Brooding Mawlek

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Ferocious but extremely social creature. Becomes aggressive if not able to mingle with its own kind.

I hear this beast crying out sometimes as I prowl the caverns, although I've never actually laid eyes on it. Who or what is it calling for? As far as I can tell, its voice is never answered.

The Brooding Mawlek is a hidden boss in Hollow Knight as well as a Colosseum of Fools mini-boss.

In-game events

One lone Brooding Mawlek can be found off-road in the Forgotten Crossroads, far from its living brethren in the Ancient Basin. It sits amidst fossilised remains of its kind and calls for them to breed.[1] This wild beast was driven mad both by its loneliness and the Infection which started covering its body with bulbs.[2] It attacks the Knight as soon as they enter its room by jumping from the background. Upon defeat, the Infection bursts out of the Mawlek, making it explode.

Another one can be fought alone during one of the waves of the Trial of the Fool at the Colosseum. This Mawlek presents the same Infected state.

Godmaster Content

At the beginning of its fight in the Pantheon of Hallownest, Tiso appears instead as if entering a Trial. This only happens if he has been listened to in the Colosseum. He is then crushed by the Brooding Mawlek falling, which then engages the fight against the Knight.

Behaviour and Tactics

The Brooding Mawlek uses the following attacks:

  • Slash: Brooding Mawlek uses either of its claws to perform a downward slash towards the Knight. It only uses this attack if the Knight gets too close and can use it in conjunction with the Spit attack.
  • Spit: Brooding Mawlek spits blobs of Infection in parabolic arcs at regular intervals while skittering slowly across the ground. These blobs fly towards whichever side of the arena the Knight happens to be standing on. This attack can happen in conjunction with the Slash Attack. Brooding Mawlek spits 3-4 times before either performing a Leap or a Vomit.
  • Leap: Brooding Mawlek leaps to the Knight's location, landing where the Knight was at the beginning of its leap. Then, it immediately follows that leap with a jump back to the original position of where it landed at the start of the fight.
  • Vomit: Brooding Mawlek shoots a multitude of blobs of Infection in a parabolic arc simultaneously. These blobs fly towards whichever side of the arena the Knight happens to be standing on at the time. Brooding Mawlek stands idle until all the blobs have made contact with the ground.

Without the Longnail and Mark of Pride reach enhancing Charms, the Brooding Mawlek may retaliate when hit. A solid strategy is to hit it a few times and move away quickly when it raises its claw. It is also possible to jump over and Nail-bounce on it to get to the other side.

To dodge the Brooding Mawlek's leap, the Knight needs to run quickly in whichever direction they have space to move. This is also an opportunity to hit the Brooding Mawlek, which cannot Spit or Slash while in the air.

If the Knight has managed to obtain the Baldur Shell Charm and the Cyclone Slash Nail Art, it is possible to chip away at the Brooding Mawlek's health with the edge of Cyclone Slash and use the SOUL gained from the attack to heal safely inside Baldur Shell. While using Baldur Shell, the Knight can also enter into the body of the Brooding Mawlek without taking damage, allowing them to heal while it attacks.

When the Brooding Mawlek uses the Vomit attack, it is possible to safely dash over them with the Mothwing Cloak before the acid comes down. There are also some small safe spots in between the projectiles. It is also possible to Nail-bounce over to the other side.

If the Knight has the Sharp Shadow Charm, it can be used to dash through the Brooding Mawlek and deal damage.

Mark of Pride and Longnail make it easier to damage Brooding Mawlek when it performs the Slash attack while avoiding damage.

Another Brooding Mawlek is fought as part of the Trial of the Fool in the Colosseum of Fools in a very tight area where dodging its attacks is much more difficult.

Godmaster Content

Brooding Mawlek

Hall of Gods text: "I call out to no one, hidden by roads and highways"
"Lonely god of the nest"

Pantheon Pantheon of the Master, 9th boss
Health Attuned difficulty
Ascended difficulty 1050 (Pantheon of Hallownest: 750)
Radiant difficulty
Arena changes The arena is the same size as in the Forgotten Crossroads. The middle platform disappears on Ascended difficulty or above.

Dream Nail Dialogue

  • Where are they...?
  • Do they hear me...?
  • ...Alone...Alone...


The Brooding Mawlek in the Forgotten Crossroads is found beyond a wall jump section in a blocked room to the left of the vertical shaft filled with Gruzzers and Tiktiks.

It is possible to reach by Nail-bouncing on the spikes, although it is recommended to have obtained the Mantis Claw instead.

Another Brooding Mawlek can be fought in the Colosseum of Fools as part of the Trial of the Fool.



  • The Brooding Mawlek was the second mini-boss revealed in a Kickstarter update as an optional boss.[3]
  • The Brooding Mawlek found in the Trial of the Fool is somewhat smaller and thinner than the one in Forgotten Crossroads. It has no behavioural differences.
    • This may be due to the size constraints of having a roof in the Colosseum.
  • Concept art of Brooding Mawlek under the name "Vicious Mawlek", featured in a Team Cherry interview, shows it with extra sets of claws and teeth along its body. [4]


  1. Wanderer's Journal, p. 126.
  2. Brooding Mawlek Hunter's Journal entry: "Ferocious but extremely social creature. Becomes aggressive if not able to mingle with its own kind."
  3. Kickstarter update of December 8, 2014.
  4. Edge Magazine March 2019 edition, p. 96.
Hollow Knight Enemy Compendium
EnemiesBossesHealth ValuesColosseum of FoolsGodmaster content Hall of GodsGodmaster content Pantheons
Main Game
Forgotten Crossroads CrawlidVengeflyVengefly KingGruzzerGruz MotherTiktikAspid HunterAspid MotherAspid HatchlingGoamWandering HuskHusk HornheadLeaping HuskHusk BullyHusk WarriorHusk GuardEntombed HuskFalse Knight (Failed Champion) • MaggotMenderbugLifeseedBaldurElder Baldur
Greenpath MosscreepMossflyMosskinVolatile MosskinFool EaterSquitObbleGulkaMaskflyMoss ChargerMassive Moss ChargerMoss KnightMossy VagabondDurandooDurandaAluba
Fog Canyon Charged LumaflyUomaOomaUumuu
Fungal Wastes AmbloomFunglingFungoonSporgFungified HuskShrumelingShrumal WarriorShrumal OgreMantis YouthMantis WarriorMantis Lords
City of Tears Husk SentryHeavy SentryWinged SentryLance SentryMistakeFollySoul TwisterSoul WarriorSoul Master (Tyrant) • Husk DandyCowardly HuskGluttonous HuskGorgeous HuskGreat Husk SentryWatcher KnightCollector
Royal Waterways BelflyPilflipHwurmpBluggsacDung DefenderFlukefeyFlukemonFlukemarm
Crystal Peak ShardmiteGlimbackCrystal HunterCrystal CrawlerHusk MinerCrystallised HuskCrystal Guardian (Enraged)
Infected Crossroads Furious VengeflyVolatile GruzzerViolent HuskSlobbering Husk
Deepnest DirtcarverCarver HatcherGarpedeCorpse CreeperDeeplingDeephunterLittle WeaverStalking DevoutNosk
Ancient Basin Shadow CreeperLesser MawlekMawlurkBrooding MawlekLightseedInfected BalloonBroken Vessel (Lost Kin)
Kingdom's Edge BooflyPrimal AspidHopperGreat HopperGrub MimicHivelingHive SoldierHive GuardianHusk Hive
Queen's Gardens Spiny HuskLoodleMantis PetraMantis TraitorTraitor Lord
Colosseum of Fools Sharp BaldurArmoured SquitBattle ObbleOblobblesShielded FoolSturdy FoolWinged FoolHeavy FoolDeath LoodleVolt TwisterZoteGod Tamer
Warrior Dreams XeroGorbElder HuMarmuNo EyesGalienMarkoth
White Palace WingmouldRoyal RetainerKingsmouldSiblingVoid Tendrils
Story Bosses Hornet (ProtectorSentinel) • Hollow KnightRadianceShadeHunter's Mark
Content packs
Hidden Dreams content Hidden Dreams Grey Prince ZoteWinged ZotelingHopping ZotelingVolatile ZotelingWhite Defender
Grimm Troupe content The Grimm Troupe Grimmkin NoviceGrimmkin MasterGrimmkin NightmareGrimmNightmare KingSeal of Binding
Lifeblood content Lifeblood Hive Knight
Godmaster content Godmaster FlukemungaPale LurkerSisters of BattleWinged NoskNailmasters Oro & MatoPaintmaster SheoGreat Nailsage SlyPure VesselAbsolute RadianceVoid IdolWeathered Mask