Deposed Lord of the Mantis tribe. Embraced the infection and turned against his sisters.

I have felt that desire. The desire to take the infection into myself. To become stronger, more powerful... these thoughts haunt my dreams during the darkest times. A false hope, but it can burn so brilliantly in one's mind.

Dialogue Bottom

The Traitor Lord is a main boss in Hollow Knight. He blocks the path to the White Lady in the Queen's Gardens.


The Traitor Lord was one of the leaders of the Mantis Tribe along with his sisters, and particularly resented the kingdom of Hallownest.[2] Similarly, he despised the relationship of his daughter with the Grey Mourner.[3][4]

When he and his followers embraced the Infection to become stronger, they were cast out from the Mantis Village.[5] They eventually found their way to and settled in the Queen's Gardens.[6] They sought to take the gardens for themselves and chase the White Lady out of her refuge but were pushed back by her protector, the knight Dryya.[7] Despite this failure, the Lord and the other Mantis outcasts still remained in the gardens, now guided only by a basic territorial and violent instinct.[8]

The Traitor Lord's daughter died at a certain point. Her grave can be found in the Queen’s Gardens just above the Stag Station, in a cave smothered by vines. Her grave can be seen in the background of his arena in Godmaster Icon Godhome as well.

In-game events

The Traitor Lord can be found in a large building on the upper border of the gardens' wilds. When the Knight enters the place, they are first ambushed by Mantis Traitors, with the Lord jumping down from the ceiling thereafter. If the Knight rescued Cloth from the Ancient Basin, she will join the fight before his appearance. In doing so, she will be impaled by the Traitor Lord at the end of the fight. However, she also takes one last swipe with her club, bashing him on the head and leaving both dead.

Cloth Traitor Lord Corpses

If the Traitor Lord dies from the Knight alone, the infection bursts out of him and makes him explode. If Cloth kills him, less Infection bursts out and his husk collapses on the ground, his face and right horn shattered.

Behaviour and Tactics

The Traitor Lord has four attacks:

  • Dive: Traitor Lord will leap into the air and then dive towards The Knight, similarly to Mantis Traitors. This attack occurs in 2 parts: 1st, the leap straight up and 2nd, the dive. Both parts are dangerous. The dive is always at the same angle (about 45 degrees) and will cover about 25% of the arena.
  • Dash: Traitor Lord will dash towards The Knight and swipe with his claws. He rushes forward and covers about a third of the arena with this attack.
Lifeblood Icon Lifeblood Content

  • Dancing Glaive: Traitor Lord will throw two spinning orange wind-scythes in tandem. The wind-scythes travel across the arena in two slightly different cosine wave patterns. As the wind-scythes cross the arena, one wind-scythe will pull away from the other, creating an ever-growing gap between them. The wind-scythes persist for about three seconds and getting hit by one only does one mask of damage. However, if the Knight gets caught on the claws of Traitor Lord when he throws the wind-scythes, the Knight will take two masks of damage. Traitor Lord will only use this attack if the Knight is a good distance away but will sometimes dash away himself to perform this attack. This attack also cannot be done twice in a row and can only occur divided by at least one normal attack.
  • Ground Pound: Occasionally during a cooldown after a previous attack Traitor Lord will smash his claws feverishly into the ground, generating a massive shockwave in each direction. The shockwaves span from floor to ceiling of the arena, they travel faster than the Knight's base speed and will traverse the entire arena. Traitor Lord will sometimes dash away if the Knight is too close and re-position to perform this attack. This attack will only occur after Traitor Lord has reached 500 hp.

All attacks except the Dancing Glaive attack deal two masks of damage. Contact damage with Traitor Lord will only deal one mask of damage.

(LIFEBLOOD) Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Traitor Lord

(LIFEBLOOD) Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Traitor Lord

Traitor Lord is a very large enemy in a very small arena and he attacks frequently.

If Cloth's quest has been followed, she will show up during the fight to aid the Knight, dealing 15 damage to Traitor Lord per club hit.

Traitor Lord's falling animation when entering the fight will also deal two masks of damage.

Use Shade Cloak dashing to avoid every attack Traitor Lord has. Use the spell Descending Dark for the invincibility frames. Strike with the Nail during those brief moments in between Traitor Lord's attacks. These are some of the most effective tactics against Traitor Lord.

To avoid Traitor Lord's Dive attack move either left or right in the direction of the attack. Traitor Lord will then dive over the Knight and miss them.

Traitor Lord's two new attacks added in the Lifeblood Icon Lifeblood update will only occur if the Knight strays too far from him. So long as the Knight is relatively close to Traitor Lord he will not perform these attacks and only Dash and Dive. Occasionally however he may quickly step a small distance backwards and perform these attacks through that method.

Lifeblood Icon The only way to avoid the Traitor Lord's Ground Pound Attack is to have invincibility, such as that gained from using Shade Cloak or Descending Dark. Unlike most other shockwave attacks in the game, the Traitor Lord's shockwaves span as tall as the ceiling of the arena. However, it is guaranteed that the Knight will have gained the Shade Cloak upgrade by this time as the Knight will have had to pass a Shade Gate to reach this boss.

Shape of Unn can be used to weave between Traitor Lord's wind-scythes while healing.

It is possible to jump to the top right side of the room and charge up the crystal dash and stay there until Cloth or a companion charm (Glowing Womb, Grimmchild, or Weaversong) finishes the job. The only attacks that may cause damage while clinging to the wall are the Dive and Ground Pound attacks.

An easy way to cheese this boss is to use the Sharp Shadow charm and dodge through all of his physical attacks, as they all home in on the Knight, making it easier to dodge with the extended range.

Godmaster Icon Godmaster Content

Statue Traitor Lord
Traitor Lord
Hall of Gods text: "I defile the gardens of false royalty"
"Treacherous god of anger"

Pantheon Pantheon of the Knight, 4th boss
Health Attuned Badge 800
Ascended Badge 1300
Radiant Badge
Arena changes The arena is much larger than the base game fight, no difficulty differences. No Mantis Traitors appear before the fight.

Dream Nail Dialogue Essence
  • ...Outcast...Survive...Kill...
  • ...Intruder...Destroy...
  • Our lands now...


The Traitor Lord is located in the upper section of the Queen's Gardens, beyond a Shade Gate.



Achievement Execution Execution
Defeat the Traitor Lord


  • Next to the Mantis Lords' thrones, a fourth broken throne can be seen, most likely the Traitor Lord's former throne.
  • In his original Journal entry, the Traitor Lord was identified as female.[9] This was changed to its current version in the public release version
  • The Mantis Traitors fought before the Traitor Lord do not drop Geo.
  • Lifeblood Icon After the Lifeblood update, the Traitor Lord now visually emits a cloud of infection around his body.
  • Lifeblood Icon The blades that the Traitor Lord sends out in his Dancing Glaive attack are a bright infected orange instead of white like all the other spinning mantis projectiles.
  • The Traitor Lord fight is one of four fights in the game where an NPC aids the Knight; the other three are Uumuu with Quirrel, The Hollow Knight with Hornet and The Radiance with the aid of The Hollow Knight.
  • The Traitor Lord can be damaged before he lands from the ceiling.


  1. Traitor Lord Hunter's Journal entry: "Deposed Lord of the Mantis tribe. Embraced the infection and turned against his sisters."
  2. Godmaster Icon Hall of Gods lock message: "I defile the gardens of false royalty"
  3. Hollow Knight: Wanderer's Journal: "The daughter of the Traitor Lord lies buried in a lonely corridor near the centre of the gardens [...]."
  4. Grey Mourner: "Buried, moina? Ai. Amongst its hateful kin that did deny our union, that did reject che's... outside-ness."
  5. Mantis Traitor Hunter's Journal entry: "Once a member of the Mantis tribe, now cast out and driven mad by infection."
  6. Wanderer's Journal, p. 145.
  7. Traitor Lord Dream Nail dialogue: "Our lands now..."
  8. Traitor Lord Dream Nail dialogue: "...Outcast...Survive...Kill..."
  9. Original Journal entry: "Deposed Lord of the Mantis tribe. Embraced the infection and turned against her sisters."
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