of the game, but can obtain more by finding Snail Shamans or defeating Soul Master.
    • Focus: Allows the Knight to heal one Mask of health at a time.
    • Vengeful Spirit: Shoots a spirit that flies forward. Can be upgraded into the Shade Soul, which has a wider radius and can go through walls.
    • Desolate Dive: Slams into the ground to create a shockwave. Can smash through fragile ground. Can be upgraded into the Descending Dark, which has a wider range and deals more damage.
    • Howling Wraiths: An upward scream that blasts opponents with Soul energy. Can be upgraded into the Abyss Shriek, which has twice the radius.
  • Charms: Special items that grant the Knight bonuses to their abilities. 45 can be found within the game, although only 40 can be carried at a time as five can be replaced. The Knight can equip as many charms so long they have enough charm notches. Each charm requires one to five notches to equip. The Knight starts with three notches while a further eight can be obtained through the game.

Trivia

  • The Knight was based on the protagonist from Hungry Knight.
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