Exclamation Mark
For the Godmaster Icon Godmaster variants, see Hornet Protector and Hornet Sentinel.
Skilled protector of Hallownest's ruins. Wields a needle and thread.

I have seen this nimble little creature. I thought her prey and pounced at her, but with a flash she stabbed me with her flying stinger and darted away. Could she be... a Hunter?

Mysterious protector of Hallownest’s ruins. She wields a needle and thread with deadly prowess.

Hornet is said by the White Lady to be the result of a "dalliance" (sexual relationship) between the Pale King and Herrah whom he offered to have a child with as bargain for her becoming a Dreamer.

The achievement Sealed Siblings, which describes Hornet and The Knight, as well as Hornet calling The Hollow Knight her sibling, suggests that Hornet and the Vessels are presumably siblings.

Hornet is seen fighting Quirrel in the official comic. She warns him that she will grant death to any warrior who would seek to desecrate Hallownest. She attempts to fight him, but is repelled by the mask of Monomon that Quirrel wears on his head. Hornet leaves him alone upon recognizing that something called Quirrel to Hallownest.

She can be first encountered throughout Greenpath, but tries to kill the Knight at the end of this area. Hornet can later be fought in Kingdom's Edge where she challenges the Knight to a fight once again. After this encounter, she will no longer act hostile to the Knight but instead tries to help them. She can finally be found in the Temple of the Black Egg after Void Heart has been obtained, where she will assist during two of the endings.

She is the protagonist of upcoming sequel Hollow Knight: Silksong.

First Encounter, Greenpath

Hornet Protector

When travelling through the area, she will appear several times, but will quickly dash away. When approached at the end of the zone, she will be standing by the body of another Vessel. She says that she can sense something awakening within Hallownest and that she knows the nature of The Knight, and because of that, she cannot allow them to proceed.


Behaviour and Tactics

Hornet has 4 base attacks:

  • Lunge: Lunges forward with her needle in front of her.
  • Aerial Lunge: Jumps in the air before aiming at the Knight and rushing downwards.
  • Gossamer Storm: Unleashes an area-of-effect attack centered on herself, using her thread to slice into anything around her.
  • Aerial Gossamer Storm: Jumps into the air and unleashes an area-of-effect attack centered on herself, using her thread to slice into anything around her.
  • Throw: Throws her needle forward, then pulls it back. The range of this attack is slightly smaller than the width of the battlefield. The needle can damage the Knight on the way back.
  • Leap: Hornet will jump to move within the arena.
  • Run: Hornet will run to move within the arena.
Stagger Values
Description: Hornet Protector will lean over and pause breathing heavily.
Hits: 11 Stagger Limit: 5
Combo: 7 Combo Time: <2s per hit

Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Hornet (Part 1)

Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Hornet (Part 1)

Hornet (First Encounter) Boss Guide Video

Wait until she moves in with a Lunge attack and get a few hits in to charge SOUL. Then, when she moves out of range, hit her with Vengeful Spirit. At this point in the game, Vengeful Spirit does 3 times as much damage as the Nail.

After taking about a fifth of her health, she will stagger and kneel on the ground to recover. This happens four times throughout the fight. Use this time to either heal if needed or hit her with Vengeful Spirit, as the next attack on her will cause her to immediately recover.

The best moments to heal during battle are during her Throw Attack and her Gossamer Storm Attack since both have limited range and take time to complete.

The player can perform a downward slash if they mistimed their jump over the Needle during the Throw Attack, allowing them to bounce off of Hornet's needle without taking damage.

Upon defeat in Greenpath, she flees and the corpse she was standing by drops the Mothwing Cloak, which allows the Knight to dash.


First Encounter

Come no closer, ghost.

I've seen you, creeping through the undergrowth, stalking me.

This old kingdom... A terrible thing awakens. I can smell it in the air...

I know what you are. I know what you'd try to do. I can't allow it...

Dream Nailed

  • Too weak, little ghost...
  • No shadow will haunt me...
  • Only pity for your cursed kind.

Second Encounter, City of Tears

Hornet will appear briefly outside the Fungal Wastes entrance to the City of Tears. Once The Knight reaches the statue of The Hollow Knight, she will appear again and tell them to seek "the grave in ash" if they wish to seek a role in Hallownest's perpetuation. This will not occur if she was already encountered at Kingdom's Edge.


Again we meet little ghost.

I'm normally quite perceptive. You I underestimated, though I've since guessed the truth.

You've seen beyond this kingdom's bounds. Yours is resilience born of two voids.

It's no surprise then you've managed to reach the heart of this world. In so doing, you shall know the sacrifice that keeps it standing.

If, knowing that truth, you'd still attempt a role in Hallownest's perpetuation, seek the Grave in Ash and the mark it would grant to one like you.

Third Encounter, Kingdom's Edge

Hornet Sentinel

Hornet is next encountered in the far east area of Kingdom's Edge, which requires the Monarch Wings to reach. Upon meeting Hornet here, she will challenge The Knight to one more battle to prove that they are worthy to see the truth about Hallownest.


Behaviour and Tactics

She has the same attacks as her previous fight in addition to two others:

  • Parry: Holds her needle in a defensive stance, blocking any incoming attack. If struck while she is defending, she will giggle before unleashing a wide-range counter slash.
  • Snare: Uses her thread to suspend spiked balls in midair. The spikes deal contact damage and will remain until they are destroyed by either Nail attacks or spells. Hornet will only use this attack after reaching 480hp.
Stagger Values
Description: Hornet Sentinel will lean over and pause breathing heavily.
Hits: 13 Stagger Limit: 999
Combo: 8 Combo Time: <2s per hit

Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Hornet (Part 2)

Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Hornet (Part 2)

Hornet (Second Fight) Boss Guide Video

Hornet Sentinal uses tactics similar to the first encounter, but her attacks come at a much more rapid pace. Dashing over her as she lunges is a typically safe move and using Desolate Dive/Descending Dark will prevent the Knight from taking damage while it is being cast.

Having Quick Focus and/or Soul Catcher/Soul Eater is useful as it will allow for more opportunities to heal or charge SOUL, respectively.

Using Nail Arts Great Slash is effective due to the fact that Hornet rarely stays in one place long enough to get more than one or two standard Nail strikes in.

After defeating her, the Knight is allowed to enter the Cast-Off Shell and mark themselves with the King's Brand, allowing them to open the gate to the Abyss. However, once the King's Brand has been interacted with, the shell collapses, prompting Hornet to rescue the Knight.


Before fight

So you'd pursue the deeper truth? It isn't one the weak could bear.

Prove yourself ready to face it. I'll not hold back. My needle is lethal and I'd feel no sadness in a weakling's demise.

Show me you can accept this Kingdom's past and claim responsibility for its future.

After defeat

...So strong...

You could do it, if you had the will.

But could you raise your nail once knowing its tragic conception? And knowing yourself?...

Then do it, Ghost of Hallownest! Head onward. Burn that mark upon your shell and claim yourself as King.

Dream Nailed

  • From where does it draw this strength?
  • Can it succeed?
  • Is it strong enough?

Fourth Encounter, The Abyss

After obtaining the Shade Cloak upgrade, she will appear at the top of the area, telling The Knight that there are two choices ahead of them; to prolong the world's stasis, or face the source of the plague.


Ghost. I see you've faced the place of your birth, and now drape yourself in the substance of its shadow.

Though our strength is born of similar source, that part of you, that crucial emptiness, I do not share.

Funny then, that such darkness gives me hope. Within it, I see the chance of change.

A difficult journey you would face, but a choice it can create. Prolong our world's stasis or face the heart of its infection.

I'd urge you to take that harder path, but what end may come, the decision rests with you.

Dream Nailed

...It faced the void, and ascends unscathed... Could it unite such vast darkness?...

Fifth Encounter, Deepnest

If she is defeated in Kingdom's Edge and if the King's Brand has been obtained before facing Herrah the Beast, she will appear after The Knight has undone Herrah's seal. Unlike other instances, she does not offer advice or clues, but is simply there to mourn the passing of her mother.


So you've slain the Beast... and you head towards that fated goal.

I'd not have obstructed this happening, but it caused me some pain to knowingly stand idle.

...What? You might think me stern but I'm not completely cold.

We do not choose our mothers, or the circumstance into which we are born. Despite all the ills of this world, I'm thankful for the life she granted me.

It's quite a debt I owed. Only in allowing her to pass, and taking the burden of the future in her stead, can I begin to repay it.

Leave me now, ghost. Allow me a moment alone before this bedchamber becomes forever a shrine.

Dream Nailed

...Mother... Forgive my inaction... but another path may be possible...

Final Encounter, Final Boss

If Void Heart has been acquired and all three Dreamers are dead, Hornet appears outside the Temple of the Black Egg, telling The Knight that she cannot follow them inside, but will help if the opportunity presents itself.


In the final battle, she restrains the Hollow Knight after they have taken enough damage, allowing the Knight to either strike them with the Dream Nail or continue attacking them.

If the player chooses to attack, Hornet is thrown to the floor, unconscious, and the battle continues. Upon victory, the Sealed Siblings ending plays out, with her sealed inside The Black Egg along with the Knight and the shape of her head appearing on the entrance.

If the player uses the Dream Nail and defeats the Radiance, the Dream No More ending plays out, in which Hornet awakens to find the Knight's broken shell on the ground, implying that they died in the final struggle.


I'm impressed little ghost. You've burdened yourself with the fate of this world, yet you still stand strong.

To break the Dreamer's seals would alone be considered an impossible task, but to accept that void inside yourself, that casts you as something rather exceptional.

After Black Egg is opened

The path is opened. One way or another an end awaits inside.

I won't be joining you in this. That space is built to sustain your likes. Its bindings would drain me were I to join.

Don't be surprised. I'll not risk my own life in your attempt, though if the moment presents I'll aid as I'm able.

Talking again

Ghost of Hallownest, you possess the strength to enact an end of your choosing. Would you supplant our birth-cursed sibling, or would you transcend it?

Dream Nailed

...Could it achieve that impossible thing? Should it?

Godmaster Icon

Godmaster Content

Bonus Encounter, Godhome

Hornet, as most Bosses do, makes an appearance in Godhome. However she is among the few to have different Dream Nail dialogue when fought here- the other two being Troupe Master Grimm and Nightmare King Grimm.

Dream Nailed in Godhome
  • ...Do they watch us struggle?..
  • Do you haunt my dreams... Or I yours?
  • Little Ghost... What dreams we share...


Hornet can be found in several locations across Hallownest. However, she may not appear in all due to events within the game.


Achievement Test of Resolve Test of Resolve
Defeat Hornet in Greenpath
Achievement Proof of Resolve Proof of Resolve
{S} Defeat Hornet in Kingdom's Edge
Achievement Sealed Siblings Sealed Siblings
{S} Defeat the Hollow Knight with Hornet by your side


"Quick with her deadly needle, relentless in battle, Hornet is exploring Hallownest to find the answer to a riddle that has plagued her. She has so far resisted the infection, but will still cut you down if you stand in her path."
"You may catch glimpses of Hornet during your exploration of Hallownest, although she always seems to be one or two steps ahead of you. If you do manage to catch up with her, be wary! Her needle can cut a bug down from thirty yards."
  • One of the Kickstarter goals (for AU$ 56,000) was Hornet to receive her own DLC in a later update and becoming the second playable character. This goal was reached and her DLC will involve her fighting an Assassin Bug several times as a backer boss character.
    • The DLC has now been changed to be a full game under the name of Silksong
  • After defeating her in the second battle, if the player uses the Dream Nail on her before talking to her, they will gain SOUL as if she were still an enemy.
  • Hornet is among the few bosses who do not have to be killed but rather just defeated.
  • The names "Hornet Protector" and "Hornet Sentinel" were coined in the Godmaster Icon Godmaster DLC, prior to which she was commonly referred to as simply "Hornet 1&2".
  • During development, Hornet was intended to be "the child of three queens". Although Team Cherry had said that they can't confirm whether this concept still applies, the idea was that Hornet was to be born to Herrah, raised by White Lady and trained under and named by Hive Queen Vespa.
  • On Silksong's steam page Hornet is called a "Princess Knight".
Compendium Broken Vessel Idle
Main Game CrawlidVengeflyVengefly KingGruzzerGruz MotherTiktikAspid HunterAspid MotherAspid HatchlingGoamWandering HuskHusk HornheadLeaping HuskHusk BullyHusk WarriorHusk GuardEntombed HuskFalse KnightMaggotMenderbugLifeseedBaldurElder Baldur

MosscreepMossflyMosskinVolatile MosskinFool EaterSquitObbleGulkaMaskflyMoss ChargerMassive Moss ChargerMoss KnightMossy VagabondDurandooDurandaAlubaCharged Lumafly


AmbloomFunglingFungoonSporgFungified HuskShrumelingShrumal WarriorShrumal OgreMantis YouthMantis WarriorMantis Lords

Husk SentryHeavy SentryWinged SentryLance SentryMistakeFollySoul TwisterSoul WarriorSoul MasterHusk DandyCowardly HuskGluttonous HuskGorgeous HuskGreat Husk SentryWatcher KnightThe Collector

BelflyPilflipHwurmpBluggsacDung DefenderFlukefeyFlukemonFlukemarm

ShardmiteGlimbackCrystal HunterCrystal CrawlerHusk MinerCrystallised HuskCrystal Guardian

Furious VengeflyVolatile GruzzerViolent HuskSlobbering Husk

DirtcarverCarver HatcherGarpedeCorpse CreeperDeeplingDeephunterLittle WeaverStalking DevoutNosk

Shadow CreeperLesser MawlekMawlurkBrooding MawlekLightseedInfected BalloonBroken Vessel

BooflyPrimal AspidHopperGreat HopperGrub MimicHivelingHive SoldierHive GuardianHusk Hive

Spiny HuskLoodleMantis PetraMantis TraitorTraitor Lord

Sharp BaldurArmoured SquitBattle ObbleOblobbleShielded FoolSturdy FoolWinged FoolHeavy FoolDeath LoodleVolt TwisterZote the MightyGod Tamer

XeroGorbElder HuMarmuNo EyesGalienMarkoth

WingmouldRoyal RetainerKingsmouldSiblingVoid Tendrils

HornetThe Hollow KnightThe RadianceShadeHunter's Mark

Hidden Dreams Icon Hidden Dreams
Grey Prince ZoteWinged ZotelingHopping ZotelingVolatile ZotelingWhite Defender
Grimm Troupe Icon The Grimm Troupe
Grimmkin NoviceGrimmkin MasterGrimmkin NightmareGrimmNightmare King GrimmSeal of Binding
Lifeblood Icon Lifeblood
Hive Knight
Godmaster Icon Godmaster
FlukemungaPale LurkerBrothers Oro & MatoPaintmaster SheoGreat Nailsage SlyPure VesselVoid IdolWeathered Mask