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The Dream Realm is a plane beyond the physical world.[1] It is the space between body and soul, containing the eternal dreams and memories of beings.[2][3][4]

Characteristics

The Dream Realm consists of numerous dreams which vary depending on the being who brought it into existence. Dreams can take the shape of those who have passed away, such as Spirits, or dreams can form based on memories.[5][6] Furthermore, dreams can take root in the waking world as Whispering Roots.[7]

Essence are the fragments of light that dreams are made of.[8] Nightmare Essence, or "flame", is unique to the Nightmare Realm and their Troupe.[9] This type of Essence manifests itself into flames which are gathered for the ritual.[10]

Essence can be seen as floating particles in the background of most dreams. Essence particles can have different colours depending on the dream. When Warrior Dreams or the Radiance are hit, Essence particles emit from them. After their defeat, Essence continuously spills from their bodies.

Access

A veil exists which separates dreams from the waking world.[11] It is normally impossible to travel between these realms at will. Powerful beings such as the Dreamers can trap others inside dreams from which they can never escape.[4]

The Knight obtaining the Dream Nail

The Dream Nail, a talisman created by the Moth Tribe, can be used to cut through this veil between dreams and waking.[11] While it allows its wielder access to almost any dream, there are some dreams that are protected from its power. The Dream Nail can be awoken when it has absorbed enough Essence, after which no dream can hide itself from its wielder.[6]

It is also possible to use dreams to travel between locations in the waking world. The link=:Category: Dreamgate is an ability of the Dream Nail which allows the wielder to travel instantly through dream, provided that the area in the waking world has a strong connection to a dream.[12]

History

The Dream Realm used to consist of both dreams and nightmares.[13] The expanse of dream was split at some point in the past, with nightmares being in their own realm separate from other dreams.[13]

Several Higher Beings have close ties to the Dream Realm. Unn created the Mosskin and the vegetation of Greenpath from her dream.[14][15] The Mosskin are still waiting for Unn's call to return to the dream.[16]

The Radiance is a higher being who is a light brighter than Essence.[17] She created the Moth Tribe, who have the power to shape dreams.[17][18] Some time after the moths forgot about the Radiance, she started to appear in the dreams of the citizens of Hallownest, eventually leading to the Infection.[19]

Dreams related to Higher Beings

These dreams are related in some way to higher beings. The dream might be created by a higher being or it is linked to one.

Dreamers Stage 1

A dream which shares designs with the other Dreamer Dream stages and the Radiance Dream. This first stage has an inky black sky.

The dream of the first encounter with the first Dreamer. This dream is where the consciousness of the Dreamers resides in order to uphold the Dreamer seals on the entrance of the Temple of the Black Egg.[20][21] Killing the Dreamer here breaks the corresponding seal on the entrance of Black Egg.

Screenshot HK Herrah 01.png
Dreamers Stage 2

A dream which shares designs with the other Dreamer Dream stages and the Radiance Dream. The second stage has hints of bright amber peeking out from just behind the clouds in an otherwise dark sky.

The dream of the second encounter with a Dreamer.

Screenshot HK Dreamers 10.png
Dreamers Stage 3

A dream which shares designs with the other Dreamer Dream stages and the Radiance Dream. The third stage has yellow and ambers flooding out into the sky resembling dawn.

The dream of the last encounter with a Dreamer.

Screenshot HK Monomon 03.png
Grimm Troupe Icon.png Nightmare

Deep scarlet, it starts off resembling Grimm's tent, but slowly turns into an arena made of patchwork pieces with lanterns and pulsing patchwork veins. Grimmkin Nightmares can be found in the background, and the Nightmare's Heart watches over it all.

This dream is the location where Nightmare King Grimm is fought. It takes place in the Nightmare Realm, separate from the rest of the dream realm.[13] It can be accessed by using the Dream Nail on Grimm while he is sleeping. The Nightmare's Heart is the deepest power of the Nightmare Realm.[22]

Screenshot HK Nightmare King Grimm 03.png

Radiance

A dream which shares designs with the other Dreamer Dream stages. In succession from the Dreamer Dreams which simulate a sunrise, this dream is bright yellow and amber-hued accompanied by a Sun in the background representing day.

This dream is connected to the Hollow Knight and is used to seal the Radiance and prevent her from influencing bugs.[23][24] Even though she is trapped here, she can still affect the dreams of bugs due to the Hollow Knight being impure.[25] This dream is connected to the Dreamer dreams as with each Dreamer killed the sky glows brighter and brighter until the "Sun" or the Radiance appears in the background. A death in this dream is also considered a real death.

Screenshot HK Radiance 01.png
Unn

A deep green coloured dream with acid pools and Greenpath Lore Tablets lining a wall. The aesthetics resemble the Lake of Unn, and Unn herself can be seen as a sleeping mass in the background.

This dream, although never truly entered at any point in the Knight's journey, is mentioned many times. It was from this dream that Unn created the Mosskin and Greenpath's vegetation.[14][16] While the true appearance of Unn's dream is not clear, the Godmaster Icon.png Pantheon of Hallownest contains a room with unique green dream particles and the sleeping form of Unn.

Pantheon of Hallownest Unn.png

Dreams linked to other powerful beings

The following dreams are connected to several powerful beings, who can be fought as a stronger variant in these dreams.

Failed Champion

A dream tinted with shades of light blue and with similar themes to the Forgotten Dream.

A dream formed after False Knight was defeated. It takes place in a dream version of the area of the Forgotten Crossroads where False Knight is encountered. A stronger variant of this boss, Failed Champion, is found here.

Screenshot HK Dream Realm 01.png
link=:Category: Grey Prince Zote
A vibrant magenta themed dream with paintings of Zote, pillows, and bunches of roses. Bretta and more Zotes can be seen in the background spectating.

This dream came into being due to Bretta's idealisation of Zote.[26] It is connected to a statue of Zote in Bretta's basement. This is where Grey Prince Zote is fought, and defeating him here four times causes Bretta to realise that her view of Zote was misguided.

Screenshot HK Grey Prince Zote 03.png
Lost Kin
A pale yellow dream mixed with greys. It has similar themes to the Forgotten Dream but some aspects are desaturated.

This dream formed after the Broken Vessel is defeated. It takes place in a constructed area of regular Hallownest architecture, unlike where the Broken Vessel is defeated in the Ancient Basin. The dream version of Broken Vessel, Lost Kin is fought in this dream.

Screenshot HK Dream Realm 02.png
Soul Tyrant

A deep purple-hued dream with similar themes to the Forgotten Dream.

This dream is formed after the Soul Master died. It contains the area of Soul Sanctum where Soul Master is fought. Soul Tyrant, a more difficult version of Soul Master, can be fought here.

Screenshot HK Dream Realm 03.png
Hidden Dreams Icon.png White Defender

A bright grey dream featuring a style very reminiscent of the White Palace. The silhouettes of the Five Great Knights accompanying the Pale King on his throne can be seen in the background.

A dream which can be accessed by using the Dream Nail on Dung Defender while he is sleeping. This is a dream or memory of Ogrim's past when he was still in the Pale Court with the other Great Knights.[27] It takes place in his memory of White Palace. White Defender, a past version of Ogrim, is fought here.

Screenshot HK White Defender 03.png

Complex dreams

These dreams consist of multiple interconnected rooms. They generally feature unique challenges or encounters.

Godmaster Icon.png Godhome

A pale golden yellow dream with floral patterned architecture and strange antenna positioned at the peak. Corinthian style Greek pillars can also be found in the background and as platforms.

Godhome is the dream in which the Godseekers attune themselves to all the gods of Hallownest in order to find the God of Gods.[28] It contains numerous Godseekers, although in the Junk Pit there is only one. The physical Godseeker is the host of Godhome.

Screenshot HK Godhome 02.png
Shrine of Believers

A vibrant cobalt-hued dream with similar thematic pieces as the Forgotten Dream, the most notable part of this dream is the massive building it houses.

The Shrine of Believers contains utterings from another world.[29] It is connected to a Moth statue in Spirits' Glade. The Unnamed Moth is also found in this dream.

Screenshot HK Dream Realm 04.png
White Palace

A bright pale white dream, it consists of a series of difficult platforming sections and has motifs very unique to that of the Pale King - being his palace.

While the White Palace has completely disappeared in the waking world, it can be visited in this dream after obtaining the Awoken Dream Nail.[30] The corpse of the Pale King can be found here on his throne along with a separate incarnation of him within a memory at the end of the Grimm Troupe Icon.png Path of Pain. A death in the White Palace is considered a real death.

Screenshot HK White Palace 01.png

Miscellaneous dreams

These dreams have no single distinguishing feature which they have in common with other dreams.

Birthplace memory

A dark, foggy dream with black particles floating around which takes place in the Abyss.

The Birthplace memory can be accessed by using the Dream Nail on the Knight's reflection on the egg which can be found at the bottom of the Birthplace area in the Abyss. Unlike other dreams, the Knight is seen passing out upon using the Dream Nail. This dream also does not contain any Essence floating in the background.

The dream itself is a memory of the Knight where they need to climb to the top of the Abyss while Vessel corpses fall down around them.[31] At the end of this dream, the Hollow Knight and the Pale King can be seen on the platform at the top. They walk away after some time, the Abyss door can be heard closing, and the Knight falls back down into the Abyss.

Screenshot HK Dream Realm 07.png
Forgotten Dream

A light pink hued dream filled with floating platforms, lamps and metal dream catchers. At the end of this dream is a Moth statue along with the Dream Nail.

A dream described by the Seer as a sad, forgotten dream.[32] It is used by the Dreamers to trap the Knight in to halt their journey to break the seals.[33] The Knight escapes this dream after receiving the Dream Nail from the Seer.

Screenshot HK Dream Realm 06.png
Lifeblood

Bright blue-hued and full of Lifeblood plants, this dream comes from an offshoot in the Abyss. Being so it has the general physical compositions of the Abyss, but with blue Lifeblood elements overlayed.

The Dream Nail is not needed to enter this dream, however, it does take place in the dream realm as it has dream particles and clouds at the bottom. The Abyss Creature may be somewhat responsible for this dream, as its appearance in Godhome further ties its connections with dreams. Dying in this dream counts as a real death.

The Knight wakes up outside the entrance to this dream if they fall into the clouds or once they pick up Lifeblood Core.

Screenshot HK Abyss 14.png

Trivia

  • Cut black Essence sprites can be found in the game's files. The file name "Abyss_dream_particle" seems to indicate that these were originally used in some type of dream in the Abyss. However, these sprites are never used in the game itself.

References

  1. Official manual: "A plane beyond the physical world, difficult to enter and even more difficult to escape."
  2. Seer: "A dream is endless, but a Kingdom is not."
  3. Seer: "This kingdom is full of old memories, both beautiful and grotesque."
  4. 4.0 4.1 Seer: "What a terrible fate they've visited upon you. To cast you away into this space between body and soul. Will you accept their judgement and fade slowly away?"
  5. Seer: "Sometimes dreams take the shape of those who have passed away."
  6. 6.0 6.1 Seer: "No dream can hide itself from you now. You can peer into the darkest places... You just need to find the right crack. What will you do with such a power, Wielder? Whose memories will you hunt down?"
  7. Seer: "Essence can be found wherever dreams take root."
  8. Seer: "Essence... the precious fragments of light that dreams are made of."
  9. Grimm Troupe Icon.png Troupe Master Grimm: "Across these lands my kin now spread, harvesting that essence peculiar to my... breed, the flame in dream."
  10. Troupe Master Grimm: "Just don't neglect our dance, for it too continues! Keep hunting that scattered, scarlet essence."
  11. 11.0 11.1 Seer: "But that talisman you now wield, the Dream Nail... it can cut through the veil that separates the waking world from our dreams."
  12. Dreamgate description: "Allows the wielder to travel instantly through dream. Some areas may lack a strong connection to any dream, disallowing use of the Dreamgate."
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Grimm Troupe Icon.png Nightmare King Grimm Hunter's Journal entry: "The expanse of dream in past was split, One realm now must stay apart,"
  14. 14.0 14.1 Greenpath Lore Tablet: "The Green Children walked from the dream unto these lands."
  15. Greenpath Lore Tablet: "The greater mind once dreamed of leaf and cast these caverns so. In every bush and every vine the mind of Unn reveals itself to us."
  16. 16.0 16.1 Greenpath Lore Tablet: "The Green Children walked from the dream unto these lands. Here we now shall wait, patient, for the call to return."
  17. 17.0 17.1 Seer: "The folk of my tribe were born from a light. Light similar to Essence, similar to that powerful blade, though much brighter still."
  18. Grimm Troupe Icon.png Dreamshield description: "Defensive charm once wielded by a tribe that could shape dreams."
  19. Seer: "How fickle my ancestors must have been. They forsook the light that spawned them. Turned their backs to it... Forgot it even. And so this kingdom was born from that betrayal. But the memories of that ancient light still lingered, hush whispers of faith... Until all of Hallownest began to dream of that forgotten light."
  20. Quirrel on Monomon: "Ahh, but her mind is still locked to you. That final, powerful protection stays in place. If you would attempt to break her seal, you've first to discover the means to open a mind."
  21. Resting Grounds Lore Tablet: "To protect the Vessel, the Dreamers lay sleeping."
  22. Grimm Troupe Icon.png Nightmare King Grimm in Godmaster Icon.png Godhome: "Deepest power... the Heart..."
  23. The Pale King: "You shall seal the blinding light that plagues their dreams."
  24. Developer note: "However, the memory of Radiance lingered (eg the statue at Hallownest's crown) and soon she began to reappear in dreams and starting exerting influence."
  25. White Lady: "Its supposed strength was ill-judged. It was tarnished by an idea instilled."
  26. Hidden Dreams Icon.png Grey Prince Zote Hunter's Journal entry: "Figment of an obsessed mind."
  27. Hidden Dreams Icon.png White Defender Hunter's Journal entry: "Figure from a fondly remembered past."
  28. Godmaster Icon.png Godseeker: "Its endless power shall attune Us to the one greater still, a God of Gods!"
  29. Unnamed Moth: "Recorded within this shrine are utterings from another world."
  30. Relic Seeker Lemm: "It's a strange thing though. There are no signs of conflict around the area. It's as though the whole place just vanished."
  31. Void achievement: "Remember the past and unite the Abyss."
  32. Seer: "Or will you take the weapon before you, and cut your way out of this sad, forgotten dream?"
  33. Dreamers: "Yet still our Seals remain. Our duty holds. It must be cast away."
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