Dung Defender

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Dung Defender White Defender

Skilled combatant living at the heart of the Waterways. Assails intruders with balls of compacted dung.

Fighting for 'honour', or for 'loyalty'... you may as well be fighting for dust. If you want to kill, do it for your own sake. That is the nature of a true Hunter.

The Dung Defender is one of the main bosses in Hollow Knight. This champion of the past defends the access to Isma's Grove. The Hidden Dreams content White Defender is his dream variant.


The Dung Defender used to be known as Ogrim, the most loyal of the Five Great Knights of Hallownest.[3] As such, he participated in many battles and adventures.[4] He was also equally renowned for his bad scent, although that did not keep him from enjoying the company of the White Lady and his fellow knights.[5] He was particularly fond of the knight Isma.[6]

Ogrim survived the Infection but isolated himself in a part of the Royal Waterways where refuse gathers. There, as the Dung Defender, he guards the pump control that allows entry to Isma's Grove on the other side of the sewers. The Dung Defender defies any who would enter the place to challenge him.[7] He also passes time by rolling dung around and moulding statues out of it.

The Dung Defender seems unaware of the fate of his king and the other knights. In his isolation, he deludes himself into thinking they will return and that Hallownest can be reborn.[8]

In-game events

The Dung Defender can first be heard at the entrance of his dirty domain. He mistakes the Knight for a mindless husk and attacks them. Once defeated, he leaves behind his Defender's Crest Charm before burying underground in the background.

When returning to his area after sitting on a Bench, the Dung Defender pops his head out of the ground to greet the Knight. He apologizes for attacking them and remarks on how they have proven their honour in battle.[9] He notices when the Knight has acquired Isma's Tear and explains that he is unable to visit his fellow knight's grove due to his oath and duties.[10]

Using the Desolate Dive/Descending Dark Spell on the ground below the pump's lever reveals a hidden cave where the Dung Defender rests. There, he moulded dung statues of the Five Great Knights, and one of the Pale King on the other side with a King's Idol on it.

Hidden Dreams Content

When all three Dreamers have been defeated, the Dung Defender can be found asleep in his cave. Striking him in his sleep with the Dream Nail sends the Knight inside his dreams. There they may challenge the White Defender, a stronger version of the Dung Defender from the Kingdom's golden past. With each defeat of the White Defender, Ogrim comforts himself with his oath to Hallownest and the Pale King.

Lifeblood Content

After defeating the Hidden Dreams content White Defender five times, the Dung Defender notices the Knight's presence in his dream.[11] He wakes up and explains how he can easily see them stand amongst the age's greatest heroes.[12] Upon leaving the area and returning, the Dung Defender has left his resting place and made a new dung statue in the Knight's image.

Behaviour and Tactics

Dung Defender accompanies each attack with jovial laughter:

  • Dung Toss: Dung Defender gathers up and throws exactly one dung ball, then, he uses the Dive attack. The ball bounces around the arena randomly in large arcs, reaching to the top of the arena. The ball persists until it hits the floor three times. These dung balls continue to bounce even if they hit the Knight.
  • Burst: Dung Defender dives underground, disrupting the ground as he travels back and forth across the arena. After being underground for 3 seconds, Dung Defender bursts from the ground, sending 4 dung balls into the air, 2 on each side, at set distances away from Dung Defender. These dung balls do not bounce, instead, they break once they hit a wall, the floor, the ceiling, or the Knight. Dung Defender can burst up anywhere in the arena.
  • Toss Combo: Dung Defender gathers up and throws two dung balls, one after the other. These dung balls bounce around the arena until they hit the floor three times. These balls do not disappear when they hit the Knight. After Dung Defender throws the two balls, there are two possible outcomes:
    • Curl: Dung Defenders curls up into a ball and bounces around the arena with the dung balls until hitting the floor 5 times.
    • Burst: Dung Defender dives underground, disrupting the ground as he travels back and forth across the arena. Exactly like the normal Burst attack, but lasting 5 seconds instead of 3.
  • Dive: Dung Defender dives in and out of the ground 2-3 times as if he were swimming in water, moving across the arena. He always moves towards the center of the arena.
  • Zeal: Once at 50% HP, Dung Defender lets out a shout like he does at the beginning of the fight and goes into a temporary hyper mode lasting about twelve seconds. During this time, Dung Defender chains together multiple, faster Burst Attacks, bursting from the ground about once every half second. Dung Defender only uses this attack once.
  • Evade: When the Knight is too close, Dung Defender sometimes quickly curls into a ball and rolls back a short distance.

Stagger Values
Description: Dung Defender falls over onto his back flailing his limbs.
Hits: 16, 1 (Descending Dark/Desolate Dive)
Combo: 8 Combo Time: <1s per hit

At the beginning of the fight, try to dodge the balls as best as possible. When he stops to conjure the two balls of dung, stand next to him, hit him once, step back when he throws the ball, step forward to hit him again and quickly step back when he throws the second one. This is the safest way to damage him with the Nail. His thrown dung balls cannot be destroyed by the Knight's Nail in one hit. However, they can be destroyed by any Spells.

Towards the end of the fight, he uses his attacks more frequently, particularly the Burst attack. Staying against the left side of the arena is almost completely safe as he always attempts to re-emerge from the ground close to the Knight. The balls bounce off of the wall, giving a safe spot to damage him.

During the Burst attack, if the Knight uses the Desolate Dive/Descending Dark Spell while he is burrowing, he is knocked out of the ground and stunned for a few seconds. This is especially useful during the Zeal Attack, where usually he does not perform it again. This is an opportune time to use a Nail Art or a Spell against him, as he goes right back to attacking as soon as he is hit.

Standing in a corner while he throws his dung balls typically provides lengthy opportunities to heal.

There is a glitch where if the Knight staggers Dung Defender at the moment he bursts from the ground, he falls beneath the arena. This is not a soft-lock, however, as he returns to the arena the next time he burrows into the ground for his Burst attack.

Godmaster Content

Dung Defender

Hall of Gods text: "I protect the pipeways of the kingdom"
"Kindly god of bravery and honour"

Pantheon Pantheon of the Master, 7th boss
Health Attuned difficulty 800
Ascended difficulty 1100
Radiant difficulty
Arena changes Same arena as the base game fight, no difficulty differences.


During the fight
Dream Nailed Randomly:
  • ...For the honour of the King!..
  • ...For the honour of the Five!..
  • ...For the honour of Hallownest!
After the fight
Listening after sitting on a Bench and returning to the boss arena Oh, it's you again. I'm glad to see you return.

No, no, please... Don't say a word. I must apologise for my previous behaviour.
Entirely my fault. I mistook you for one of those mindless skulking husks, yet you bested me in the most majestic knightly fashion.

Listening again Such joyful, vigorous combat. I'd almost forgotten the feeling.

I was once a Knight you see. By the grace of our good King, I stood proudly before the throne, watching Hallownest swell to greatness.
Then that nasty business with the affliction...

Listening again We knights defend against the physical, but a formless enemy. How to defeat such a foe?

Our King tried in his own way. A cruel means it was... And still, eventually, we were brought low.
Bah! I shouldn't be so morose. You've invigorated me. Tis' sic truly a delight to meet one whose strength can match my own.

Listening while wearing the Defender's Crest Ahh. You exude the proud odour of the Just. Truly, a mighty Knight you are.
Listening after acquiring Isma's Tear Ahh! That tear... You've been to her grove!

I swore I'd visit, but... my duties... my oath...
Oh, I'm sorry. Ignore me, I'm being foolish. If I'm not careful I'll sink down into old memories and won't ever come back again.
She's a great judge of character, so if she gave you her blessing you must be something special indeed. I'm barely worthy to be in your presence!

Exhausted dialogue Go now, mighty warrior of Hallownest! You've proven your honour! Good fortune on the path ahead.
Dream Nailed ...So there were others...
In his cave
Lifeblood content After defeating the White Defender five times Ahh, you're awake, and looking well-rested!

I was startled when I woke to find you curled up beside me, but of course you're welcome to rest here whenever the world wearies you.
As the King granted his kingdom to shelter those who needed it, I offer my home. Stay as long as you like, down here where it's cosy and warm and moist.

Exhausted dialogue My cave may seem a far cry from the finery of the palace but even still the memories of my former comrades, and our glorious King, remain fresh in my mind.

The Pale Court was a wondrous place full of the age's greatest heroes. Ahh! Looking at you now, I can easily imagine you standing amongst them.

Dream Nailed Where will the line of Hallownest's Great Knights end? With me? Can such a thing be passed on?


Dung Defender is located in the east part of the Royal Waterways.



Defeat the Dung Defender.


  • The Kickstarter reveal page first described Dung Defender with a different backstory:
    "Deep in the Waterways beneath the City of Tears lurks a shunned being. Once a knight, now lost to puerile obsession: The Dung Defender."
    "Despite his exile, the Dung Defender has for centuries maintained a self-conferred charge: the protection of his mysterious gleaming 'beloved'."
    "Stalwart and full of bravado, The Dung Defender eagerly challenges all who would enter his noxious realm."[13]
  • According to Team Cherry, Dung Defender is quite furry underneath his exo-shell.[14]
  • Dung Defender used to have the following Dream Nail dialogue when sleeping in his cave, which has since become inaccessible following the Hidden Dreams content Hidden Dreams update:
    "...Isma... So strong... Teach me..."
    This is due to the introduction of White Defender, whose fight is entered through using the Dream Nail on Dung Defender in this state.
  • While sleeping, he can be heard occasionally muttering the name of Isma, among other indecipherable phrases.
  • Dung Defender releases brown dung particles upon defeat.


  1. Tuk: "Your smell... Are you a friend, too? If you're a friend, I'll share my food with you. When you see him again, our friend... tell him thank you. For helping me."
  2. Reddit AMA comment on voice actors.
  3. Defender's Crest description: "Unique charm bestowed by the King of Hallownest to his most loyal knight."
  4. Hidden Dreams content White Defender Hunter's Journal entry: ""The Champion's Call, the Knotted Grove, the Battle of the Blackwyrm... I remember it all. I will carry those glories with me always... until we meet again." - Ogrim of the Five Knights"
  5. White Lady: "But my my, that potent smell does recall such joyous memory. Only a short moment we had together, compared to ruin now endured, but what shining times they were."
  6. Hidden Dreams content White Defender Dream Nail dialogue: "Isma... I miss.. I miss you..."
  7. Royal Waterways Lore Tablet: "Only those who prove their honour in combat may enter the grove beyond. -The Defender"
  8. Hidden Dreams content White Defender after being defeated: "My King... Hallownest will be reborn! Glorious and bright! Just as it always was..." "My King... We will all be together once more..."
  9. Dung Defender: "Don't say a word. I must apologise for my previous behaviour. Entirely my fault. I mistook you for one of those mindless skulking husks, yet you bested me in the most majestic knightly fashion."
  10. Dung Defender: "That tear... You've been to her grove! I swore I'd visit, but... my duties... my oath..."
  11. Hidden Dreams content White Defender: "How funny that I see you in my dreams too, little one."
  12. Dung Defender: "The Pale Court was a wondrous place full of the age's greatest heroes. Ahh! Looking at you now, I can easily imagine you standing amongst them."
  13. Kickstarter update of December 16, 2014.
  14. Reddit AMA comment regarding Dung Defender's ruff.
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