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For the Godmaster Icon Godmaster variant, see here.

Equipment and Abilities

Nail Spells and Abilities Charms
Nail Arts Items
Knight godmaster

The character that the player controls in the game of Hollow Knight.

The Knight is a Vessel born to the higher beings the Pale King and the White Lady, with Void inside their shell. Vessels are stated to be the progeny and spawn of the King and Queen of Hallownest; beginning their lives born from eggs which are found in an area of The Abyss known as The Birthplace.

Through all references and events in-game, the Knight is never once referred to with a gender. This is deliberate, as Vessels are genderless beings. This fact is made more clear by Hornet being called "The Gendered Child" by both the White Lady and the Midwife; leaving her to be the only progeny of the Pale King to have a gender.

In the Birthplace cutscene, it is shown that the Knight fell back into the Abyss after it was sealed. However, at the start of the game, they can be seen wandering around the Howling Cliffs after being called back to Hallownest by either The Radiance or The Hollow Knight. It is unknown how they managed to escape from the Abyss.

Hornet notes in the City of Tears that the Knight’s resilience is born from two voids; one being the Void that the Knight has within them, and the other void being the area outside of Hallownest. This area is referred to as a void in a lore tablet found in the Howling Cliffs. Spending time in this area caused the Knight to lose their memories, as is suggested by the description of the achievement Void.

Once the Knight obtains Void Heart and remembers their past, they are able to unify the Void under their will. It is stated by Hornet that they acquired this ability by accepting the Void inside themselves. The creature in the area where the Shade Cloak is found has Dream Nail dialogue, presumably referring to the Knight as the Lord of Shades after they gain Void Heart.

At the beginning of the game, the Knight is equipped with only their Old Nail and the ability to heal themselves using SOUL. Throughout the game, the Knight gains access to new powers and items to help them through their journey.

Health and SOUL


HP mask

Health is represented as masks, shown in the upper-left corner of the screen. The Knight starts the game with 5 masks, and can obtain more by collecting Mask Shards. 4 Mask Shards make one new mask of health, up to a max of 9 total masks of health. Health is lost by taking damage, either from Enemies or from environmental hazards. Health can be regained by resting at a Bench or using Focus.

Lifeblood mask

Lifeblood masks, granted by Lifeseeds and certain Charms, are temporary masks that cannot be healed using Focus. Lifeblood masks will disappear upon resting at a bench, whereas those granted by Charms will regenerate.


See SOUL for more info

Soul Meter

SOUL is represented as a circular mask to the left of the health indicator. SOUL is used to cast Spells, including Focus. Striking enemies with the Nail is the primary source of regaining SOUL, though other tools and objects also grant SOUL. Collecting three Vessel Fragments increases the maximum soul by 33.

Upgrades and Equipment



Nail 1 Old Nail
Charms prompt
The Knight's main weapon, able to swing in any direction. The nail can be swung downwards while the Knight is above spikes, enemies, or certain objects, which can be a useful tool for traversing Hallownest. The Knight can upgrade the nail for stronger strikes, as well as learn charged attacks called Nail Arts from the Nailmasters. Special trinkets acquired through adventuring or by purchasing from other bugs. By equipping them on available Notches, Charms enhance the Knight's power through a variety of different methods, including increasing health, reducing heal times, spawning allied hatchlings, and more.



Vengeful Spirit
Skill Mantis Claw
First acquired from the Snail Shaman, these magical attacks deal large amounts of damage in short bursts, at the cost of using the Knight's SOUL meter. Each Spell can be upgraded to a stronger version by finding hidden rooms throughout Hallownest. Skills and tools found throughout Hallownest that allow the Knight to more effectively traverse the terrain and engage enemies in combat, including dashing, wall-jumping, and double-jumping.


  • The Knight's design is taken from Team Cherry's first game, Hungry Knight, which was made during a Game Jam that started the company.
    • While the two games are very different, Team Cherry has stated that they "liked the main character and the general aesthetic so much that [they] fleshed it out and expanded on it."
    • Mister Mushroom makes reference to the Hungry Knight in his first dialogue with them, saying "...It's nice that you were able to help your friend. So you're not hungry any more?"
  • The Steam Trading Card refers to The Knight as "Hollow Knight," though this is most likely only to avoid spoiling the identity of the true Hollow Knight.
  • When The Knight has one health left, Void particles can be seen floating off them, and their posture changes from upright to a bent over, gasping stance.