Animated remains of a Great Sentry, the most elite of the city's guards. Wields a greatnail and shell. Its powerful attacks cause heavy damage.

An extremely rare thing, a bug of Hallownest that actually poses a threat. Watch them carefully, as they can lash out quickly with devastating strikes.

Dialogue Bottom

Great Husk Sentries are enemies in Hollow Knight. They were elite city guards before dying, patrolling sensitive areas in the City of Tears.[1][2] Wielding a greatnail and shell, they are still a threat after being reanimated.[2][3]

Behaviour and Tactics

These mighty sentries deal two damage with their attacks, making them very dangerous foes:

  • Guard: When approached, holds up its shield in the Knight's direction. This can be done upwards when the Knight is above them.
  • Strike: After blocking a hit with Guard or waiting long enough, it launches a single strike, followed by Guard, making it difficult to damage them without getting hit. Sometimes it will execute 2 strikes. It will always launch 2 strikes if it waits long enough. If the Knight gets a hit on their raised shield or on them from above they will follow up with a single slash upwards. This attack deals two masks of damage.
  • Retaliate: When attacked, it lowers its shield and executes a Strike attack that leaves it open for a brief time. This can be done upwards when the Knight is above them.

They can be attacked by standing just inside their range, waiting for them to raise their sword, running out of range then running up and striking them when their attack is over. This requires very good timing and many hits, as these enemies have a lot of health. Mark of Pride makes it easier to reach them with a strike before they can shield themselves. It is also possible to hit them as they prepare a strike, then dash away.

Another good attack pattern is to jump above, nail hop on their shield, then cross to the backside and hit them. Nail hopping on their shield will trigger the forward or upward attack, and while they are committed to this animation the player will have time for one or more hits. Unlike other elite nail-and-shell enemies, these guards lack a backstep move as tradeoff for their massive HP and damage. Using a passive damage charm such as Grimm Troupe Icon Weaversong will get in lots of extra chip damage during this process.

An easy way to kill them is to use Sharp Shadow and dash through them every time they try to attack.

They are constantly guarded while patrolling, so they can only be damaged when they open up for an attack. Spells do go through, though.

Dream Nail Dialogue Essence
  • ...Outsider...
  • ...Defend...
  • ...Kill...
  • ...Protect....the city...
  • ...Not welcome...Kill...
  • ...Keep out...


There are seven Great Husk Sentries in City of Tears, three of them in the Watcher's Spire. Another Great Husk Sentry can be found in the Resting Grounds, right next to the lift leading to the City of Tears.



  1. Wanderer's Journal, p. 72.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Great Husk Sentry Hunter's Journal entry: "Animated remains of a Great Sentry, the most elite of the city's guards. Wields a greatnail and shell."
  3. Zote: "Have you seen them? The guards who still patrol this city, even after dying?"
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