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For the playable Silksong protagonist, see Hornet (Silksong).
Hornet Hornet Protector Hornet Sentinel

Skilled protector of Hallownest's ruins. Wields a needle and thread.

I have seen this nimble little creature. I thought her prey and pounced at her, but with a flash she stabbed me with her flying stinger and darted away. Could she be... a Hunter?

Hornet is the mysterious princess-protector of Hallownest’s ruins, a major character in Hollow Knight and the protagonist of Hollow Knight: Silksong. She wields a needle and thread with deadly prowess.[3] As a boss, Hornet appears in two forms, Hornet Protector in Greenpath and Hornet Sentinel in Kingdom's Edge. She must be defeated twice to unlock her Journal entry, but this can be either by defeating both forms or by defeating her Protector form once in Greenpath and once in Godmaster content Godhome.


Hornet is the daughter of the Pale King and Herrah the Beast, the queen of Deepnest. Her birth was the result of a bargain for her mother to become a Dreamer, and as such, she spent only a short time with Herrah.[4][5] Her shared father with the Knight and the rest of the Vessels makes them siblings.[6][7]

Hornet fighting Quirrel

Raised in Deepnest,[8] Hornet survived the Infection and the fall of the kingdom. She wanders its ruins, chasing off travellers who would seek to desecrate them, but also protecting the sealing of the Black Egg. She also guards the Cast-Off Shell in the Kingdom's Edge which can grant the King's Brand, the key to the Abyss.[9] In her duties, she encountered Quirrel in the Howling Cliffs at his arrival in Hallownest. She attempted to fight him but was repelled by the mask of Monomon he wears on his head. Hornet leaves him be after recognizing the mask, knowing that he was called upon, despite him not knowing it.[10]

Like Quirrel and the Knight, she sensed the awakening of the Infection and started wandering Hallownest in search of answers. In Hollow Knight, she works to stop the impending doom looming on Hallownest. In Hollow Knight: Silksong, she ends up captured and brought to the haunted kingdom of Pharloom.

In-game events

Hornet appears at first as a wandering and recurring antagonist to the Knight. As their journey progresses, her involvement influences their quest in Hallownest.

The Protector

Hornet's first appearance

Hornet is first encountered at the entrance to Greenpath, where she observes the Knight before moving away. She is quickly seen two more times dashing away from them throughout the overgrown Pilgrim's Way. The Knight finally catches up with her at the standing stones marking the entrance to the Lake of Unn, standing by the body of another Vessel. Relating the Knight's quest to the awakening of the Infection, she denies them to pursue any further. They clash, and when defeated, Hornet flees without a word.

Hornet reappears briefly before the end of the Pilgrim's Way in the Fungal Wastes, going in the direction of the City of Tears. She, later on, catches up with the Knight at the Fountain Square in the middle of the drenched capital. Finally understanding the truth behind their origin and their quest, she encourages them to learn of Hallownest's sacrifice. She then asks them before leaving to find her at the Cast-Off Shell if, knowing the truth, the Knight would still want to take part in Hallownest's perpetuation. This encounter does not occur if the Knight has defeated a Dreamer or visited either of the rooms just outside the Markoth and Hornet Sentinel boss fights.

The Sentinel

Hornet in Kingdom's Edge

At Kingdom's Edge, Hornet wishes to test the Knight's resolve in one more battle before entrusting them with Hallownest's future. Upon her defeat at the top of her strength, she allows the Knight to have the King's Brand burned onto their shell. She believes they would still continue their quest even after learning the truth of their conception at the bottom of the Abyss. Her trust compels her to save the Knight caught in the collapse of the Cast-Off Shell, trapped under piles of white ash. She leaves again without saying a word after saving them.

Hornet by Herrah's bed

If the Knight defeated Hornet at Kingdom's Edge before facing Herrah the Beast in Deepnest, Hornet appears next to them as they regain consciousness. Unlike her other appearances, she allows herself a respite to mourn the passing of her mother. She also expresses regrets that in order to repay her debt to her mother and perpetuate Hallownest, she had to let the Knight end her existence.

If the Knight has not encountered Hornet in Deepnest, she also appears at the top of the Abyss after they successfully acquire the Shade Cloak and safely return. She now believes that since the Knight ascended the Abyss unscathed, they have a choice in their journey: to prolong Hallownest's stasis, or to face the heart of the Infection instead.

The Sibling

Hornet holding the Hollow Knight down

After the Knight acquires the Void Heart and faces all three Dreamers, Hornet waits for them at the Temple of the Black Egg in the Forgotten Crossroads. She is impressed by their feat of both breaking the seals and accepting the Void within themself, casting them as an exceptional being. Once the Black Egg is opened, she tells the Knight she cannot follow them inside as the egg, built to sustain Vessels, would drain her were she to join. She, however, promises to aid as best as she can if the moment presents itself.

She fulfils her promise once the Hollow Knight has been nearly defeated. She breaks open their shell with her needle, allowing the Knight a way to use the Dream Nail on their sibling and reach the heart of the Infection.

Godmaster Content


Hornet can be fought in both her forms in the Pantheons of Godhome. Like a few other beings partaking in the ritual of the Godseeker, she is conscious of her mind being invaded and her dream battle shared with the Knight.


Hornet's fate depends on the Knight's actions. If the Knight never acquires the Void Heart and seals the Radiance by themself, she does not get involved at the end of their journey. If they continue to fight the Hollow Knight or fail to enter their mind despite her aid, Hornet is knocked unconscious and sealed within the Black Egg along with her sibling.

Hornet in the Embrace the Void endings

If the Knight successfully enters the mind of the Hollow Knight and defeats the Radiance, the Black Egg disappears, leaving behind Hornet and her needle, along with the cracked shell of her sibling.

Alternatively, if the Knight completes instead the ritual of the Godseeker and defeats the Absolute Radiance, she witnesses the disappearance of the Infection's tendrils outside the Black Egg. Startled by the sudden appearance of the Hollow Knight coming out of their prison, she readies herself for battle.


Greenpath, before the fight Come no closer, ghost.

I've seen you, creeping through the undergrowth, stalking me.
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.

Dream Nailed During the fight:
  • Too weak, little ghost...
  • No shadow will haunt me...
  • Only pity for your cursed kind.
At the Fountain Memorial of City of Tears 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.

Before the fight in Kingdom's Edge So you'd pursue the deeper truth? It isn't one the weak could bear.

Prove yourself ready to face it. I'll not hold back. My needle is lethal and I'd feel no sadness in a weakling's demise.
Show me you can accept this Kingdom's past and claim responsibility for its future.

After the fight ...So strong...

You could do it, if you had the will.
But could you raise your nail once knowing its tragic conception? And knowing yourself?...
Then do it, Ghost of Hallownest! Head onward. Burn that mark upon your shell and claim yourself as King.

Dream Nailed Throughout the encounter:
  • From where does it draw this strength?
  • Could this one succeed?
  • Is it strong enough?
Listening after acquiring the Shade Cloak in the Abyss Ghost. I see you've faced the place of your birth, and now drape yourself in the substance of its shadow.

Though our strength is born of similar source, that part of you, that crucial emptiness, I do not share.
Funny then, that such darkness gives me hope. Within it, I see the chance of change.
A difficult journey you would face, but a choice it can create. Prolong our world's stasis or face the heart of its infection.

Exhausted dialogue I'd urge you to take that harder path, but what end may come, the decision rests with you.
Dream Nailed ...It faced the void, and ascends unscathed... Could it unite such vast darkness?..
Listening after defeating Herrah So you've slain the Beast... and you head towards that fated goal.

I'd not have obstructed this happening, but it caused me some pain to knowingly stand idle.
...What? You might think me stern but I'm not completely cold.
We do not choose our mothers, or the circumstance into which we are born. Despite all the ills of this world, I'm thankful for the life she granted me.
It's quite a debt I owed. Only in allowing her to pass, and taking the burden of the future in her stead, can I begin to repay it.

Exhausted dialogue Leave me now, ghost. Allow me a moment alone before this bedchamber becomes forever a shrine.
Dream Nailed ...Mother... Forgive my inaction... but another path may be possible...
Listening outside the sealed Black Egg, exhausted dialogue I'm impressed little ghost. You've burdened yourself with the fate of this world, yet you still stand strong.

To break the Dreamer's seals would alone be considered an impossible task, but to accept that void inside yourself, that casts you as something rather exceptional.

Listening outside the unsealed Black Egg The path is opened. One way or another an end awaits inside.

I won't be joining you in this. That space is built to sustain your likes. Its bindings would drain me were I to join.
Don't be surprised. I'll not risk my own life in your attempt, though if the moment presents I'll aid as I'm able.

Exhausted dialogue Ghost of Hallownest, you possess the strength to enact an end of your choosing. Would you supplant our birth-cursed sibling, or would you transcend it?
Dream Nailed ...Could it achieve that impossible thing? Should it?
Dream Nailed in Godhome Godmaster content In any of her fights:
  • ...Do they watch us struggle?..
  • Do you haunt my dreams... Or I yours?
  • Little Ghost... What dreams we share...


Hornet can be found in several locations across Hallownest. However, she may not appear in some due to events within the game.



Test of Resolve
Defeat Hornet in Greenpath.
{S} Proof of Resolve
Defeat Hornet in Kingdom's Edge.
{S} Sealed Siblings
Defeat the Hollow Knight with Hornet by your side.


"Quick with her deadly needle, relentless in battle, Hornet is exploring Hallownest to find the answer to a riddle that has plagued her. She has so far resisted the infection, but will still cut you down if you stand in her path."
"You may catch glimpses of Hornet during your exploration of Hallownest, although she always seems to be one or two steps ahead of you. If you do manage to catch up with her, be wary! Her needle can cut a bug down from thirty yards."[11]
  • Team Cherry explained in a Reddit comment that an unused concept for Hornet had her be the "Child of Three Queens": born to Herrah, raised by the White Lady and trained under and named by Hive Queen Vespa. They cannot confirm so far if that aspect of her story is still canon.[12]
  • When questioned about which species Hornet is, Team Cherry explained that she is either a spider, related to spiders, or spiderlike.[13]
  • Hornet's needle was made especially for her, and not many other bugs are skillful enough to wield it.[14]
  • On Hollow Knight: Silksong's steam page, Hornet is called a "Princess Knight".[15]


  1. Hornet Hunter's Journal entry: "I have seen this nimble little creature. I thought her prey and pounced at her, but with a flash she stabbed me with her flying stinger and darted away."
  2. Tweet by Team Cherry
  3. Official manual
  4. White Lady: "It faced the Gendered Child? She's a fierce foe, strong in mind and body, striking reflection of her mother, though the two were permitted little time together. I never begrudged the Wyrm's dalliance as bargain. In fact, I feel some affection for the creature birthed."
  5. Herrah: "...Bound... For brood... For child..." "...Fair bargain made..."
  6. Hornet to the Knight: "Would you supplant our birth-cursed sibling, or would you transcend it?"
  7. Team Cherry blog post referring to the Knight, the Hollow Knight, and Hornet as siblings.
  8. Midwife: "Pale gift to the Nest and the Beast, and fair trade for sacrifice made. Long she's been distant. It'd do our spirits well were she to grace us a visit home..."
  9. Midwife: "You wear that bright mark of relationship. Then you've met her perhaps? Her who'd guard the mark, the Gendered Child."
  10. Hollow Knight Comic's First Chapter: Quirrel
  11. Kickstarter update of December 9th, 2014.
  12. Reddit AMA comment regarding Hornet.
  13. A Profound Waste Of Time Issue 2, p. 121.
  14. Reddit AMA comment regarding Hornet's needle.
  15. Silksong Steam page
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