The most loyal and devout servants of the King.

Simple, weak creatures find strength by forming a hive and obeying a ruler. Such creatures become the arms and teeth and claws of their monarch.

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Royal Retainers are enemies in Hollow Knight. These bugs were the most loyal servants of the Pale King, but a number of them died after the King disappeared.[1][2] They can still be found in White Palace in the Dream Realm where they wait for the King.[3]

Behaviour and Tactics

They stand in small groups and bow when the Knight approaches. They deal no damage on contact.

They can be used as a convenient source of SOUL by using the Dream Nail on them.

Dream Nail Dialogue Essence.png

In White Palace:

  • ...My King... All for us...
  • ... We will wait... King...
  • ...King... Your troubles... Let us...

Corpse in The Abyss (Lighthouse):

  • ...Turn it off?...Cannot...
  • My King. I'm sorry...the sea calls...

Corpses in Ancient Basin (Pale Fountain):

  • ...Return to us...
  • ...Missing monarch, we need you now...

(White Palace Ruins):

  • ...Where have you gone?...Dear King...

(In Mawlurk corpse):

  • ...Mine...

(Room left of destroyed lift):

  • ...the madness spreads...


Living Royal Retainers are only found within the White Palace, although some corpses can be found elsewhere in Ancient Basin.



  • Their Hunter's Journal entry is automatically unlocked after picking up the White Fragment.
  • When hit they will simply dissipate into white Essence instead of leaving a corpse.
  • The Royal Retainer is one of the few enemies that have various different looks, but no change to behaviour, the others being the Siblings, the Fungified Husks and the Corpse Creepers and Mistakes.
  • Royal Retainers are one of the few enemies that respawn upon leaving and re-entering the room.
  • Various other dead Royal Retainers can be found around Ancient Basin and other areas bearing some varying headdresses and clothes, the unique ones are as follows:


  1. Royal Retainers Hunter's Journal entry: "The most loyal and devout servants of the King."
  2. Royal Retainer corpse Dream Nail dialogue: "...Where have you gone?...Dear King..." "...Missing monarch, we need you now..."
  3. Royal Retainer Dream Nail dialogue: "... We will wait... King..."
Compendium Broken Vessel Idle.png
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