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Zote the Mighty Grey Prince Zote The Eternal Ordeal

Hidden Dreams Icon.png Hidden Dreams Content

Figment of an obsessed mind. Lacks grace but becomes stronger with every defeat.

"My love, any creature who could bear to be away from you, who would willingly leave you behind or say unkind things to you... Pah! Lowly maggots, not worthy of standing in your glorious shadow!"
She felt her cold body grow warm, a sensation she had almost forgotten...

– 'The Grey Prince' Chapter 112
Dialogue Bottom.png

Grey Prince Zote is a hidden boss in Hollow Knight. He is the stronger Dream variant of Zote the Mighty, fueled by Bretta's delusions of him.

Behaviour and Tactics

  • Flail: Grey Prince Zote charges at the Knight, flailing his nail before him. Grey Prince Zote flails his nail for about 2.5 to 3.5 seconds. Once he is exhausted, he falls to the ground, sending out a shockwave in each direction. While he is flailing, he moves with momentum, as if he were on ice. There is a variation to this attack where Grey Prince Zote prepares to flail, only to fall over, sending out the shockwaves immediately.
  • Zotelings Spit: Grey Prince Zote spits out Zotelings that attack the Knight independently of Grey Prince Zote. The first Zoteling Grey Prince Zote can spit is the Winged Zoteling. These Zotelings can show up with any version of Grey Prince Zote. The other Zoteling Grey Prince Zote can spit is the Hopping Zoteling. These Zotelings do not show up until Zote 2 and later. Grey Prince Zote spits out one to three Zotelings in rapid succession per attack. The Zotelings deal half of the damage scaled with each version of Grey Prince Zote on rounding down to a minimum of 1. These Zotelings remain in the arena until they are killed.
  • Shadow Slam: Grey Prince Zote leaps into the air, and as he lands, he transmutes into a pillar of shadows, launching himself high above the arena. Moments later, he slams down, sending two large shockwaves across the arena in opposite directions. Grey Prince Zote lands where he believes the Knight is going to be rather than where the Knight was. Grey Prince Zote can link into this attack after a Leap attack.
  • Nail Slam: Grey Prince Zote leaps into the air and slams his nail down. This attack targets the Knight. Grey Prince Zote slams his nail down where the Knight is when he reaches the apex of his leap, just before he flips. When he slams his nail, two shockwaves erupt from the impact point and travel across the arena. The one in front of Grey Prince Zote is larger than the one travelling behind him. There is a variation to this attack which involves Grey Prince Zote reaching the apex of his leap, and instead of slamming down then, pirouetting in the air to readjust his targeting, and then slamming down.
  • Leap: Grey Prince Zote leaps around the arena. Grey Prince Zote can string together up to three Leaps in a row. He can also chain this attack into a Shadow Slam attack. Every time Grey Prince Zote lands, he sends out two small shockwaves in either direction that cross the arena.
  • Summon Bombs: Grey Prince Zote cries out and summons 3–4 Volatile Zotelings around the arena, which explode after a short time or when killed (note that unlike other explosive enemies in the game, the explosions cannot deal damage to Grey Prince Zote). This attack happens in his 3rd fight and later. The Volatile Zotelings spawn anywhere in the air with room for them. Like the other summon attack, the Volatile Zotelings can persist while Grey Prince Zote uses other attacks, though only briefly as they self-destruct. Unlike the other summoned types of Zotelings in the fight, the damage from the Volatile Zotelings and their explosions (base 2 Masks) do scale with each victory.

Stagger Values
Description: Grey Prince Zote falls onto his back, flailing about.
Hits: 17/18/19 in fights 1/2/3+
Combo: 14/15/16 in fights 1/2/3+ Combo Time: <1s per hit


Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Grey Prince Zote

He can be defeated a maximum of ten times from the statue. After each defeat, he obtains more health (Max. 4 fights at 1500), and his attacks deal more damage with consecutive fights: 1 Mask on the first 3 fights, 2 Masks on the 4th fight, and one additional Mask each fight after that (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 for fights 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 respectively).

He grants 300 Essence on the first victory and none after each subsequent victory.

This section focuses on strategies that work against the 10th version of Grey Prince Zote since any strategies that work against him also work on earlier versions.

There are some safe times to heal, particularly when Grey Prince Zote is staggered or during the Zoteling and Summon attacks (depending on how close Grey Prince Zote is for the attacks). However, healing is not a great tactic past Grey Prince Zote 8 because healing 6+ damage requires a lot of time and/or many opportunities to heal. Charms like Quick Focus, Deep Focus, and Shape of Unn can be most helpful.

It is important to defeat Grey Prince Zote as quickly as possible because the longer the fight draws on, the more difficult it can become to evade all of his attacks. For damage output, Nail-based Charms work very well; Fragile Strength/Grimm Troupe Icon.png Unbreakable Strength, Quick Slash, and Mark of Pride/Longnail are helpful.

The Statue of Grey Prince Zote

Spells are a valid strategy too. Desolate Dive/Descending Dark is a great Spell for its damage and invincibility frames. Vengeful Spirit/Shade Soul is also useful, especially for damaging Grey Prince Zote and his Zotelings at the same time. It is recommended to have Shade Soul and Descending Dark for this fight. To maximize Spell efficiency and damage, bring the Spell Twister and Shaman Stone Charms, respectively. A lot of damage can be dealt to Grey Prince Zote when he spits out Zotelings during the Zoteling attack, when he summons Volatile Zotelings during the Summon attack, and during the Flail attack.

The Shade Cloak is very useful for dodging a lot of Grey Prince Zote's (and his Zotelings') attacks. The Monarch Wings are useful for avoiding the shockwaves and navigating the sometimes crowded airspace of the arena.

A challenging but viable tactic is to combine Grubberfly's Elegy, Quick Slash, Fragile/Grimm Troupe Icon.png Unbreakable Strength, and Fury of the Fallen to maximize Nail damage and range even at 1 Mask.

As with the other Dream Bosses, the Knight does not die when they lose all their health during this battle, but simply wakes up next to the statue. This means that Fragile Strength and Fragile Heart can be used continually without breaking.

Godmaster Icon.png Godmaster Content

Statue Grey Prince Zote.png

Grey Prince Zote

Hall of Gods text: "I serve my Queen inside her dreams"
"False god conjured by the lonely"

Pantheon Pantheon of the Sage, 7th boss
Health Attuned difficulty
Ascended difficulty 1400
Radiant difficulty
Arena changes The arena appears wider than in the base game, no difficulty differences.

Dream Nail Dialogue Essence.png

  • My Queen... I do it all for you!
  • I love her more!
  • Dark... Light... They're nothing compared to her!!
  • I'll kill you quickly... I must tend to my Queen!
  • Jealous fool! You stand no chance!


To access Grey Prince Zote, both Bretta and Zote must have been saved and Zote must have been defeated in the Colosseum of Fools. The Monarch Wings are also needed for the basement to open. The fight starts by striking the statue in Bretta's basement with the Dream Nail.



Achievement Dark Romance.png {S} Dark Romance
Defeat Grey Prince Zote


Golden Statue of Grey Prince Zote

  • Each time Grey Prince Zote is defeated, one additional candle around his statue lights up, to a maximum of 4. After the 10th victory, the statue also turns gold.
    • Prior to the Lifeblood Icon.png Lifeblood update, the Zote statue had 10 candles instead of the current 4.
  • Grimm Troupe Icon.png Bretta's Dream Nail dialogue changes the 1st and 3rd times Grey Prince Zote is defeated.
    • After the 4th victory, Bretta leaves Dirtmouth entirely and cannot be found anywhere.
    • Prior to the Lifeblood Icon.png Lifeblood update, Bretta only left after 10 victories.
  • Bretta claps in the background every time the Knight takes damage, and all the Zotes look scared whenever Grey Prince Zote is Staggered.
  • Each time he is defeated, a new adjective is listed, stacking on top of the other titles:
    • (level 9) Invincible,
    • (level 8) Fearless,
    • (level 7) Sensual,
    • (level 6) Mysterious,
    • (level 5) Enchanting,
    • (level 4) Vigorous,
    • (level 3) Diligent, Overwhelming,
    • (level 2) Gorgeous, Passionate,
    • (level 1) Terrifying, Beautiful, Powerful, Grey Prince Zote
  • When fighting Grey Prince Zote in Godmaster Icon.png Godhome, all of his possible titles are included, even though mechanically he is identical to the level 3 version.
  • Some of the attacks Grey Prince Zote uses are similar to some of Zote's "attacks" in his fight against the Knight in the Colosseum of Fools. The Flail, Trip, and Leap attacks are specifically referenced in the battle in stronger forms.
  • Grey Prince Zote is the only boss that can be omitted from the Pantheons by not fighting him in Bretta's basement. Both the 3rd and 5th Pantheons will be accessible, but will not have this boss in them. Postponing this fight until all Pantheons are complete will make them a little shorter and somewhat easier.
Compendium Broken Vessel Idle.png
Main Game CrawlidVengeflyVengefly KingGruzzerGruz MotherTiktikAspid HunterAspid MotherAspid HatchlingGoamWandering HuskHusk HornheadLeaping HuskHusk BullyHusk WarriorHusk GuardEntombed HuskFalse Knight (Failed Champion) • MaggotMenderbugLifeseedBaldurElder Baldur

MosscreepMossflyMosskinVolatile MosskinFool EaterSquitObbleGulkaMaskflyMoss ChargerMassive Moss ChargerMoss KnightMossy VagabondDurandooDurandaAluba

Charged LumaflyUomaOomaUumuu

AmbloomFunglingFungoonSporgFungified HuskShrumelingShrumal WarriorShrumal OgreMantis YouthMantis WarriorMantis Lords

Husk SentryHeavy SentryWinged SentryLance SentryMistakeFollySoul TwisterSoul WarriorSoul Master (Tyrant) • Husk DandyCowardly HuskGluttonous HuskGorgeous HuskGreat Husk SentryWatcher KnightCollector

BelflyPilflipHwurmpBluggsacDung DefenderFlukefeyFlukemonFlukemarm

ShardmiteGlimbackCrystal HunterCrystal CrawlerHusk MinerCrystallised HuskCrystal Guardian (Enraged)

Furious VengeflyVolatile GruzzerViolent HuskSlobbering Husk

DirtcarverCarver HatcherGarpedeCorpse CreeperDeeplingDeephunterLittle WeaverStalking DevoutNosk

Shadow CreeperLesser MawlekMawlurkBrooding MawlekLightseedInfected BalloonBroken Vessel (Lost Kin)

BooflyPrimal AspidHopperGreat HopperGrub MimicHivelingHive SoldierHive GuardianHusk Hive

Spiny HuskLoodleMantis PetraMantis TraitorTraitor Lord

Sharp BaldurArmoured SquitBattle ObbleOblobblesShielded FoolSturdy FoolWinged FoolHeavy FoolDeath LoodleVolt TwisterZoteGod Tamer

XeroGorbElder HuMarmuNo EyesGalienMarkoth

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Hornet (ProtectorSentinel) • Hollow KnightRadianceShadeHunter's Mark

Hidden Dreams Icon.png Hidden Dreams Grey Prince ZoteWinged ZotelingHopping ZotelingVolatile ZotelingWhite Defender

Grimm Troupe Icon.png The Grimm Troupe Grimmkin NoviceGrimmkin MasterGrimmkin NightmareGrimmNightmare KingSeal of Binding

Lifeblood Icon.png Lifeblood Hive Knight

Godmaster Icon.png Godmaster FlukemungaPale LurkerSisters of BattleWinged NoskNailmasters Oro & MatoPaintmaster SheoGreat Nailsage SlyPure VesselAbsolute RadianceVoid IdolWeathered Mask