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Vessels

The Vessels are genderless[1][2] beings of the Void who were created by the Pale King as a means of stopping the Infection. They are described as the progeny of the Pale King[3] and the spawn of the White Lady,[4] containing the "soul" of the two beings.[5] The area within the Abyss known as "birthplace" is assumed to be the location as to where the Vessels originated from.[6] This area is where most of them were discarded following the Pale King’s search for a pure Vessel.[7]

Eventually, one Vessel was judged to be pure and was chosen to seal the Radiance within themselves.[8] This Vessel was named the Hollow Knight.

During the birthplace cutscene, the following dialogue is presented:

  • No mind to think.
  • No will to break.
  • No voice to cry suffering.
  • Born of God and Void.

This dialogue comes from Pale King and appears to be referring to the Hollow Knight- also present at the top of the Abyss aside the Pale King himself.

The Siblings found at the bottom of the Abyss are implied to be the Shades that originate from the shells of deceased Vessels. From this enemy and the boss Lost Kin, it can be interpreted that all Vessels are siblings. Hornet calls the Hollow Knight the sibling of both her and of the Knight,[9] further suggesting a sibling relationship.[10]

After the Hollow Knight was lead out of the Abyss, the Pale King sealed the Abyss[7] with a seal that could only be broken by somebody with the King's Brand, locking most of the other Vessels inside. Other Vessels can be found scattered across the world and the Knight starts their journey outside of the Abyss in Howling Cliffs. This suggests that despite being locked away, some Vessels still managed to find a method to escape.[11]

The Knight

The Knight is the Vessel that the player controls throughout the game. They escaped the Abyss and wandered outside of Hallownest for unknown reasons.[12] The Dreamers suggest that they only returned to Hallownest after a call from either the Radiance or the Hollow Knight.[13]

The Knight-4

The Hollow Knight/Pure Vessel

Also known as the "Pure Vessel", as they are referred to on the Abyss entrance lore tablet,[14] or simply "the Vessel".[15] The Hollow Knight is the Vessel chosen by the Pale King with the task to seal the Radiance. Unlike most of their siblings, the Hollow Knight is said to be fully-grown.[16] Although they were thought to be a pure Vessel, they were ultimately unable to contain the Infection forever- leading to the events of the game.

Armoured Vessel

Broken Vessel/Lost Kin

A hollowed-out shell of a fallen Vessel found in the Ancient Basin reanimated by Lightseeds.[17] The Infection drove it mad but also made it stronger. It still carries many of the skills it possessed.[18]

Broken Vessel-3

Greenpath Vessel

This Vessel's body is found in Greenpath, in the same area that Hornet is located in when she first fights the Knight. They are equipped with the Mothwing Cloak which is passed on to the Knight once their corpse is inspected.

Greenpath Vessel

Deepnest Vessels

Nosk's arena in Deepnest has several Vessel corpses hung up in the background. These Vessels escaped the Abyss and somehow ended up in Deepnest.

Deepnest Vessel

Abyss Vessels

A large portion of the ground of the Abyss is covered in the shells of dead Vessels- particularly the whole of the birthplace area seems to be composed entirely of vessel shells. They are shown to fall from the top of the Abyss in the scene before the Knight acquires Void Heart.

Abyss Vessel

Godmaster Icon Godhome Cutscene Vessels

The scene that is shown after the Knight defeats Pure Vessel in the Pantheon of the Knight depicts numerous Vessels in front and behind the Knight and the young Hollow Knight. The setting seems to take place in the Abyss.

Godhome Vessel

References

  1. Reddit AMA answer on the Knight being genderless.
  2. Developer note: <entry name="gender notes">the hollow knights have no gender.
  3. White Palace lore tablet: "Eternity in promise and charge in progeny cursed."
  4. White Lady: "Success then for the scarlet heart, and irony, to use my spawn to grow its own."
  5. Pale King: "...Soul of Wyrm. Soul of Root."
  6. White Lady: "That place where it was born, where it died, where it began..."
  7. 7.0 7.1 Ancient Basin lore tablet: "Beyond lies only the refuse and regret of its creation. We shall enter that place no longer."
  8. Pale King: "You shall seal the blinding light that plagues their dreams."
  9. Hornet: "Would you supplant our birth-cursed sibling, or would you transcend it?"
  10. Team Cherry blog post referring to the Knight, the Hollow Knight, and Hornet as siblings.
  11. Reddit AMA answer on how the Vessels escaped the Abyss.
  12. Reddit AMA answer on why the Knight left Hallownest.
  13. Dreamers: "What compels its return to this sacred kingdom? A call from beyond the Seals? By the Vessel, or by that captive light?"
  14. Ancient Basin lore tablet: "Our pure Vessel has ascended."
  15. Pale King: "You are the Vessel."
  16. The Hollow Knight Hunter's Journal entry: "Fully grown Vessel"
  17. Broken Vessel Hunter's Journal entry: "Shattered corpse, reanimated by infected parasites."
  18. Wanderer's Journal, p. 127.
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