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For the Godmaster Icon Godmaster versions of Bosses and a list of their differing information see here.

Bosses are unique Enemies in Hollow Knight that typically have higher health or deal more damage than the standard enemies in the same area. The player may have to defeat a Boss to access a new area, acquire an item, complete a quest, or simply further the main story of the game.

When the player encounters a Boss, their name will appear on-screen, and the music will change into a battle theme.

Bosses

Broken Vessel Icon
Brooding Mawlek Icon
Brothers Oro & Mato Icon
The Collector Icon
Broken Vessel Brooding Mawlek Godmaster Icon Brothers Oro & Mato The Collector

Crystal Guardian Icon
Dung Defender Icon
False Knight Icon
Flukemarm Icon
Crystal Guardian Dung Defender False Knight Flukemarm

God Tamer Icon
Great Nailsage Sly Icon
Troupe Master Grimm Icon
Gruz Mother Icon
God Tamer Godmaster Icon Great Nailsage Sly Grimm Troupe Icon Grimm Gruz Mother

Hive Knight Icon
The Hollow Knight Icon
Hornet Protector Icon
Mantis Lords Icon
Lifeblood Icon Hive Knight Hollow Knight Hornet Protector Mantis Lords

Massive Moss Charger Icon
Nosk Icon
Oblobble Icon
Paintmaster Sheo Icon
Massive Moss Charger Nosk Oblobble Godmaster Icon Paintmaster Sheo

Radiance Icon
Soul Master Icon
Soul Warrior Icon
Traitor Lord Icon
Radiance Soul Master Soul Warrior Traitor Lord

Uumuu Icon
Vengefly King Icon
Watcher Knight Icon
Zote Circle-2
Uumuu Vengefly King Watcher Knight Zote the Mighty

Warrior Dreams

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The following is a list of ghosts that the player can fight. For a list of "NPC" ghosts, that can be only interacted with and seen, see Ghosts
Map Pin Warriors Grave

Lingering Ghosts of particularly strong bugs, Warrior Dreams are a unique form of Boss in that the player can only challenge them once they have acquired the Dream Nail. Defeating a Warrior Dream rewards a large amount of Essence.

After acquiring the Dream Nail, the player may purchase the Warrior's Grave Pin from Iselda for Geo‍180, which reveals the location of the Warrior Dream in the area after that area's Map has been purchased.

Dream Nailing a Warrior Dream will automatically enter the fight and Dream Nailing them after winning the fight will automatically collect the essence without dialogue.

Elder Hu Icon
Galien Icon
Gorb Icon
Markoth Icon
Elder Hu Galien Gorb Markoth

Marmu Icon
No Eyes Icon
Xero Icon
Marmu No Eyes Xero

Boss Variants

Alternate versions of bosses. More challenging than the original fight. Some can be accessed by Dream-Nailing their corpse; defeating these dream bosses awards a large sum of Essence. Others can be found elsewhere in Hallownest after the original fight or inside Godhome.

Absolute Radiance Icon
Enraged Guardian Icon
Failed Champion Icon
Grey Prince Zote Circle
Godmaster Icon Absolute Radiance Enraged Guardian Failed Champion Hidden Dreams Icon Grey Prince Zote

Hornet Sentinel Icon
Lost Kin Icon
Nightmare King Icon
Pure Vessel Icon
Hornet Sentinel Lost Kin Grimm Troupe Icon Nightmare King Godmaster Icon Pure Vessel

Sisters of Battle Icon
Soul Tyrant Icon
White defender circle
Winged Nosk Icon
Godmaster Icon Sisters of Battle Soul Tyrant Hidden Dreams Icon White Defender Godmaster Icon Winged Nosk

Fake-Out Bosses

Bosses that include an intro sequence with a name card and a battle theme, but however will not be fought and have no purpose beyond being a surprise/joke.

The Hunter Icon
Tiso Icon
The Hunter Godmaster Icon Tiso

Trivia

"Ancient Hero: Appear in-game as an epic warrior-spirit! Help us create the appearance and dialogue for your spirit counterpart: Tell the Hollow Knight of your great deeds, then challenge him to battle!"
  • In this same Kickstarter project, a location called Queen's Glade is mentioned in the Warrior Dreams tier
"Become a Warrior Spirit in the Queen’s Glade"
  • In the Kickstarter project it is mentioned that 3 people pledged to the 2nd to last tier, which allows backers to create their own bosses, two of them were the God Tamer, Sharpe, and a third upcoming boss in Silksong. The 2 companions announced alongside Sharpe do not seem to count in these 3.
    • There are also 3 upcoming bosses from the "create your own dungeon" reward tier in Silksong.
  • Dying at the same time as a boss dies will no longer lead to the boss being considered defeated, rather the player has to fight the boss again as it will be respawned.