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For so long I've felt drawn here. So many tales full of wonders and horrors. No longer could I resist. I just had to see it for myself.
-Quirrel
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Quirrel is an inquisitive, up-beat explorer, fascinated by the myths of Hallownest for reasons he can not explain. While he remains a simple observer, he is wise of the land's dangers and has some skill with a nail.[1]

Lore

Before the fall of Hallownest, Quirrel used to be Monomon’s apprentice.[3] When Monomon became a Dreamer, she entrusted Quirrel with her mask, which was part of an additional protection enacted upon herself.[4] Quirrel can be seen wearing this mask on top of his head.

In the official comic, it is shown that Quirrel ended up outside of Hallownest, causing him to lose much of his memory.[5] He was called back to Hallownest by Monomon in order to reverse the protection placed on her.[4] After entering the Howling Cliffs, Quirrel meets Hornet, whom he briefly fights. Hornet allows Quirrel to enter Hallownest when she recognizes Monomon’s mask.

Quirrel can initially be found at the Temple of the Black Egg, but he can be encountered in several locations around Hallownest. After helping the Knight kill Monomon by removing the protection on her, he goes to Blue Lake to see the source of the rain in the City of Tears.[6]

In-game events

Temple of the Black Egg

Quirrel is first met staring at the Black Egg in wonder. He briefly talks about how he feels drawn to Hallownest.[7] He is aware that both the both the Knight and himself are ill-equipped for this perilous journey. He however explains that many travellers have come down into the ruins and fallen, and lightly suggests that they may have useful belongings that the Knight could use.[8] Once False Knight has been defeated, Quirrel will no longer be present at this location.

More...

Lake of Unn

Quirrel is found sitting on a rock next to the bench inside the structure, polishing his nail. He tells the Knight that their blade is looking a little worn and that they may not fare as well below the surface.[9]

Queen's Station

Inside the station, Quirrel can be found sitting on the edge of a platform above the entrance to the Stagway. He comments on the activity such place must have had during the kingdom's peak.[10]

Mantis Village

If the Knight still wields the Old Nail and has entered the deeper part of the Mantis Village where the Mantis Lords can be found, Quirrel can be encountered in the east part of Mantis Village. He hints at seeking out the Nailsmith before proceeding further past the boss fight.[11]

City of Tears

Quirrel is found sitting on a bench on the way out of the first building in the City of Tears, looking out the window. He tells the Knight he feels pulled into the city, but is hesitant to enter, not knowing why.[12] He mentions the water coming down endlessly from above and that he wants to see where it comes from before he leaves the Kingdom.[6]

Deepnest

He is next found resting in the Hot Spring in Deepnest after the Failed Tramway has been visited. He hints at the existence of a village in Deepnest, home to those who never accepted Hallownest's King.[13]

Crystal Peak

Quirrel is found standing next to a huge window at the peak, looking down onto Dirtmouth, pondering. He also comments on the sad fate of the infected miners relentlessly at their endless task.

Outside the Teacher's Archives

He is found just outside the entrance to the Teacher's Archives, somewhat confused, feeling drawn inside.[14] He later appears during the Uumuu boss fight to help the Knight by puncturing the outer membrane of the boss, allowing the Knight to damage them.

Before Monomon

After inspecting the tank that Monomon the Teacher is inside, Quirrel will jump up from below. He explains the history of the Teacher and that he played a part in her protection. He holds up his hat, which is revealed to be Monomon's mask, and undoes that protection to help the Knight.[4] If the Knight has not yet acquired the Dream Nail, Quirrel suggests them to find the Moth Tribe to learn from them how to enter Monomon's mind and break her seal.[15] After Monomon was killed, he sits there until the Knight leaves. He won't wear Monomon's mask again after this encounter.

Blue Lake

In the final encounter with Quirrel, he is found sitting next to Blue Lake, as he said he would want to see where the rainwater is coming from in the City of Tears. He tells the Knight that now, after seeing the world twice over, he finally feels at peace, and he is thankful he could see its beauty again.[16]

After the conversation, the Knight can choose to sit next to him in silence. Doing so rewards the "Witness" achievement.

After leaving the room, Quirrel will have disappeared. His nail can be seen planted into the ground beside the Lake.

Dialogue

Outside the Black Egg Hello there! How delightful to meet another traveller on these forgotten roads.

You're a short one, but you've a strong look about you.
I'm Quirrel. I have something of an obsession with uncharted places.
This ancient kingdom holds many fascinating mysteries, and one of the most intriguing of them is standing right before us.
A great stone egg, lying in the corpse of an ancient kingdom. And this egg...Is it warm? It certainly gives off a unique air.
Can it be opened? There are strange marks all over it...
I do so love a mystery...And who knows what other marvels lie even deeper below us...

Listening again For so long I've felt drawn here. So many tales full of wonders and horrors. No longer could I resist. I just had to see it for myself.

And what a time I chose to arrive! This dead world has sprung to life.
The creatures are riled up and the earth rumbles. The air is thick. I wonder what could have brought it all about?

Listening again To persevere in this ruin, that old nail alone just won't be enough. Though that's no problem! One only has to look around.

Plenty have come before us and most have met their grisly end, many more equipped than you and I.
I'm sure they wouldn't mind were a fellow explorer to relieve them of their tools. It's a kindness really. The dead shouldn't be burdened with such things.

Listening again Did you pass that town above? What a gloomy little place. And such majesty hidden right beneath!

I suppose that's why they've all headed down here. Who could resist such possibilities?

Exhausted dialogue Truly a marvel...
Dream Nailed What is this feeling?... So familiar. Drawn forward yet repelled. And those shapes upon the door...To gaze directly at them turns my mind to fog.
Inside the building by the Lake of Unn Oh, hello there! Seems we both tread far from the path.

I can hardly believe those dusty old highways led to such a lush and lively place!
This building suggests some form of worship, though its idol has clearly been long forgotten. Doubles equally well for a moment's respite.

Listening again I saw a strange fellow out there. He seemed quite taken by the lake.

I'd planned to offer greetings, though figured I'd first tend to my nail on chance our meeting goes poorly.

Listening again Your nail looks a fine instrument, but it's showing signs of wear.

I'd wager up there it would take you far. Down here however, I suspect you'll soon meet dangers the surface world can't match.

Exhausted dialogue Hallownest is perfect for vigilant explorers like us. So tense and thrilling. In this place, you're either alert or you're dead.
Dream Nailed That lake... a revered presence once slept deep within... Did it? What would make me think such things?
Within the Queen Station's main room Isn't this something. I'd not expected to discover so huge a Stag Station after that foggy descent.

The bugs of Hallownest must've been an impressive lot, building such grand structures so far into these wilds.
Seems the dangerous creatures about haven't yet made their way in here. It's the perfect place for a quick rest.

Listening again Can you imagine this place in its time? Hordes of bugs travelling about the Kingdom; stag bells ringing; the station bustling with activity and life.

Now only our like even know it exists.
That's a special thing I suppose, to cherish these sights, even in their decay.

Exhausted dialogue Is it that, just faintly, you can still hear the echo of the bells?
Dream Nailed at Queen's Station Even those great stags bowed to Hallownest's King. What devotion he must have inspired.
Listening at Mantis Village Hello again! I suppose you've already met with the tribe of this village, hmm? They seem a little distrustful of strangers... to put it lightly.

They're not brutes though, no. The sickness in the air that clouds the mind of lesser beasts... they resist it. They retain their intellect and their honour, though also their lethal traditions.
I've some words of advice, my friend. If you plan to challenge the lords of this tribe, your blunted nail may prove inadequate.
There is a city nearby, the old capital of Hallownest. I've heard a Nailsmith resides there. Seek the old bug out and you may find progress that much easier.

Exhausted dialogue My own route takes me towards that great city. If you search out the Nailsmith, it may not be long until our paths cross again.
Dream Nailed at Mantis Village ...Who was it that told me of the Nailsmith? I can't even remember, yet I can almost picture the smith himself...

Listening at City of Tears The capital lies before us my friend. What a sombre place it seems and one that holds the answers to many a mystery.

I too have felt the pull of this place, though now I sit before it I find myself hesitant to descend.
Is it fear I wonder, or something else that holds me back?

Listening again The city looks to be built into an enormous cavern, and the rain pours down from cracks in the stone above.

There must be a lot of water up there somewhere. I suppose, if the cave roof stayed strong this long, it should hold for us.
The rain seems to come down endlessly, though. I'd like to see where it all comes from before I leave this Kingdom. What a sight it must be!

Listening again If you look down from here, through the rain, you can just make out those twisted sentries, their husks still stuck in endless patrol.

I'd be cautious around them my short friend. Their training will not have been forgotten. This city presents some formidable foes.

Exhausted dialogue Isn't this a wonderful spot for a rest? I so love the sound of the rain upon glass.
Dream Nailed Hallownest's heart...Magnificent even in mourning.
Listening at Crystal Peak Ahh, quite a view, no?

I'm not surprised you survived the trek through these shimmering caverns.
There's an air of strength about you. I suspect it would be quite intimidating, if not for your small stature.

Listening again Did it sadden you to see those miners below, still labouring at their endless task?

Even overcome, strong purpose has been imprinted upon their husks.
The crystal ore is said to contain a sort of energy, not as powerful as the soul the city dwellers harnessed but far less lethal.
...Strange to know such ancient facts. I wonder from where my knowledge comes?

Listening again At this high vantage I can just make it out, the light from that sad little town.

I doubt its residents could even comprehend the scale of the world that surrounds them.

Exhausted dialogue So small it seems...
Dream Nailed ...These winds cry lonely. Better the comfort of rock above one's head.
Listening at Deepnest Hello, hello! What a thrill this is, to find such warm comfort amidst the den of beasts.

This is a ferocious place no doubt. Supposedly, there's a village deep in the warren. Its inhabitants never accepted Hallownest's King.

Exhausted dialogue Why not join me for a time? These waters do wonders for weary legs.
Dream Nailed This one too must seek the village at the nest's heart. What mystery the purpose that sees it share my path.
Listening outside the Teacher's Archives Doesn't this kingdom just abound with surprises? A building atop an acid lake.

Despite the sight, I can't help but feel... familiarity? Something stirs in my mind, though I can't yet tell what..
I'd thought it my lust for discovery that led me here but now there seems something else.
This building beckons me.

Exhausted dialogue I can feel it calling... Dare I head in?
Dream Nailed ...Who are you, that leads me to this place?
Next to Monomon's tank Did she call you too then? I realise it's no coincidence we arrive together.

Though much of my memory is blank, this place I recall.
Within these chambers the Teacher sought to store the Kingdom's knowledge and at its core, she stored herself.
To save Hallownest, the Teacher willingly became a seal, but upon herself she enacted an additional protection.
Though I cannot recall its happening, I played a part in that feat.
She called me here, now, to reverse that protection. All in aid of you.

Before acquiring the Dream Nail 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. Such tools may exist to perform the feat, though in my own travels I've not come across one.
I'd heard it told the Kingdom's moths did delve amongst dreams and the dead. Perhaps you'd seek them out?

After acquiring the dream Nail Do not hesitate. The choice to reform was hers, not mine.

She knows what you would do and seems to welcome it.

Listening again Why do you hesitate? Mercy is a fine thing, but you and her agree this must be done. Be brave, friend.
After killing Monomon, onward The Madam's life is extinguished and with it her seal breaks.

It's a heavy thing you attempt, but I've seen your prowess up close and she too believed you capable.
Be on your journey then, and allow me rest a time. With the deed complete, I begin to feel my age.

Dream Nailed To think, such a small creature would bear this kingdom's fate.
On the east shore of the Blue Lake Again we meet my short friend. Here at last, I feel at peace.

Twice I've seen this world and though my service may have stripped the first experience from me, I'm thankful I could witness its beauty again.
Hallownest is a vast and wondrous thing, but in as many wonders as it holds, I've seen none quite so intriguing as you.
Ha. My flattery returns only silent stoicism. I like that.
I like that very much.

Exhausted dialogue ...Incredible...
Dream Nailed To live an age, yet remember so little... Perhaps I should be thankful? All tragedy erased. I see only wonders...

Locations

Quirrel can be found in several locations across Hallownest. However, he will not appear in all after he is encountered in Fog Canyon.

Gallery

Achievements

Achievement Witness {S} Witness
Spend a final moment with Quirrel

Trivia

  • Quirrel is one of four characters in the game that can help during a boss fight. The others are Cloth during the Traitor Lord fight, Hornet while fighting the Hollow Knight, and the Hollow Knight at the end of the Radiance fight.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Official manual: "Quirrel is an observer, not a warrior, but he knows the Kingdom's dangers and has some skill with a nail."
  2. Deleted livestream on Mixer
  3. Quirrel on the Teacher's Archives: "Despite the sight, I can't help but feel... familiarity?"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Quirrel: "To save Hallownest, the Teacher willingly became a seal, but upon herself she enacted an additional protection. Though I cannot recall its happening, I played a part in that feat. She called me here, now, to reverse that protection. All in aid of you."
  5. Quirrel Dream Nail dialogue: "To live an age, yet remember so little..."
  6. 6.0 6.1 Quirel: "The rain seems to come down endlessly, though. I'd like to see where it all comes from before I leave this Kingdom."
  7. Quirrel: "For so long I've felt drawn here. So many tales full of wonders and horrors."
  8. Quirrel: "Plenty have come before us and most have met their grisly end, many more equipped than you and I. I'm sure they wouldn't mind were a fellow explorer to relieve them of their tools. It's a kindness really. The dead shouldn't be burdened with such things."
  9. Quirrel: "Your nail looks a fine instrument, but it's showing signs of wear. I'd wager up there it would take you far. Down here however, I suspect you'll soon meet dangers the surface world can't match."
  10. Quirrel: "Can you imagine this place in its time? Hordes of bugs travelling about the Kingdom; stag bells ringing; the station bustling with activity and life."
  11. Quirrel: "I've some words of advice, my friend. If you plan to challenge the lords of this tribe, your blunted nail may prove inadequate. There is a city nearby, the old capital of Hallownest. I've heard a Nailsmith resides there. Seek the old bug out and you may find progress that much easier. "
  12. Quirrel: "I too have felt the pull of this place, though now I sit before it I find myself hesitant to descend. Is it fear I wonder, or something else that holds me back?"
  13. Quirrel: "This is a ferocious place no doubt. Supposedly, there's a village deep in the warren. Its inhabitants never accepted Hallownest's King."
  14. Quirrel: "I can feel it calling... Dare I head in?"
  15. Quirrel: "If you would attempt to break her seal, you've first to discover the means to open a mind. [...] I'd heard it told the Kingdom's moths did delve amongst dreams and the dead. Perhaps you'd seek them out?"
  16. Quirrel: "Here at last, I feel at peace. Twice I've seen this world and though my service may have stripped the first experience from me, I'm thankful I could witness its beauty again."
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