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Hollow Knight Wiki
Hollow Knight Silksong

For the Godmaster Icon.png Godmaster versions of Bosses and a list of their differing information, see Hall of Gods.

Bosses are unique enemies in Hollow Knight that typically have higher health or deal more damage than the standard creatures in the same area. The Knight 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 Knight encounters a boss, the name usually appears on-screen, and the music changes into a battle theme.

Counting the variations, there are 47 bosses in the game. That number includes one “joke” boss that cannot damage the Knight (Zote), but excludes the two that are never actually fought. Some bosses also make a second appearance in the Colosseum of Fools.

Almost all the boss fights in the game have multiple variations in the Hall of Gods, including alternate arenas that change the nature of a fight, or special challenges such as beating a boss without taking a hit.


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

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

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

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

Massive Moss Charger Icon.png
Nosk Icon.png
Oblobble Icon.png
Paintmaster Sheo Icon.png
Massive Moss Charger Nosk Oblobbles Godmaster Icon.png Paintmaster Sheo

Radiance Icon.png
Soul Master Icon.png
Soul Warrior Icon.png
Traitor Lord Icon.png
Radiance Soul Master Soul Warrior Traitor Lord

Uumuu Icon.png
Vengefly King Icon.png
Watcher Knight Icon.png
Zote Circle-2.png
Uumuu Vengefly King Watcher Knight Zote

Warrior Dreams

This category is about is a list of Spirits that the Knight can fight. For a list of NPC Spirits, that can be only interacted with and seen, see Spirits.

Map Pin Warriors Grave.png

Lingering memories of particularly strong bugs, Warrior Dreams are a unique form of boss in that the Knight can only challenge them once they have acquired the Dream Nail.[1] Defeating a Warrior Dream rewards a large amount of Essence.

After acquiring the Dream Nail, the Knight may purchase the Warrior's Grave Pin from Iselda for Geo.png 180, which reveals the location of all discovered Warrior Dreams on any purchased Maps.

Dream Nailing a Warrior Dream automatically starts the fight, and Dream Nailing them after winning the fight automatically collects the Essence without dialogue. The Dream Nail has no effect when used during the fight.

Elder Hu Icon.png
Galien Icon.png
Gorb Icon.png
Markoth Icon.png
Elder Hu Galien Gorb Markoth

Marmu Icon.png
No Eyes Icon.png
Xero Icon.png
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. A few more boss variations can also be found inside Godmaster Icon.png Godhome.

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

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

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

Failed Champion, Hidden Dreams Icon.png Grey Prince Zote, Lost Kin, Grimm Troupe Icon.png Nightmare King Grimm, Soul Tyrant and Hidden Dreams Icon.png White Defender are considered "Dream Bosses" and occur within the Dream Realm. This means that the Knight does not actually die during a dream boss battle. If the Knight dies, they simply wake up next to the point of entry. This means several things:

  • The Knight does not leave behind a Shade.
  • The Knight does not lose part of their SOUL Meter. (However, the SOUL meter still completely empties.)
  • The Knight does not lose any Geo.
  • The Fragile Charms sold by Leg Eater do not break.
  • Steel Soul runs do not end.
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An exception is the Radiance, whose fight follows the pattern of being a "Dream Boss"; however, losing to the Radiance is treated like an actual death.

Fake-Out Bosses

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

The Hunter Icon.png
Tiso Icon.png
The Hunter Godmaster Icon.png Tiso


  • Designing a Warrior Dream was a reward for a tier of backers during the game's Kickstarter campaign:
"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, Steel Assassin Sharpe, and a third upcoming boss in Hollow Knight: 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 no longer leads to the boss being considered defeated, rather the Knight has to fight the boss again because it respawns.
  • Dream bosses do not need to be defeated to unlock the Godmaster Icon.png Pantheon of the Knight as defeating the base counterpart counts towards the lock. However, the dream boss remains unavailable in the Godmaster Icon.png Hall of Gods.


  1. Official manual: "Lingering memories of particularly strong bugs."

All items (49)