Ferocious but extremely social creature. Becomes aggressive if not able to mingle with its own kind.

I hear this beast crying out sometimes as I prowl the caverns, although I've never actually laid eyes on it. Who or what is it calling for? As far as I can tell, its voice is never answered.

Dialogue Bottom

The Brooding Mawlek is a hidden boss in Hollow Knight as well as a Colosseum of Fools mini-boss. It requires to be beaten once to unlock its Journal entry.

In-game events

One lone Brooding Mawlek can be found off-road in the Forgotten Crossroads, far from its living brethren in the Ancient Basin. It sits amidst fossilized remains of its kin and calls for them to breed.[1] This wild beast was driven mad both by its loneliness and the Infection which started covering its body with bulbs.[2] It attacks the Knight as soon as they enter its room by jumping from the background. Upon defeat, the Infection bursts out of the Mawlek, making it explode.

Another one can be fought alone during one of the waves of the Trial of the Fool at the Colosseum. This Mawlek presents the same infected state.

Godmaster Icon Godmaster Content

At the beginning of its fight in the Godmaster Icon Pantheon of Hallownest, Tiso will appear instead as if entering a Trial. He will then be crushed by the Brooding Mawlek falling, which then engages the fight against the Knight.

Behaviour and Tactics

The Brooding Mawlek uses the following attacks:

  • Slash: Brooding Mawlek will use either of its claws to perform a downward slash towards the Knight. It only uses this attack if the Knight gets too close and will use it in conjunction with the Spit attack.
  • Spit: Brooding Mawlek will spit blobs of infection in parabolic arcs at regular intervals while skittering slowly across the ground. These blobs fly towards whichever side of the arena the Knight happens to be standing on. This attack can happen in conjunction with the Slash Attack. Brooding Mawlek spits 3-4 times before either performing a Leap or a Vomit.
  • Leap: Brooding Mawlek will leap to the Knight's location, landing where the Knight was at the beginning of its leap. Then, it will immediately follow that leap with a jump back to the original position of where it landed at the start of the fight.
  • Vomit: Brooding Mawlek will shoot a multitude of blobs of infection in a parabolic arc simultaneously. These blobs fly towards whichever side of the arena the Knight happens to be standing on at the time. Brooding Mawlek will stand idle until all the blobs have made contact with the ground.

Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Brooding Mawlek

Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Brooding Mawlek

Brooding Mawlek Boss Guide Video

Without reach enhancement Charms, the Brooding Mawlek may retaliate when hit. A solid strategy is to hit it a few times and move away quickly when it raises its claw. It's also possible to jump over and downstrike it to get to the other side.

To dodge the Brooding Mawlek's leap, the Knight needs to run quickly in whichever direction they have space to move. This is also an opportunity to hit the Brooding Mawlek, which cannot spit or slash while in the air.

If the Knight has managed to obtain the Baldur Shell charm and Nail Art: Cyclone Slash, it is possible to chip away at the Brooding Mawlek's health with the edge of Cyclone Slash and use the SOUL gained from the attack to heal safely inside Baldur Shell. While using Baldur Shell, the Knight can also enter into the body of the Brooding Mawlek without taking damage, allowing them to heal while it attacks.

When the Brooding Mawlek uses the Vomit attack, it is possible to safely dash over them with the Mothwing Cloak before the acid comes down. There are also some small safe spots in between the projectiles.

If the Knight has the charm, Sharp Shadow, it can be used to dash through the Brooding Mawlek and deal damage.

Mark of Pride or Longnail makes it easier to damage the boss when it performs the slash attack while avoiding damage.

Another Brooding Mawlek is fought as part of the Trial of the Fool in the Colosseum of Fools in a very tight area where dodging their attacks is much more difficult.

Godmaster Icon Godmaster Content

Statue Brooding Mawlek
Brooding Mawlek
Hall of Gods text: "I call out to no one, hidden by roads and highways"
"Lonely god of the nest"

Pantheon Pantheon of the Master, 9th boss
Health Attuned Badge 1050
Ascended Badge 1050
Radiant Badge
Arena changes The arena is the same size as in the Forgotten Crossroads. The middle platform disappears on Ascended difficulty or above.

Dream Nail Dialogue Essence
  • Where are they...?
  • ...Do they hear me...?
  • ...Alone...Alone...


The Brooding Mawlek in the Forgotten Crossroads is found beyond a wall jump section in a blocked room to the left of the vertical shaft filled with Gruzzers and Tiktiks.

It is possible to reach by nail-jumping on the spikes with downward strikes, although it is recommended to have obtained the Mantis Claw instead.

Another Brooding Mawlek can be fought in the Colosseum of Fools as part of the Trial of the Fool.



  • The Brooding Mawlek was the second mini-boss revealed in a Kickstarter update as an optional boss.[3]
  • The Brooding Mawlek found in the Trial of the Fool is somewhat smaller and thinner than the one in Forgotten Crossroads. It has no behavioural differences.
    • This may be due to the size constraints of having a roof in the Colosseum.


  1. Wanderer's Journal, p. 126.
  2. Brooding Mawlek Hunter's Journal entry: "Ferocious but extremely social creature. Becomes aggressive if not able to mingle with its own kind."
  3. Kickstarter update of December 8, 2014.
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