Hive Knight

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Lifeblood Content

Loyal protector of the Hive's Queen. Flightless but ferocious in battle.

Some creatures are born with duties and loyalties marked indelibly upon their minds. They are strong, but they are also slaves.

Hive Knight is an optional boss in Hollow Knight, introduced in Lifeblood. Defeating him grants a new Charm, Hiveblood.


Hive Knight is the most valiant and skilled knight of the Hive;[1] he is flightless and bound to protect Hive Queen Vespa by the Bees' hive mind.[2] Although the Infection spread to the Hive after the queen died,[3] Hive Knight still protects her, hoping she will one day wake up and revive the Hive.[4]

In-game events

Hive Knight can be fought in the furthest room in the Hive where the giant lifeless body of the queen lies. He ambushes the Knight as they enter the place and battles them ferociously. Upon defeat, Hive Knight kneels in front of his queen before collapsing on the floor.

Defeating Hive Knight allows the Knight to acquire the Hiveblood Charm. After taking it, the spirit of Queen Vespa appears next to his corpse; she is content that he was finally freed from his binding to the Hive.[5]

Behaviour and Tactics

Hive Knight has a variety of attacks and manoeuvres:

  • Lunge: Hive Knight lunges along the ground with his weapon. This lunge covers about 65% of the arena.
  • Leap: Hive Knight somersaults as his main way of moving in the arena. This jump spans to the top of the arena and does not track the Knight.
  • Swarm Release: Hive Knight spews 12 Hivelings into the air from his mouth. These Hivelings disappear beyond the top of the arena, then 7 fly down one after another in shallow arcs from random positions in the ceiling, slowly tracking the Knight's movement. The Knight can hit the Hivelings with their Nail, (granting SOUL) or destroy them with Spells. While the Hivelings are assaulting the Knight, Hive Knight Lunges, then Leaps along with an additional varying third attack. It is important to note that if Hive Knight dies after the first Hiveling starts their assault, the Hivelings continue their assault while Hive Knight is dying. The battle always starts with 7 Hivelings descending with Hive Knight not actually on-screen. This attack only occurs after Hive Knight has reached 549 HP.
  • Surprise Slash: Hive Knight teleports near the Knight and slashes his weapon. Hive Knight can appear on either side of the Knight. The slash covers a wide range and shifts Hive Knight forward slightly. In addition, Hive Knight can do this attack while the Knight is in the air. The slash covers about 35% of the arena (and slightly more if he uses this attack in the air).
  • Honey Spikes: Hive Knight jabs his weapon into the ground and creates three orbs of spike-filled honey. These orbs can appear anywhere within the top two-thirds of the arena. Each orb contains 8 spikes, and when it bursts, the spikes travel in the direction in which they were pointing. The orbs form rapidly one after another. No two orbs occupy the same row or column as they vibrate in their positions. The Knight can move the orbs when they strike them with their Nail but the orbs cannot be destroyed. The orbs explode in the order in which they formed, every half second after the third and final orb's spikes appear. The orbs are dangerous as soon as the spikes show up. Hive Knight Leaps as soon as the first orb bursts. This attack only occurs after Hive Knight has reached 779 HP.

Stagger Values
Description: Hive Knight collapses onto the ground, softly murmuring.
Hits: 17
Combo: 12 Combo Time: <1.5s per hit

It is highly recommended to obtain Shade Cloak before the fight, as this makes it possible to dash through Hive Knight's Surprise Slash and Lunge attacks and makes handling the Swarm Release attack safer. And with that, Sharp Shadow can be a useful Charm against Hive Knight.

Quick Focus makes it safer to heal. There are plenty of no-Charm healing opportunities too: when out of range of a Surprise Slash or Lunge attack, also if dodged early; during Honey Spikes (when in a safe location); at the beginning of Swarm Release; and during Hive Knight's stagger.

Hive Knight is a light boss. As such, the Knight has more opportunities to move Hive Knight than many other bosses. Mark of Pride is strong against Hive Knight because it can keep the Knight further away from Hive Knight while still dealing damage. Steady Body is very strong against Hive Knight because it allows the Knight to maintain pressure. Quick Slash is also strong against Hive Knight, provided the Knight does only upward slashes (otherwise Hive Knight is knocked away and the Knight constantly has to chase). Quick Slash works best in combination with Steady Body and Fragile Strength/Grimm Troupe content Unbreakable Strength. Heavy Blow is another Charm that can be useful during the Swarm Release attack as it provides extra knockback against the Hivelings. Shape of Unn can be used to dodge the Swarm Release attack while also healing.

The Vengeful Spirit/Shade Soul Spell is strong against Hive Knight due to its versatility. Desolate Dive/Descending Dark is moderately effective against Hive Knight.

The Cyclone Slash Nail Art is very strong against Hive Knight due to the Knight being able to move horizontally while repeatedly pressing the attack button.

Godmaster Content

Hive Knight

Hall of Gods text: "I guard the heart of the hive for my Queen"
"Watchful god of duty"

Pantheon Pantheon of the Sage, 1st boss
Health Attuned difficulty 850
Ascended difficulty 1300
Radiant difficulty
Arena changes Same arena as the base game fight but will not start the fight off with the Swarm Release attack. Starts in Phase 3 Ascended difficulty or above.

Dream Nail Dialogue

  • Are you watching?
  • Have faith in me!
  • When you wake... the Hive...


Hive Knight can be found in the eastern part of the Hive.



  1. 1.0 1.1 Wanderer's Journal, p. 119.
  2. Hive Knight Hunter's Journal entry: "Loyal protector of the Hive's Queen. Flightless but ferocious in battle."
  3. AMA answer concerning the Hive on Reddit
  4. Hive Knight Dream Nail dialogue: "When you wake... the Hive..."
  5. Hive Queen Vespa: "My Knight... At last you are freed."
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