The (Mostly) Complete Lore of Hollow Knight


If you were to ask me, “What is your favorite
video game ever made?” I would have
to say Cory in the House for the Nintendo DS. But Hollow Knight would be a close second. Hollow Knight was released on February 24th,
2017 by Team Cherry, an indie game studio based in the mythical land of Adelaide, South
Australia. Over the past three years, Hollow Knight has
become an indie darling. The game has sold over three and a half million
copies, it was the opening game at AGDQ 2019. There’s a Hollow Knight book, a line of
plushies, T-shirts, nicotine patches, nuclear warheads, and even vinyl records for all you
goddamn hipsters. Team Cherry had one goal when making Hollow
Knight. They wanted to create a world that allowed
players to get completely lost in exploration. We can see this desire in Hollow Knight’s
design. The levels in Hollow Knight are massive, with
secrets and rewards hidden in every nook and cranny, be that powerful charms, special abilities
or uhh… The game’s navigation system requires the
player to work for their map, forcing them to make a stronger mental image of the world
in their head. Christopher Larkin’s score and Ari Gibson’s
artwork lend to this as well, creating an atmosphere that the player won’t want to
leave. But there’s one aspect of Hollow Knight
that keeps people like me coming back: the world building. When Super Metroid launched in 1994, it stood
out for its amazing sense of immersion. Now in 1994, I was busy not being alive, but
I’ve watched enough YouTube video essays to know that this game was a big deal. In case you didn’t know, Super Metroid is
basically the granddaddy of all Metroidvanias. That’s why they’re called “MetroidVANIAs”. Now in Super Metroid, there are moments that
give the player a sense of depth. Basically the feeling that this world exists
outside of Samus’ interactions with it. In the room right before that diabetic crocodile
thing, Samus can find the corpse of a random soldier. His inclusion here doesn’t change the gameplay
at all, but instead gives the player a sense of wonder about the world they are exploring. Who was this guy? Why was he here in the first place? Did he like jazz? Now finding dead bodies and other random garbage
is pretty cool, right? Well, Hollow Knight basically does the same
thing. About a dozen times. Through its world building, Hollow Knight
turns Hallownest into a living kingdom. You can sense the ancient history of the land
when you look at dilapidated structures or giant barred doors. Nothing feels like it was put into the game
randomly; there’s a reason for it all. Except those reasons aren’t the easiest
to uncover. Hollow Knight’s narrative is buried under
layers of NPC dialogue, item descriptions, lore tablets, and even additional content
like the Quirrel comic and Fangamer’s Wanderer’s Journal. These past three years have seen an insane
amount of research by the Hollow Knight community to make sense of Team Cherry’s sprawling
world. We’ve even made it to the point where people
are looking at the in-game signs to try and decipher Hallownest’s logographic language. In this video, I hope to give you a long and
detailed look into the world of Hollow Knight, exploring Hallownest’s history and uncertain
future. When I’m not busy making surprisingly accurate
Super Smash Brothers roster speculation videos, or insightful podcasts about beloved subjects
like the Donkey Kong Country television series, or whatever this was supposed to be, I’m
usually making videos about Hollow Knight. And while I am a seasoned Hollow Knight lore
expert, I cannot confirm that every musing or theory presented in this video is completely
correct. I highly recommend checking out the lore section
of the Hollow Knight Wiki if you want a more neutral explanation of Hollow Knight’s lore. But if you’re too lazy to read, then I suggest
you sit back, order some Domino’s pizza or just grab a block of cheese from the fridge,
and enjoy the mostly complete lore of Hollow Knight. It’s a simple fact of life that every human
worships a god, be that technology, ideologies, or in rare cases, God. As it turns out, the bugs in Hallownest pretty
much operate in the same way. From the mosskin born from the dream of a
giant slug, to the emo kids of the Ancient Civilization who literally worshipped the
darkness, there is no shortage of things to worship in the world of Hollow Knight. Our story begins with a creature very much
worthy of worship: a creature born from the carcass of a Wyrm. The carcass can still be found in the Kingdom’s
Edge and it’s our only good look at what Wyrms actually looked like. At the time Hollow Knight occurs, it is suggested
there are no Wyrms left in the world. They were incredibly long creatures that featured
little to no limbs. Another, more mysterious property of Wyrms
was that they had some kind of prescience or foresight. Basically, they could see the future to some
capacity. It isn’t clear how effective this ability
was. Considering how the entire race went extinct,
this foresight ability must have been pretty shit. Getting back to this particular Wyrm carcass,
it is explained that this Wyrm traveled across the distant mountains and wastelands beyond
Hallownest. Once it arrived in Hallownest, the Wyrm died. Except not really. Inside the maw of the carcass sits a pale,
broken egg, out of which hatched a new form of Wyrm, a being of meager shell. This form of the Wyrm is usually referred
to as the Pale King, and he’s the character basically responsible for everything that
happens in Hollow Knight. The Pale King is a higher being, a type of
creature that exists above all others. His body was said to shine with a radiant
vistage that harmed those who looked upon him. The ultimate goal of the Pale King seemed
to be in line with that of other Wyrms. A line from the cryptic Mister Mushroom reads: …Wyrms pull bugs into their thrall,
Till ages pass and kingdoms fall, In other words, it’s just in their nature. Dogs wag their tails, cats bury their shit,
and Wyrms bring massive amounts of bugs into their service in order to form long standing
kingdoms and civilizations. And here in a far corner of the world, the
Pale King emerged from the corpse of his former self and began to build his eternal kingdom,
Hallownest. There’s just one slight problem. There’s like… people already living there. The area that would eventually become Hallownest
was already filled with mantises, bees, moths, spiders, mushrooms, and bush cosplayers. Each of these groups were already operating
with their own cultures and societies, and each group had a different interaction with
the Pale King. One of the more receptive groups to the arrival
of the Pale King were the mushrooms of the Fungal Wastes. These creatures were able to communicate with
one another through one shared mind. The mushrooms viewed this shared mind as a
strength, and they were kinda smug dickheads about it. Ultimately, the mushrooms wearly accepted
the Pale King’s rule, viewing his foresight as a shield to the dangers of the future. Another group living in the Fungal Wastes
is the Mantis Tribe. The mantises have a rich cultural history
reaching back to long before the birth of Hallownest. The mantises are a proud tribe, believing
in the importance of proving one’s physical strength. The mantises are fiercely territorial but
will show respect to those who display great power. These Fight Club enthusiasts were lead by
four powerful Mantis Lords who I guess just kinda sat around waiting for outsiders to
challenge them. The Mantis Tribe had no interest in the Pale
King’s kingdom, but the two communities did come to a truce. In exchange for their independence from Hallownest,
the Mantis Tribe kept the beasts of Deepnest from invading Hallownest. Not sure why they didn’t just go out the
other exits from Deepnest, but whatever. I’m not an expert on border patrol. I don’t work at ICE anymore. Let’s move on to Deepnest. Now many of the different tribes of Hallownest
were kind enough to leave lore tablets behind detailing pretty much everything we need to
know about them. Unfortunately the bugs of Deepnest didn’t
do that. We know that the spiders of Deepnest had a
monarchy because why not. Those are always good, right? Also within Deepnest are a separate group
of spiders that immigrated to Deepnest at some point in the past. This group was known as the Weavers, and they
established their own culture and history within Deepnest. They used looms of silk to weave stories,
spells and shields. One thing we know for sure about Deepnest
is that they really didn’t want anything to do with Hallownest. The struggles of Deepnest-Hallownest relations
would become painfully clear as time goes on, but for right now, it seems like the two
remained fairly isolated from one another. Another section of pre-Hallownest includes
Greenpath. Now as far as we can tell, the Mushrooms,
Mantises and spiders of Deepnest didn’t worship any Higher Beings. There is this giant mushroom corpse in the
Fungal Core, but I don’t think this is a Higher Being. I mean, who the hell would want to worship
a fatass mushroom? Fatass slugs? Now that’s dope. The land we know as Greenpath was created
by the Higher Being known as Unn. Unn used her great mind to dream the vegetation
of Greenpath into the once barren caverns. Unn’s followers, the Mosskin, were also
born out of Unn’s dream, making her their creator. Greenpath at its heigth was actually much
larger than what we see ingame. At one point, Greenpath stretched into both
modern day Queen’s Gardens and possibly Fog Canyon. Greenpath’s citizens showed themselves to
be a fairly developed society. They built a temple at the Lake of Unn in
order to worship her, and they even had their own line of defense, with Moss Knights showing
proficiency in combat, using nails and shells as weapons. The Law of Unn continued to remain in effect
even after the Pale King arrived, but it seems like they allowed the King to establish a
road through their lands leading travelers to the Heart of Hallownest, hence the name
Greenpath. Yeah, Team Cherry really racked their brains
when naming this area, didn’t they? Next we have the Bees. And while there is no lore on how these bees
can turn into fucking drills, or how they can ignore all known laws of aviation, we
do know how they reacted to the Pale King. These bugs decided to seal their hive off
from the rest of the world, with only patrol bees being able to enter and exit the Hive. So yeah, the bees are pretty much pointless
in this story. And finally, we have the moth tribe. In game, the only moth settlement is the Resting
Grounds, but the tribe might have also inhabited the Crystal Peak at one point. Now as we all know, moths in real life are
just complete assholes. As for moths in Hollow Knight, well… it’s
a bit complicated. The moth race is described as being a rather
pacifist group, with few ever choosing to take up a weapon. During the Pale King’s reign, the moth race
delved amongst dreams and the dead, displaying the importance of remembering those who have
passed, as well as learning how to shape dreams themselves. Similar to the Mosskin, the Moth Tribe was
born from a Higher Being known as the Radiance. The Radiance is described as being a light
in which the Moth Tribe basked. So she was basically a giant lamp to them. Another important aspect about the Radiance
is her ties to dreams and a substance known as Essence. Essence are the remnants of wishes and dreams,
and are represented in game by these dream catcher particle effects. Essence can take the form of Whispering Roots
as well as Dream ghosts, both of which are memories taking root in the world. The Radiance appears to be a creature made
of Essence, but she isn’t the only Higher Being to give off Essence. Unn has green particles, the Pale King has
grey particles, and this sexy character named Grimm gives off fiery red particles. However, the Radiance appears to be the main
god when it comes to dreams, even if other gods also dabble in the Dream Realm. Getting back to the Moth Tribe, it is their
interaction with the Pale King that we need to discuss. Basically, the moths turned their backs on
the Radiance completely, in order to worship the new light that had appeared, the Pale
King’s light. So yeah, moths are assholes in this game too. With her tribe forsaking her, the Radiance
became a forgotten memory, a remnant of the past, and a thing that’s definitely not
going to come up again later in the video. And so the Pale King’s new kingdom was established:
Hallownest. But there is one aspect of Hallownest that
we need to discuss. Unfortunately, to better understand this,
we’re going to have to read some poetry. In wilds beyond they speak your name with
reverence and regret, For none could tame our savage souls yet you
the challenge met, Under palest watch, you taught, we changed,
base instincts were redeemed, A world you gave to bug and beast as they
had never dreamed. This is from a poem titled Elegy for Hallownest
written by Monomon the Teacher. The poem appears at the beginning of every
playthrough and hints at what the Pale King and his kingdom offered. Much of the land outside of Hallownest appears
to be a wasteland, where bugs survive off of instinct without the burden of mind. Hallownest somehow taught these bugs and tamed
their savagery. Basically the Pale King changed the instincts
of his subjects and granted them higher thought. To get a better picture of this, let’s look
at two different characters: Boon and Tuk. These adorable panda bug things give us a
clear display of Hallownest’s effect. While both appear to be the same species of
bug, Boon is dumb as a sack of rocks, struggling to string together words, while Tuk speaks
fairly clearly. The main difference between these two characters
is that while Boon lives outside of Hallownest, Tuk lives beneath the city’s capital. Basically, it appears as though Hallownest
is a literal holy ground that raises the intelligence of those who dwell within. The Pale King established a path, starting
from the kingdom’s entrance in King’s Pass, winding through Greenpath and the Fungal
Wastes, and finally ending at the massive capital at Hallownest’s Heart. We now know the capital city as the City of
Tears, but this was likely not its original name. The rain that falls down onto the city from
the Blue Lake above didn’t begin until after the kingdom collapsed. So unless the capital was originally named
by some edgy literature student, the name City of Tears wouldn’t have made much sense. The King’s motivation for all this appears
to have been his desire to be worshipped. The citizens of Hallownest believed that the
Pale King created the world and everything in it. Shrines to the King can be found scattered
throughout the kingdom, and King’s Idols were created and distributed to followers
of the King. Despite the worship, the Pale King often kept
himself hidden from his subjects, possibly to hide his blemishes. I mean, if you look at the size of the real
Pale King to his statue in the Ancient Basin, the man is clearly overcompensating. The Pale King’s White Palace was also built
underneath the city, separating him from his subjects even moreso. At the same time, the certain powers became
shunned in Hallownest, though we don’t know for sure if the Pale King had anything to
do with this. Lifeblood is a blue liquidy substance that
leaves those who drink it feeling refreshed. However, the use of lifeblood was seen as
a taboo, and those who used it were demonized as heretics. The use of soul for combat was also shunned. Soul is a sort of lifeforce in Hollow Knight
that animates the bodies of living creatures. But some characters are able to control the
soul of others to conjure powerful spirits. But aside from a few exceptions, no citizens
of Hallownest ever used this power. However, the Pale King didn’t rule Hallownest
alone. There was another Higher Being in the mix,
a being known as the White Lady. The White Lady is this weird root-like being
that can be found in the modern day Queen’s Gardens. She is encased inside a strange cocoon, and
we know very little about her. With as much exposition we get for the Pale
King, there is next to nothing on the White Lady. But one thing we do know is she likes to breed…
like a lot. The White Lady would often retreat to the
Queen’s Gardens, an area of land once controlled by the Mosskin. How exactly she walked around and actually
went places is a lore question to deep for even my expertise. The White Lady is also known as a Pale being,
along with the Pale King. What exactly are Pale Beings? Well, we don’t really know for sure, but
they seem to stand out even amongst Higher Beings as being even more powerful. I know that’s a little confusing, so let’s
try using an example. I’d say that regular higher beings are like
a TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router while Pale Beings are like
the Asus RT-AX88U AX6000 Dual-Band 8x Gigabit Wifi Router. Under the Pale King, Hallownest underwent
a bit of an industrial revolution. He ordered the construction of the stagways,
which were used to transport passengers and goods. The Forgotten Crossroads and the storerooms
above the City of Tears were used to store goods that traveled along these stagways. The King also ordered the construction of
the tramways because literally no one is safe from the threat of automation. A tram was built between the Forgotten Crossroads
and the Resting Grounds. A second tram was built from the Kingdom’s
Edge, across the Ancient Basin, over to Deepnest. And then a third tram was started in Deepnest
and attempted to go further into Deepnest. Not sure how useful that would have been to
the bugs of Hallownest, but whatever. The Pale King’s a smart guy, I’m not gonna
question him. But anyway, the Pale King’s super smart
plan to build a tram in Deepnest ended up getting a few of his tram workers killed. The bugs of Deepnest rejected the Pale King’s
attempt to build a tram in their territory, further cementing the poor relations shared
between the two groups. Aside from convenient fast travel, regular
pathways were also used to cart goods around the kingdom. From this was born probably one of the most
important groups in Hallownest and perhaps even all of fiction. An elusive guild of bugs simply known as menderbugs
took to maintaining the various signs scattered throughout Hallownest. From the journal entry of one Menderbug, we
can catch a glimpse into their ancient and unknowable minds. Dear Dear Diary,
Isn’t life just the most beautiful thing. Fixing signs, mending posts, let them break
I say! I’m a better mender for all that repairing. I sometimes doubt there’s a single bug in
all of Hallownest happier than me. Another example of the Pale King’s expanding
infrastructure is the Crystal Peak. This area is filled with crystals that grow
rapidly along walls, ceilings, and even the shells of certain bugs. These crystals were considered valuable to
the bugs of Hallownest, resulting in large scale mining efforts. We don’t actually see the crystals used
anywhere else in Hallownest, but they are said to be able to contain a sort of energy. The crystals are also said to sing if you
listen very carefully. ♫ A strange angelic singing ♫ In terms of military, Hallownest’s first
line of defense appeared to be a group simply known as the Five Great Knights. The members of this esteemed coalition were
Ogrim, Hegemol, Ze’mer, Dryya, and Isma. For being so important, most of the information
about these Knights has been lost to time. Ogrim is the Knight we know most about, since
he is one of the few Knights still alive during the events of the game. Ogrim expressed a great amount of loyalty
towards the King, and he maybe had something going on with Isma. But we really don’t know. Hegemol was known for his sense of humor and
his soft spoken voice. But at the same time, he was also dummy thicc. Mysterious Ze’mer arrived in Hallownest
from a serene land, bringing with her a collection of delicate flowers. At some point, she also got into a relationship
with a mantis, but not just any mantis, a daughter of one of the Mantis Lords. So yeah, it seems like some of these Great
Knights were slaying in more ways than one. All we really know about Dryya is that she
was fierce, caring and wise. As for Isma, she was described as being kind. She also appears to be some kind of weird
plant life form, but there’s no information on where she’s from or what her powers were. The Five Great Knights played an important
role in the Champion’s Call, the Knotted Grove, and the Battle of the Blackwyrm. We have no idea what these events were or
how they affected Hallownest, but they sound cool nonetheless. During Hallownest’s reign, there was another
strange area that seemed to exist separate from the Pale King’s rule. Carved out of the corpse of an ancient bug,
an arena called the Colosseum of Fools was constructed, and it was a destination for
warriors from outside Hallownest. The sole purpose for fighting in the Colosseum
appeared to be simply for glory, with a mysterous figure known as the Lord Fool overseeing the
combat. We don’t know when the Colosseum was constructed,
or if the Pale King was involved, but one of his servants, the Pale Lurker, became a
champion in the Colosseum, perhaps indicating the Pale King’s approval. Finally, there was the Royal Waterways, where
the fecal excrement of the kingdom was washed out into the Fungal Wastes. This area saw the rise of a species of parasite-like
creatures called the Flukes. The Flukes spawn from the Flukemarm, a giant
monster with cavities in which tinier flukes live. There really isn’t too much lore involved
with the Flukes, but I do need to point out that Flukemarm is canonicall a MILF. Like, that’s not even debatable. The sky is blue, 2 + 2=4, and we all want
to fuck this thing. And so this was the Kingdom of Hallownest
at its height. Hallownest was a vast kingdom connected by
a network of stagways and tram stations. The bugs of Hallownest mourned their dead
in the Resting Grounds, engaged in commerce using Geo, the de facto currency of the region,
and a thriving capital located in the middle of the kingdom. The Pale King had succeeded in crafting a
full blown society, but we all know there are pitfalls to living in a society. As the suspiciously knowledgeable Hunter points
out in his journal, the Pale King had created a population of weak and pathetic creatures. The bugs of Hallownest did not hunt for their
own food and had become complacent with their comfort. This is even more obvious with the east wing
of the capital. These greedy members of Hallownest’s high
society became complete cowards, obsessed with riches and plumb from excess wealth. The bugs living in Hallownest’s prime looked
quite different than the instinctive simpletons they once were. Their savagery had been replaced with intelligence
and through that intellect, they gave the Pale King the devotion and service he desired. And while there were a few snags along the
way, they were shining times for the King and his subjects. Resting at the threshold of Hallownest is
a strange lore tablet, proclaiming Hallownest to be the last and only civilization. It calls Hallownest an eternal kingdom. This appears to have been the Pale King’s
goal: for Hallownest to stand against a wasted world as a final beacon for civilization. And that was the Pale King’s ultimate folly. To think that he could succeed where so many
others had failed before. Long before the Pale Kings or the Berry Bensons
of the world, the land of Hallownest was controlled by an ancient caste. Hints of Hallownest’s history are littered
throughout the land, with the most notable examples being the soul totems and arcane
eggs. One sect of these ancient bugs didn’t worship
a god like the Pale King, or any lord, but instead a dark and mysterious substance known
as the Void. This Ancient Caste once also tried to lay
claim to the entire land of Hallownest, but they too failed. In his quest to conquer all of Hallownest,
the Pale King had made an enemy, an enemy long forgotten, an enemy that was about to
be remembered. I mentioned earlier that the Moth Tribe entirely
forgot about the Radiance in order to worship the Pale King. But that isn’t quite true. Memories of her still lingered, and hushed
whispers of faith kept the Radiance alive. At the summit of the Crystal Peak, a location
known as Hallownest’s crown, a strange collection of glyphs can be found. Joining these glyphs is a statue of the Radiance,
presiding over the kingdom below. This old summit is the sole standing shrine
left for the Radiance. This was built in order to keep the memory
of the Radiance alive. The Radiance’s light began to appear in
the dreams of Hallownest’s citizens. This light manifested itself in an infection
that ravaged through the kingdom’s tunnels. Those infected would fall into a deep sleep
and awaken with broken minds. Some of the lesser bugs tried to resist the
Radiance’s light, which only resulted in them being consumed by it even moreso. Many infected bugs lost their wills and began
attacking bugs that weren’t infected. The infection also twisted the bodies of its
hosts, causing them to bloat, and occasionally develop orange cysts on their bodies. For many victims, they were reverted back
to their basic instincts, carrying out the duties they once fulfilled in life, but now
as mindless slaves. Those caught up in the infection were linked
into the Radiance’s hivemind, allowing her to control their bodies if needed. As the infection spread across Hallownest,
many groups looked to solutions to fight off the Radiance’s light. The gates to the City of Tears were closed
in an attempt to keep the infection from reaching the city. The stagways were also shut down at some point,
and many of the stags eventually died out. But some took more proactive efforts against
the infection. The scholars of the Soul Sanctum decided to
harness the power of soul in an attempt to fight the infection. This resulted in the deaths of hundreds of
bugs whose souls were sucked out and injected into the bodies of the scholars. Their goal was to achieve some kind of pure
focus which would somehow protect them from plagues of the mind. The scholars’ leader, the Soul Master, was
driven mad by the sheer power of soul and his entire sect failed to avoid infection. But hey, at least they took as many innocent
people down with them as they could. The Mantis Tribe, showing a stronger will
than the common bug, were able to stave off the infection. However, one of the four Mantis Lords turned
against his sisters. He and his followers took in the infection
willingly, as it gave them more strength and courage. At some point during all this, The Traitor
Lord and his followers were exiled from the Mantis Village, eventually taking up residence
in the Queen’s Gardens. The Traitor Lord’s daughter ended up dying
at some point. This is the same mantis that was in a relationship
with Ze’mer, one of the Five Great Knights. But the mantises rejected their union because
of Ze’mer’s outsideness. As a Gamer, this type of prejudice is all
too familiar, and honestly, it makes me sick. With the Five Great Knights completely useless
to fight against the infection, the Pale King devised his own scheme: a scheme involving
a strange substance known as Void. As I mentioned earlier, the Pale King’s
White Palace was built in an area called the Ancient Basin, but his castle wasn’t the
only noteworthy thing down there. At the bottom of the Ancient Basin was the
entrance to a pit known as the Abyss. Within the Abyss was a lake composed of Void. The Pale King realized that this Void could
be given form, as evidenced by an imprint of such deep within the Abyss, possibly left
there by the Ancient Civilization that predated Hallownest. The Pale King devised a workshop in his palace
where he placed Void in armor shells imbued with soul, creating servants known as Kingsmoulds
and Wingmoulds. These Void creatures were somehow imprinted
with the desire of the Pale King, so that they would serve him. It isn’t clear when the Pale King started
making these creatures. There is evidence to imply that even common
bugs were aware of Kingsmoulds, but the point is, the Pale King turned to the Void in order
to create another creature. One that he believed could contain the Radiance
and her infection. He tried to create a pure Vessel. The Radiance’s infection needs its host
to have a will and a mind in order to enslave it. A pure Vessel would be a creature made of
Void, designed to lack those features. The Pale King believed that by harnessing
the Void inside a pure Vessel, he would be able to stop the infection and keep Hallownest
lasting eternal. But his method for creating this so-called
pure Vessel was incredibly cruel. This is where the White Lady and her King
Kong sized libido come into play. These two Higher Beings engaged in a union
of some kind, resulting in the creation of several eggs that were dropped down into the
Abyss. There, the Void seeped into these eggs, corrupting
the offspring of the Pale King and White Lady. This act resulted in the creation of the Vessels. The Vessels are not technically considered
to be alive. They are shells created from the Pale King
and White Lady that have been filled by the Void. Within each Vessel is a shade, a completely
Void being hidden behind the face of the Vessel. Vessels are also non-gendered. I guess because they’re dead or something. I’m not sure if that’s how that works
but whatever. I’m not an expert on these kinds of things. I don’t work at ICE anymore Thousands of Vessels were created during this
process, but only one was chosen as the pure Vessel. This particular Vessel chosen by the Pale
King was deemed the Hollow Knight, and was taken away to the White Palace. But I want to take a bit of a closer look
at this part of the story. There are a number of questions and theories
surrounding this moment that I really want to dig into. The big question surrounding this moment is
why was the Hollow Knight chosen over any other vessel. One common theory is that the Pale King took
these Vessels back to the White Palace and evaluated them using his giant collection
of buzzsaws. This theory is probably the least likely explanation. It kinda exists just to explain the buzzsaws,
which is quite the mystery, I’ll admit, but doesn’t really mesh with the Vessels
very well. How does being good at Super Meat Boy prove
that you are a worthy Vessel? And while thinking about logistics in a game
about magic bugs is never a good idea, how exactly did the Pale King transfer these thousands
of Vessels to his Palace without characters like the Dung Defender finding out? So this means that the Pale King probably
made his decision without taking any of the Vessels out of the Abyss. So how did the Pale King make his evaluation? I think the best explanation comes from a
theory I originally heard from a user named GoldenFlowerFan. Basically, the Vessels were hatched down at
the bottom of the Abyss, and the first one to make it to the top was chosen by the Pale
King. In a memory of this event, we see Vessels
falling from above back down into the pit of the Abyss. Perhaps these Vessels weren’t being cast
down into the Abyss, but fell while trying to escape out of it. The lore tablet outside the Abyss appears
to support this theory. It reads: Our pure Vessel has ascended. Beyond lies only the refuse and regret of
its creation. We shall enter that place no longer. This tablet was likely written right after
the Hollow Knight was chosen, considering that is when the entrance to the Abyss was
sealed off. The tablet proclaims that the pure Vessel
has “ascended” or in other words, climbed out of the Abyss. And while cut content should never be considered
canon, I would just like to point out that an earlier version of this tablet found in
the game’s code was even more explicit about this. It read: “From below, our pure Vessel has
ascended.” But how does making it to the top of the Abyss
first prove that the Hollow Knight is somehow a perfectly hollow Vessel? Well, I think this whole concept might just
be a misconception. What if the Hollow Knight wasn’t any different
from the other Vessels? All Vessels were made in the exact same way
after all. The idea that the Hollow Knight was somehow
more hollow than the other Vessels comes from the fact that there were so many Vessels created
in the first place. If they only needed one, then why create so
goddamn many? I mean this is like Octomom on steroids. Well, these are bugs we’re talking about,
so it would make sense that multiple offspring would come from one egg. And it might have been a precaution to produce
multiple Vessels in hopes that at least one would be able to successfully escape the Abyss. Now another explanation could be that the
Pale King just yeeted other Vessels that made it to the top first after determining that
they weren’t hollow, which would better explain why so many were created. Ultimately, the exact details aren’t super
important, but I do find it interesting how many different interpretations can be pulled
from this part of the lore. After the Hollow Knight was chosen, the Pale
King sealed the doorway to the Abyss, leaving the discarded Vessels to rot away in darkness. These actions were not taken lightly by the
Pale King or the White Lady. Both participants expressed shame in what
they did, but saw no other option to save the kingdom. But the Vessels weren’t the only poor saps
sealed away in the Abyss. There’s also a lighthouse that was built
on top of a naturally formed spire, it’s light shining down on an ocean of Abyss below. Inside was one of the Pale King’s Royal
Retainers, who was left in charge of keeping the lighthouse turned on. So this brave soul was willingly sealed in
a dark and dangerous tomb for the rest of his life just so he could not pull a lever. Well, at least he was living with purpose. With the Abyss sealed and the Hollow Knight
chosen, the Pale King’s plan was beginning to come together. The Hollow Knight was raised and trained to
prime form, causing it to grow to several times its original size. We don’t know exactly why this happened. But I guess the Hollow Knight is a grower
and not a shower. We know that the Hollow Knight was trained
to use a nail, but why was this even necessary? One possible explanation is that the Hollow
Knight needed to protect itself in case an intruder tried to kill it, you know, like
the player. Or perhaps this was important in the process
of containing the Radiance. Unfortunately the details of that are never
fully explained. The Hollow Knight might have somehow focused
the Radiance inside itself, but Team Cherry gives us no explanation of how that might
have worked. But that still wasn’t enough for the Pale
King. Additional seals were needed in order to protect
the Hollow Knight’s physical body while the Radiance was trapped inside of it. To achieve this, the Pale King sought the
help of three particular bugs who would later be known as the Dreamers; Lurien the Watcher,
Monomon the Teacher, and Herrah the Beast. Lurien is definitely the most mysterious of
the three dreamers. He lived in the Watcher’s Spire in the City
of Tears. From there, Lurien watched over the city with
his telescope. Lurien was also a pretty big fan of the king,
so it probably took little convincing for him to lie down for him. Lurien might also be tied to another strange
incident that occurred in the City of Tears. Hidden on some of Lurien’s lore tablets
are images of jars, the same jars that can be found stockpiled in the Tower of Love. This building sits on the outskirts of the
city, and is the setting of one of the most bizzare bosses in the game: The Collector. The Collector is a Void construct that appears
to be made from the same mold used to create the kingsmoulds. But the Collector is unique because…. Well uhh… Good grief! He’s naked! The Collector stayed in the Tower of Love
with a noble bug who likely owned the establishment. In the tower, a number of bugs can be found
captured in jars, implying that these two were tasked with collecting these creatures. However, the Collector somehow became obsessed
with grubs, creating a map to keep track of grubs it captured in jars, as well as keeping
a strange shrine displaying a grub in the style of the Vitruvian Man. Eventually the bug staying with the Collector
decided to lock it inside the Tower of Love, and fled to the Queen’s Gardens where it
died, likely due to overexposure to the Void. Despite being locked up in the Tower, the
Collector is still spotted by the Hunter at some point, which either means this only happened
recently, or the Hunter has been farting around in Hallownest for a long ass time. We have no idea what these creatures were
trying to do. It’s implied that the Collector was trying
to preserve the creatures of Hallownest, perhaps trying to protect them from the spread of
the infection. But we don’t know where the Collector’s
obsession with grubs originated. And while Lurien does seem connected to all
of this, we don’t know how involved he was with this operation or what it’s end goal
exactly was. Monomon the Teacher lived in the Teacher’s
Archives, a library built atop a lake of acid in the Fog Canyon. The lower half of her body consists of tentacles,
making her a popular subject for the thriving Hollow Knight R34 community. The Archives, and Fog Canyon as a whole, are
also filled with these strange Metroid knockoffs. These creatures are likely related to Monomon
in some way. They could be her live offspring, her test
tube babies, or possibly even her shit. Monomon used futuristic cathode ray tube things
to store information about Hallownest. Several terminals in the Teacher’s Archive
go into detail about the Pale King’s plan to defeat the Radiance, indicating that Monomon
had intimate knowledge of what she was taking part in. Finally, the Pale King sought the help of
Herrah the Beast, the Queen of Deepnest. Now as I mentioned earlier, relations between
Hallownest and Deepnest were kinda… not great. Unlike the other two Dreamers, Herrah needed
to be convinced in order to help the Pale King. Herrah would eventually agree to become a
Dreamer in exchange for a child. The Pale King agreed, and the two engaged
in a dalliance, which is a fancy way of saying they totally boned. The White Lady was okay with this arrangement. In fact, she might have been watching from
the closet. The motive behind Herrah’s request is never
elaborated on, but it appears as though the King of Deepnest was dead at this point. Herrah was a common bug, so perhaps she desired
the Pale King’s pale seed so that her child could be of high birth. The bargain between Herrah and the Pale King
resulted in the birth of Hornet. She became known as the Gendered Child, because
unlike the Pale King’s other children, Hornet was not hollowed out in the Abyss. Herrah and Hornet spent little time together,
as Herrah had to make good on her end of the bargain. And so the three Dreamers were put to rest. Through their actions, a seal was placed over
the Black Egg, prohibiting entrance into the chamber. These Dreamers also had their own protection. At the base of Lurien’s spire, the Watcher
Knights guarded access to their master’s body. Monomon’s body was protected by a giant
jellyfish named Uumuu. On top of this, Monomon entrusted her servant
Quirrel with a mask which would be required to break an additional seal she had placed
over herself. So she basically is double wrapping herself. As for Herrah, we’re not really sure what
protected her, since it is never actually seen in game. We don’t know where this creature is hiding,
but whoever it is, they really suck at their job. Now there appears to be one more element to
the Pale King’s plan, involving the Weavers. Hidden away in the Weaver’s Den is an incomplete
Seal of Binding woven from silk. This design prominently features the Hollow
Knight’s head, and can be found in the White Palace as well as blocking the exit during
the Hollow Knight fight. Silk spools created by the Weavers can be
found in the stag station in Deepnest, as well as the stag station next to the White
Palace. These spools can also be found in the Pale
King’s workshop. We know that the Weavers were closely tied
to Herrah and Hornet, so their actions might have been a part of the deal between the Pale
King and Herrah. Once the Hollow Knight was ready, the Radiance
was somehow channeled into the Vessel, which was then placed inside of a giant black egg
located in the Forgotten Crossroads. This egg was built to sustain the Hollow Knight,
and itself appears to be fashioned from Void. The Hollow Knight was chained up, and the
entrance to the Black Egg was locked behind a powerful seal created by the three Dreamers. Initially, this convoluted plan actually worked,
and the infection was successfully contained. Memorials to the Hollow Knight and the Dreamers
were erected in the City of Tears and the Resting Grounds. But this is the part of the story where things
get a little bit hazy. By the time these statues were constructed,
citizens had taken to writing on parchment woven from spider’s silk, which was all
destroyed when water started pouring down onto the city. We don’t know how long the Hollow Knight
was able to completely contain the infection. Bugs from Dirtmouth used to go to the Temple
of the Black Egg to pray, saying they felt at peace within the walls. But after a while, they stopped going, perhaps
indicating that the infection was beginning to leak out again. The infectious air continued to seep through
Hallownest for years, eventually even reaching the deepest parts of the kingdom. As it turns out, the Pale King’s pure Vessel
wasn’t quite so pure after all. The Hollow Knight had been tarnished by an
idea instilled. While the game never explicitly tells us what
that idea was, it does hint strongly at what it might be. Hidden away in the White Palace is a memory
showing the Hollow Knight and the Pale King sharing a moment. The Hollow Knight might have developed a parental
bond to the Pale King, and who could blame it? The Pale King is a pretty great dad, after
all. You know, if you ignore the infanticide and
everything. Remember those smug mushroom dickheads? Well it turns out their trust in the Pale
King was a complete mistake. That shared mind isn’t looking too good
now is it? In the Fungal Core, the corpse of a giant
mushroom lies dormant. Its final thoughts were “Pale Wyrm… What good to foresee a demise unavoidable?” This could imply that the Pale King always
knew that his kingdom was doomed, all he could do was delay the inevitable. This is likely the moment when Hallownest
as it once was entirely collapsed. The Hollow Knight had not completely stopped
the infection, and while it may have taken a while, Hallownest was eventually brought
low. It’s at this point that characters and areas
begin to resemble as we know them ingame. When it became clear that the Hollow Knight
was not able to contain the Radiance, the Pale King resorted to his final plan. He fucked off, hiding himself, his White Palace
and his Pale Court in the Dream World. At this point, all of the furniture in the
palace was covered under white sheets, similar to how people in the real world cover their
furniture while away on long trips. The palace was also completely covered with
thorns and buzzsaws, similar to how people in the real world cover their houses with
thorns and buzzsaws. The Pale King would eventually pass away while
sitting on his throne in the White Palace. There’s no confirmation on what killed him,
but there are a few things to consider. The throne room is incredibly dark compared
to the rest of the Palace, and the particle effects and ambience track in this room are
identical to that of the Abyss. All of the Kingsmoulds surrounding the Pale
King are dead. The Ancient Basin itself also has become stained
with the presence of Void, as it can be seen as high as the run down elevator shaft leading
back to the city. Remember that bug that was sealed away in
the Abyss to make sure the lighthouse wasn’t turned off. Well, the lighthouse was turned off. I guess that whole living with purpose thing
is a crock of shit after all. It seems as though the sea of void itself
actually convinced this bug to betray his king and turn off the lighthouse. Now I know what you’re thinking. Exactly how conscious is the Void? Is the Void able to think for itself? Can it form strategies? Does it host a podcast? Well according to this chozo statue ripoff,
the Void is powerful, but not unified. So while it can thrash around at things that
come near it or call out in unison to turn off a light, it’s not a single conscious
being. Getting back to the Pale King, one could argue
that the Void might have played a role in his ultimate demise, and I’ve argued that
viewpoint in the past. But we have to remember that there isn’t
enough evidence to know for sure. As an expert lawyer and a good friend of mine,
Johnnie Cochran, once said: Any evidence that the Void was involved in
the Pale King’s death is circumstantial. My name is Johnny Cockran. Just above the White Palace, the bugs in the
City of Tears weren’t fairing much better. Even if we ignore the fact that the infection
was still around, there were other issues that helped lead to the city’s downfall. Due to the gates being sealed, some bugs resorted
to cannibalism in order to avoid starvation. And there’s also that metric fuck ton of
corpses lining the walls of the Soul Sanctum. When all was said and done, the only citizen
left standing is Eternal Emilita, who just laughs her ass off about it like she’s a
fucking Dark Souls character. The White Lady ends up in a cocoon deep within
the Queen’s Gardens. She decided to place bindings on herself in
order to keep her from spreading her seed. She claims that this is because of the shame
she feels in helping the Pale King create the Vessels, but honestly, it’s probably
just her kink. The White Lady also diminished her power,
possibly as a way to keep herself hidden from unwanted visitors. Outside her cocoon, Dryya stood guard, protecting
her Queen from the violent traitor mantises. Dryya is eventually killed off by these bugs,
which is actually pretty pathetic if you think about it. I mean we’re talking like the Netgear WPN824N
N150 Wireless Router pathetic. Speaking of “Great Knights” dying pathetically,
let’s move on to Hegemol. Hegemol held the City Crest, a key used to
open one of the gates to the City of Tears. At some point, Hegemol’s armored shell was
stolen by a maggot. Now maggots were generally looked down upon
and forced to do menial labor. They were incredibly weak and basically deserved
all of the discrimination they got. But this one maggot decided to turn the tide,
so he stole Hegemol’s shell so that he could defend his downtrodden brothers. His actions weren’t motivated by the infection,
but instead was the result of how hierarchical caste system will always lead to revolution
from the working class and that true freedom can only be achieved blah blah blah capitalism
is bad. Subscribe to my Patreon. Ogrim moved to the Royal Waterways and started
living in shit, changing his name to Dung Defender. Now I love wallowing in shit as much as the
next guy, but you’d have to really love shit to put up with living with the flukes. The Dung Defender kept an unwavering sense
of duty and loyalty to the King and love for his fellow Knights, so much so that he made
shit statues out of them. How nice. Ogrim acted as the defender of the pipeways,
as well as Isma’s Grove. A section of the Royal Waterways became filled
with acid, and in the middle of it all rests Isma’s corpse, which has been overcome by
plant life. Isma is likely the one responsible for this
acid blight, but we have no idea what happened to her. Hornet’s whereabouts during this time are
fairly mysterious. We know that she departed Deepnest, and didn’t
return until the events of the game. At some point, she took to guarding Hallownest
from intruding warriors as well as the Cast-Off Shell in the Kingdom’s Edge. Despite the kingdom’s woes at large, fortunately
this fate did not befall one of the fandom’s favorite characters. The menderbugs continued to fix the broken
signs and wayposts of Hallownest. From a diary entry, we can see that one Menderbug
in particular had found himself on the precipice of a long and loving relationship: Hello Again Diary,
Not long now until the next Menderbash! For a stealthy types, we’re a riotous bunch
when we get together. And Mender Berri kept flashing me that smile! It might be time to muster my courage and
act on it. I love my home and my life, but sharing it
with another, why that’d be the Berri on top! Greenpath also underwent some changes during
this time. The Mosskin were waiting for Unn’s call
which would bring them back into the dream they were originally born from. But for some reason, Unn strength deteriorated. We don’t know why this happened exactly. Was it due to the White Lady claiming part
of her kingdom? Was it somehow due to the infection? Some Mosskin believe that Unn went into hiding,
but it appears as though Unn is, in fact, calling to her children, but many of the Mosskin
are unable to hear her call. Instead many Mosskin seem to have taken the
Radiance’s infection into their leaves, which might explain why Greenpath became overgrown
with vegetation, despite Unn’s deteriorating powers. Mossy Vagabonds even openly chose to forsake
Unn and worship the Radiance. Another tribe to be screwed over by the Radiance
is the Hive, which fell to the infection after the death of their leader, Hive Queen Vespa. But it appears as though this had little effect
on their civilization. The Radiance’s hivemind was already familiar
to the bees, since the Hive probably operated under something similar already. So in other words, the Hive probably made
out the best in this whole situation. Let’s turn our attention back to the moths. After all, it’s their god that keeps killing
everybody. Well, the moth tribe didn’t fare too well
actually, as pretty much the entire tribe died out. The only known survivor is the Seer. Despite the loss of her tribe, the Seer continued
to tend to the graves in the Resting Grounds, while also awaiting the arrival of the Wielder,
a mysterious being that her tribe has dreamt of for a while. In the Kingdom’s Edge, the land became covered
in ash molting off of the Wyrm’s decomposing corpse. The Colosseum of Fools continued to thrive. The Lord Fool passed away at some point, but
nobody really seems to notice or even care. The Fools inside the Colosseum were infected,
but still seem to have maintained control over themselves. It seems possible that these bugs took in
the infection willingly, similar to the Traitor Lord and his followers. This would have given them an edge in combat,
similar to using steroids but without the whole shrinking testicles thing. However, even the Traitor Lord and his followers
went mad, so what makes these Fools any more special? As for the Pale King’s champion, the Pale
Lurker, well, she just went the normal kind of insane. There appears to have been another unforeseen
event with the Pale King’s plan. When the Hollow Knight was originally chosen,
the door to the Abyss was sealed, trapping the discarded Vessels within. But apparently, some Vessels didn’t get
the memo. Vessel corpses can be found littered throughout
the kingdom. There’s one in the Ancient Basin, one in
Greenpath, and several trapped in Nosk’s liar in Deepnest. Another Vessel that escaped from the Abyss
is the player character: the Knight. The exact details on how the Vessels escaped
the Abyss is unclear. There are indications that they might have
slipped into Deepnest through some old passageway, given Void influence in part of the area,
and all the corpses found in Nosk’s lair. At some point, all entrances to Hallownest
were closed off, with the old well in Dirtmouth being the only way to sneak back in. Despite this, several people have wormed their
way into the kingdom with few ever returning. Characters like Relic Seeker Lemm seemed content
to just pillage artifacts from the ruined kingdom, but other bugs seemed interested
in something greater. In the Howling Cliffs rests the corpse of
a member of the Grimm Troupe. The task of this bug appears to have been
to seek out Hallownest, so that the Troupe might be summoned to the kingdom in the future. The Grimm Troupe are basically a group of
bugs that serve a Higher Being known as the Nightmare Heart. The troupe keeps the Heart alive by feeding
on the nightmares of fallen kingdoms. This process also involves sacrificing the
Troupe Master his own child because… uh… hey, look at this cool ass boss battle. Another important group that travelled to
Hallownest are the Godseekers. After being abandoned by their old Gods: the
Gods of Thunder and the Gods of Rain, these bugs left their home in the Land of Storms
seeking out a new god to worship. The Godseekers look to gods to save them from
their own silent mind. While travelling through the wastelands, the
Godseekers constructed devices called Godtuners, which helped them seek out new gods. Through this device they were able to detect
the lingering power of the Pale King and find their way to Hallownest. When they arrived, however, the Godseeker
was forced into hibernation. It was encased in a strange sarcophagus-like
cocoon which was itself chained up with a lock. It’s not clear how this forced hibernation
worked, seeing as the cocoon appears to have been made by the Godseeker herself. As for who put the cocoon in chains, I think
the most likely candidate is the Dung Defender, considering how the Godseekers cocoon is found
in the Junk Pit in the Waterways, an area the Dung Defender has tasked himself with
protecting. This was the general picture of Hallownest
after the Hollow Knight was sealed inside the Temple of the Black Egg. The kingdom was stuck in a kind of stasis,
with the Pale King’s civilization destroyed and the Radiance unable to break free from
her chains. The Pale King was rebelling against nature,
trying to keep his work standing indefinitely. The stasis over of Hallownest held for an
age. How long is that exactly? Well, we have no idea. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, there really
isn’t a timeline for anything that happens in this game. We also have no idea how long any of these
bugs can actually live. Elderbug wasn’t around to see the stagways
open, but we know several other characters were, implying that Elderbug is probably one
of the youngest characters in the whole game. But this stasis over Hallownest wasn’t going
to last forever. At some point, the Radiance erupted out of
the Hollow Knight, cracking its shell and releasing a loud and powerful roar. The amount of infection leaking out of the
Hollow Knight became even greater. The many corpses that lined the roads and
cities of the kingdom sprang to life with the amplified power of the infection. This strengthened infection prompted the departure
of the Weavers back to their old home. Now this old home might actually be Pharloom,
the kingdom in which Hollow Knight Silksong takes place. But the amount of knowledge we have about
Silksong right now is pitiful, so I’m not saying that’s confirmed or anything. This is also around the time the Quirrel arrives
back in Hallownest. His memory of Monomon appears to have been
clouded due to his time outside of Hallownest. These events are depicted in the Quirrel prequel
comic, which also shows an image of the Hollow Knight with a pre-cracked shell. This could mean that Quirrel’s arrival happens
at roughly the same time the Hollow Knight’s shell cracks. At around the same time as Quirrel arrives
in Hallownest, we also see the arrival of the player character, who is commonly referred
to as the Knight. The Knight was one of the lucky Vessels that
was able to make its way out of the Abyss. Somehow, the Knight ended up venturing beyond
Hallownest and into the wilds beyond. It’s implied that the Knight was called
to Hallownest by either the sealed Hollow Knight or the Radiance within. Regardless, once the Knight shows up and yeets
itself off this cliff, the actual game of Hollow Knight finally begins. Now, there’s a lot of details we could get
into. Hallownest is full of NPCs and bosses, each
with their own stories to tell. But to be honest, I don’t think we need
to go through all of them, since their stories are relatively straightforward. For example, let’s look at the Brooding
Mawlek. So why is the Brooding Mawlek brooding? Because all its friends are dead. And there you go, that’s the lore for the
Brooding Mawlek. Also, it’s the only character in the game
with a visible asshole. Now did you really need me to explain that
to you? Probably not. So instead, I’m just going to talk about
the interactions relating to Hollow Knight’s main story. The Knight is eventually noticed by Hornet,
who lures it deep into Greenpath. There, Hornet attempts to kill the Knight,
claiming that she knows what it would try to do. At this point, Hornet views the Knight as
being too weak. After the fight, Hornet can be found in the
City of Tears, next to the statue of the Hollow Knight. Hornet mentions that the Knight has gained
a resilience due to the time it spent in the void beyond Hallownest. This could be referring to the fact that some
of those who leave Hallownest lose their memories, meaning the Knight would have no memories
of its own tragic conception. Hornet tells the Knight that if it seeks to
continue the stasis that keeps Hallownest standing, it must seek the “Grave in Ash”,
which is referring to the Kingdom’s Edge. At this moment, Hornet sees the Knight as
a possible replacement for the Hollow Knight. Basically, the Knight could break the seals
that keep the Hollow Knight locked away, defeat the Hollow Knight and contain the infection
itself. It’s at this point that I should mention
that Hollow Knight actually has five different endings because of course it would. I’m going to be explaining each of these
endings in this video, as they each give us a different glimpse into the mechanics of
Hollow Knight’s world. Now, to get the easiest ending to Hollow Knight,
Hornet’s instructions to go to the Kingdom’s Edge can be ignored completely. If the Knight stumbles upon the Resting Grounds,
the three Dreamers will appear and cast the Knight into the Dream Realm. There, Seer will come to the Knight’s rescue
and grant it the Dream Nail, a special blade that can tear the veil between the real world
and the dream world. With the Dream Nail, the Knight can venture
to the resting places of the three Dreamers, curbstomp their asses, and unlock the entrance
to the Black Egg. Inside the egg, the Knight finds the Hollow
Knight chained up, silently watching over it. Once the chains are broken, the Hollow Knight
screams with that familiar Radiance roar. And pursues the Knight. As the fight progresses, the Hollow Knight
starts trying to kill itself, Quirrel-style. But then the Radiance starts using the Hollow
Knight’s body to perform her own attacks. Once defeated, the Hollow Knight begins to
spew infection all over the place. The Knight can then Focus the infection into
itself. This results in the first ending of the game,
called Hollow Knight. In this ending, the Knight usurps the Hollow
Knight, prolonging the stasis over Hallownest. New chains and bindings appear out of… fuck
if I know, and contain the Knight, and a new seal is placed over the entrance to the Black
Egg. Now there is one giant question looming over
this ending. Can the Knight actually contain the infection
indefinitely? Or will the Radiance still manage to break
free one day? Before we answer this question, let’s look
at some of the other events that can transpire while playing the game. If the player chooses to go to Kingdom’s
Edge, Hornet will challenge the Knight one last time as a final test of strength. After her defeat, Hornet allows the Knight
to access the Cast-Off Shell where the Pale King was originally hatched. By interacting with the egg, the Knight’s
shell is marked with the King’s Brand, technically making the Knight the new ruler of Hallownest. With the King’s Brand, the Knight can now
open the entrance to the Abyss and discover the place of its birth. When leaving the Abyss, the Knight can encounter
Hornet again, where for the first time, Hornet suggests that there are actually two outcomes
the Knight can enact. She tells the Knight that it can either prolong
Hallownest’s stasis or face the heart of the kingdom’s infection. Within the Knight, Hornet sees a chance for
change. Instead of just replacing the Hollow Knight,
Hornet believes that it may be possible to get rid of the infection completely by using
the Void inside of the Knight. After visiting the Abyss and obtaining the
Shade Cloak, the Knight is capable of reaching the White Lady hidden away in the Queen’s
Gardens. The White Lady tells the Knight that she has
been awaiting a Vessel to accept a gift, that gift being one half of a charm called the
Kingsoul, which she claims will give the Knight more power. The White Lady goes on to explain that she
can feel the weakening of the Hollow Knight within her roots. She tells the Knight that it is free of the
blemishes that made the Hollow Knight a flawed vessel. From this dialogue, it is implied that the
Knight truly is a pure Vessel, capable of containing the Radiance successfully. But it’s not quite that simple, so we’re
going to have to dive a bit deeper into this. Basically we need to answer a simple question. What exactly does it mean to be a Hollow Knight? Despite the White Lady’s words, we have
a number of instances where characters and item descriptions mention that the Knight
has a will, and maybe even a mind. But from the Pale King’s dialogue when describing
the Hollow Knight, it is stated that a pure Vessel has no mind or will. So is the White Lady wrong? Or maybe even lying? Her eyes have been clouded by time, and she
can be tricked into thinking that Ogrim is in the room when the Knight is wearing the
Defender’s Crest charm. She also thinks that Dryya is still alive
which… uhh…. So maybe the White Lady is just senile? My problem with that theory is that the White
Lady states that the Vessels stand out to her clearly in a misted world, due to them
being her spawn. She also questions whether or not the Knight
sought her aid, which would imply that the Knight must have some kind of will. So for whatever reason, the White Lady thinks
the Knight is still capable of containing the Radiance, even if it’s still able to
make decisions. After all, the Hollow Knight was considered
pure, but they still taught it how to wield a fucking sword. I mean, if the Knight were truly and completely
hollow in a literal sense, it probably shouldn’t even be able to walk, or draw a map, or open
a goddamn bank account. In short, this whole concept of being “hollow”
is so abstract and hard to define, I don’t really feel comfortable giving a solid answer
on whether or not the Knight is or isn’t truly hollow. And I think the game leaves room open for
other interpretations. Of course, the White Lady’s gift is useless
without the other half of the Kingsoul. In order to reach it, however, the Knight
must travel to the White Palace, locked inside the body of a Kingsmould. In order to bypass the seal, the Knight must
use a fully awakened Dream Nail. It can do this by bringing 1800 Essence to
the Seer, allowing her to sharpen the weapon’s blade. If the Knight does this, the Seer remarks
that the Knight truly is the Wielder that her tribe has been dreaming of. There’s no explicit reason why the Moth
Tribe was dreaming about this supposed Wielder so much, but it seems like they believed the
Wielder would wash away the crimes the Moth Tribe committed by turning their backs on
the Radiance. The Seer seems to know that the Knight might
kill the Radiance, and she seems accepting of it, ready for her and her tribe to disappear
and be forgotten forever. With the Awoken Dream Nail in hand, the Knight
can travel to the Pale King’s refuge and locate the other half of the Kingsoul charm. When equipped, the Kingsoul provides a never
ending supply of soul, making it almost useful if it weren’t for the insanely high cost
of the charm, and the painfully slow rate at which it increases, and the fact that the
charm will get replaced about 5 minutes after you get it. The Kingsoul charm itself symbolizes the union
between two Higher Beings. To me, this implies that the Kingsoul is a
representation of a Vessel, which also was created by the union of two Higher Beings. With the Kingsoul in their inventory, the
Knight now gains access to an area in the Abyss called the Birthplace. In this massive pile of Vessel shells the
Knight can find a giant egg. Dream Nailing the egg allows the Knight to
access its own memory when it was cast down into the Abyss. From viewing that memory, the Kingsoul charm
is replaced with the Void Heart charm. The recollection of this event allows the
Knight to come to terms with the Void inside itself. Once the Knight has the Void Heart, the shades
in the Abyss no longer attack it, and that strange creature that gives the Knight the
Shade Cloak calls it the Lord of Shades. In other words, the Knight has now bound the
once fragmented Void under its own will, allowing it to control the Void in a powerful new way. With the union of the Void, the Pale King
and the White Lady, the Knight has gained a strength before unseen. It is with this charm that two additional
endings become unlocked. Hornet will now be standing outside of the
Black Egg, offering to help the Knight should the opportunity arrive. Midway through the fight with the Hollow Knight,
Hornet rushes into battle, subduing the Hollow Knight and piercing its shell. It’s at this point that the Knight is given
the perfect opportunity to enter into the mind of its sibling, fighting the source of
the infection head on, and finally put an end to the Radiance’s tyranny. Or it can just stand there and let Hornet
get knocked unconscious. If the Knight finishes off the Hollow Knight
as usual, the Sealed Siblings ending occurs. Basically it’s the same as the Hollow Knight
ending, but now Hornet is in the room too, and her face appears on the door to the Black
Egg. It’s not clear what exactly this means for
Hallownest. This might imply that Hornet is now a Dreamer,
but she’s inside the temple, meaning that no one can actually get in there to kill her
should the Knight ever start leaking infection. At the same time, Hornet mentions that the
bindings of the Black Egg would drain her, so she’s probably just going to die anyway,
right? Generally, people consider this one of the
worst endings, but it’s worth pointing out that Team Cherry doesn’t support any one
ending as being the “true” ending. Each ending is canonical in its own right. And honestly, this ending isn’t the worst. At least the Knight and Hornet will get to
spend some quality time together. If the Knight does Dream Nail the Hollow Knight,
it will get taken to an arena where it can finally fight the Radiance head on. But the Knight isn’t alone, as the other
shades from the Abyss will appear in order to help corner the Radiance. Eventually, the Radiance gets trapped in the
tendrils of the Void. The Knight bitch slaps her a couple times
and then the Radiance is consumed into the darkness. The Black Egg then appears to turn to shadows
and the void seeps down into the ground. Hornet awakens to find the Knight’s broken
shell lying on the floor. We get one final shot of the shades in the
Abyss going to rest, and the game is over. This ending is called the Dream No More ending. The Radiance is gone and Hallownest is finally
free from her infection. Now I think it’s fair to ask a few questions
about how the Dream No More ending comes about. When the Hollow Knight was initially chosen
to become the pure Vessel, the Abyss was sealed up and the rest of the Vessels were left to
rot away. But somehow, Vessels ended up outside of the
Abyss. And then one of those Vessels was used to
replace the Hollow Knight. Exactly how much of this operation was planned
if at all? The White Lady was waiting for a Vessel, did
she have any communication with Hornet? Hornet was guarding the King’s Brand, the
only way for a Vessel to enter the Abyss. How did she know it was necessary to guard
the King’s Brand from weaker Vessels. Hell, if the Vessels did escape the Abyss
by themselves, wouldn’t it be pointless to guard the King’s Brand, since the Vessels
could just creep back into the Abyss the same way? I’m not going to provide any good answers
to these questions. Because god forbid I answer anything in this
entire video. But I do want to point out that no plans to
actually produce the Dream No More ending are explicitly stated ingame, so we can only
speculate as to whether or not the White Lady or Hornet or maybe even the Pale King knew
that they could defeat the Radiance by creating a Lord of Shades like the Knight. Regardless, the next two endings were definitely
not planned. In fact, the last two endings that were added
in the Godmaster update almost feel out of place. The Godseekers basically hijack everything
to the point where you don’t even have to enter the Temple of the Black Egg to beat
the game. That’s like beating Mario Bros. without
ever seeing Bowser. But on the other hand, the Godmaster endings
basically reinforce that Hallownest does not exist in a vacuum, which can help the world
of Hollow Knight feel more real. Because what else is reality but just a bunch
of random chaotic stuff happening all the time? If the Knight finds the Godseeker in the Junk
Pit, it will be able to enter her mind and refight all of the bosses in the game. This is part of the Godseekers’ ritual. They basically attune to the resonance of
gods through ritual combat. This allows them to ascend their minds higher,
and eventually, through the use of Godly focus, achieve communication with the god sleeping
at Hallownest’s heart, the Radiance. Now I know what you’re thinking. That’s a pretty convoluted little religious
practice they have going on here. What’s next, are they going to start measuring
the Knight’s theon levels? It’s pretty complicated, but the point is,
these Godseekers have some serious capabilities to fuck things up in Hallownest, as we’re
about to see. As the Knight makes it further and further
through the four pantheons, the Godseekers get closer and closer to making contact with
the Radiance, locked away inside the Hollow Knight. At the end of the fourth Pantheon, the Radiance
makes herself aware in this strange reunion cutscene between the Vessels. But she isn’t the only one to make an appearance. The Void itself appears to go on the attack,
rising up to meet the Radiance’s call. It’s at this point that the final challenge,
the Pantheon of Hallownest, becomes available. The Godseeker finally acknowledges the Knight
as being more than just a simple cringer, and they begin to watch the Knight more intently. After defeating like a bazillion bosses in
the final pantheon, the Knight finally comes face to face with the Absolute Radiance, a
stronger, more enhanced version of the game’s final boss. Finally, the stage is set. After roughly forty minutes of intense agony
and tedious boss battles, the Knight has finally reached the ultimate enemy responsible for
the destruction of Hallownest. Truly this will be a battle for the ages. But first let’s check in on our old pal,
Menderbug. As it turns out he’s still alive when the
Knight arrives in Hallownest. And he’s still fulfilling his duty after
all this time. Let’s take one last look at his diary. My Lovely Diary,
Someone’s gone and broke my favourite sign! Right there at the top of the crossroads. Keeps happening too! But you know, I just can’t get mad about it. I should be thanking them really! More chances to fix that beautiful, complex
sign. And I’ve stocked up on spare parts, so I’ve
no fear it’ll ever stay broken for long. Unfortunately, the only way to ever read the
Menderbug’s diary is to kill him in cold blood. I’m not sure why Team Cherry thought this
was necessary, but the general consensus on Reddit is that they are bloodthirsty warmongers
so it checks out. But at least Menderbug’s last moments will
be spent fixing one of his favorite signs in the Forgotten Crossroads. It’s comforting to think that his final
seconds of consciousness were spent in total bliss before we sent him hurtling into the
infinite chasm of oblivion. Well anyway… This alternate fight between the Knight and
the Radiance plays out differently than in the vanilla endings. This time around, the Knight is not accompanied
by any shades. Instead, after defeating the Radiance, the
Knight seems to transform into this monstrosity. Now this creature has several names, the God
of Gods, the Lord Shade, the Devourer, the Void Entity. But I don’t really like any of those, so
I will just call it Bill. Bill proceeds to completely annihilate the
Radiance in spectacular fashion. We are then treated to the “Embrace the
Void” ending. Bill comes back down from the sky, dropping
into the rest of Godhome. The Godseeker starts to get pulled into Bill
by Void tendrils. We then cut to the Godseeker in the Junk Pit. Void starts leaking out of her eyes, and it
appears as though Bill is making an escape back into the real world. Which is probably a bad thing? Finally, we see Hornet standing outside of
the Black Egg as the infection begins to disappear from the nearby vines. Hornet hears footsteps coming from inside
the Black Egg, as the Hollow Knight reveals itself to her and the two prepare for combat. So from this cutscene, we can see that the
Radiance’s death in Godhome actually did kill her for real, meaning that the infection
over Hallownest is now gone. This means the seals inside of the Black Egg
probably wore off, allowing the Hollow Knight to escape its prison. In other words, the Embrace the Void ending
is a goddamn cliffhanger, and we have no idea how Team Cherry plans to follow this up. The Hollow Knight is running loose in Hallownest,
and the Knight has transformed into a raging Void monster that might try to destroy the
entire kingdom, or at least what’s left of it. What’s even more strange about this ending
is that the announced sequel, Hollow Knight: Silksong doesn’t seem to be related to this
ending at all. But that’s a whole different shitshow. Obviously, the biggest mystery surrounding
this ending is the appearance of Bill. Did this creature exist in the Void already,
or was it somehow willed into existence by the power of the Godseekers? Did the Knight turn into this thing? Or did it just become a part of it? Examining a statue of this creature, and the
other forms of the Knight grant the player a Hunter’s Journal entry for an ancient
artifact called the Void Idol, which might imply this creature might have been worshipped
by the Ancient Civilization. But again, that’s pure speculation. We don’t know what this worship of the Void
exactly looked like. Maybe the Void they worshipped took the form
of something more sinister. There is one thing we know about this monster
though. It’s weak to flowers. Yes, these things. As it turns out, those Delicate Flowers that
Ze’mer has stockpiled up her ass are actually useful for something. They contain a strange power that even deters
the White Lady from touching one. The Godseeker, however, is dumb enough to
accept a flower from the Knight. If the player does this, instead of Void being
released out into the world, this flower pulls a no-u and the Godseeker and the Void disappear
into thin air. The flower itself is described as giving off
a pale light, which appears to connect it to the Pale Beings. Like I said before, Pale Beings appear to
be some form of top tier Gods. As of right now, we are only aware of two:
the Pale King and the White Lady. But the fact that Ze’mer brought these pale
flowers from a faraway land implies that there are definitely more of them out there. Another small hint of the existence of Pale
Beings are the Pale Ore items that can be found all over Hallownest. Did these come from the Pale King, or possibly
some other Pale Being? And what exactly are they? Are they poop? In general, the Godmaster endings appear to
be doing a lot of setup for future Hollow Knight content. Like I said before, Hollow Knight: Silksong
doesn’t seem connected to these events on the surface, so we are in a bit of a bind
when trying to discuss what these endings actually mean for the greater narrative Team
Cherry is building. There’s definitely a lot more to consider
about what the pale beings are and what properties they possess. And we also have plenty of questions surrounding
the Void, and how bugs have interacted with it in the past. It almost feels like we are looking through
a keyhole trying to grasp onto the totality of Team Cherry’s creation. How powerful are creatures like Bill and the
Wyrms? Where did things like the Void even come from
to begin with? How much bigger is the world beyond Hallownest? Is Bardoon into butt stuff? But of course that’s the appeal of a game
like Hollow Knight. Having all of the answers to every question
would just ruin the mystery of the world. Plus if we didn’t have questions like this
to waste our time on, then what else would we do with our lives? Go outside? Ugg… And so this video comes to an end. Now I know the average attention span of a
YouTube viewer is 9 minutes, so let me leave you with a few takeaways: 1. Hollow Knight is a game about bugs. I know that may come as a shock, but it’s
true. Watch the video again, and this time pay attention. You’ll notice right away, I promise. 2. Murdering your own babies might not be such
a good idea after all. I mean, this is obviously just my interpretation
of the game’s lore. Other people might have different views on
the subject of murdering babies, and every opinion is valid so I don’t want to step
on anyone’s toes or anything. 3. Menderbug is fucking dead. 4. Nothing is certain. This video probably has a few flaws in it. Trying to construct a cohesive narrative with
the information found in Hollow Knight isn’t exactly straightforward. I’m sure my views will change in the future,
and I encourage you to explore the lore yourself. 5. And this last point is fairly obvious but
I should mention it anyway; Cory in the House is the best anime (weeb shit)

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