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Bestiary
Discarded shell of a Watcher Knight, re-animated by a swarm of infected flies.

When these silent warriors fall in battle, their bodies split open and strange bugs come flying out. I wonder, what will come flying out of me when I die? Will my hopes and fears drift away into the darkness?

Dialogue Bottom

The Watcher Knights are a single main boss in Hollow Knight. They guard Lurien the Watcher, one of the three Dreamers. Their Journal entry is unlocked at the end of the fight, regardless of how many they were.

The Watcher Knights used to defend the entrance to the Watcher's Spire and Lurien's dormant body.[1][2] They eventually died while standing guard, their discarded shells lining up the room.[3]

When the Knight tries to reach the end of the Watchers' room, the gates close down by themselves. The swarm infected flies hovering above them then start entering the husks one after the other. In doing so, they reanimate the Watcher Knights to defend Lurien's seal. Upon defeat of each knight, the flies within escape the room and the husk splits apart. The fight is over once all six knights in the first row have been defeated.

Additionally, the leftmost husk can be broken down before the start of the fight by bringing down a chandelier on it. Its support can be severed from a hidden space behind a breakable wall. This reduces the number of Watcher Knights to be fought to five.

Behaviour and Tactics

The Watcher Knights have three attacks:

  • Double Slash: Watcher Knight will swing their giant nail twice. Watcher Knight will swing horizontally first and follow it up with an overhead slash. Watcher Knight does move forward slightly with each swing.
  • Roll: A Watcher Knight curls up into a ball and rolls along the floor of the arena until it hits the opposite wall. They are immune to Nail attacks while rolling, but can still be damaged using Spells.
  • Bouncing Roll: Watcher Knight curls up into a ball and bounces twice. When they do this attack, Watcher Knight will attempt to target The Knight, which can mean that Watcher Knight may simply bounce in place rather than travel around the arena. The first bounce takes Watcher Knight to the top of the arena and the second bounce takes them only to the middle. Similar to the Roll attack, they are immune to Nail attacks while bouncing, but can be damaged using Spells.
  • Run: Watcher Knight, in an attempt to get closer to the Knight, will sometimes run towards it before performing another attack.

Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Watcher Knight

Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Watcher Knight

Watcher Knight Boss Guide Video

There are 6 Watcher Knights total and the fight will start with only one Knight being reanimated. Once the Knight has been active for too long without being defeated, a second knight will be reanimated joining the first (approximately 22 seconds, just when the music gets louder). However, if the first Knight is killed quickly, then two of the next Knights will be reanimated together. Note that only a total of two knights can be active at once.

Since the Watcher Knights attack in groups, it's best to not get cornered by them. To prevent this, jump above them and hit them from the air, as their spinning jump is their only counter to aerial attacks.

Since they have fast attacks, Quick Focus is highly recommended for this fight. Another tactic is using Lifeblood Heart Charms for a health boost, and Stalwart Shell to increase invincibility time, then damage-race the Knights down while face-tanking their attacks. Using Sharp Shadow while having Shade Cloak can make this fight easier as The Knight can dash through them dealing 1x Nail damage even when they are rolling. Dream Wielder is also useful, as it allows the Knight to collect lots of SOUL from the Watcher Knights as they roar, as while they are immune to damage during this state, they are not immune to being struck by the Dream Nail.

If the Knight does not wish to put off fighting the Watcher Knights until after collecting the Shade Cloak, another way to easily take them down is with Shaman Stone and Descending Dark. Three uses of Descending Dark with the damage boost is enough to kill a single Watcher Knight, and the invincibility frames keep the Knight safe long enough to jump and down-strike with the Nail before using another Descending Dark. When attempting this method, Spell Twister and Dream Wielder are very helpful to have equipped as well, in order to remain at high amounts of SOUL and lessen the number of times the Knight needs to hit the Watcher Knights with the Nail.

Directly left of the arena there is a breakable ceiling (accessible via Mantis Claw) which reveals a secret area containing the anchoring of a chandelier. Striking it with the Nail will drop the chandelier, crushing one of the corpses below and permanently reducing the amount of reanimated Knights from 6 to 5.

Statue Watcher Knights
Watcher Knight
"We lie dormant, guarding the Spire's peak"
"Sentinel gods of the spire"

Pantheon Pantheon of the Knight, 8th boss
Health Attuned Badge 350 (each)
Ascended Badge 600 (each)
Radiant Badge
Arena changes Same arena as the base game fight, no difficulty differences. Their number cannot be brought to five.


Location

The Watcher Knights are located near the top of Watcher's Spire.

Gallery

Trivia

Mainpromo4

Promotional art showing three Watcher Knights

  • Three Watcher Knights can be seen in a piece of promotional material.
  • The Watcher Knights were the sixth boss to be revealed through the Kickstarter under the name of Black Knight.[4]
    • In an early development map, only one "Black Knight" (Watcher Knight) could be seen labelled.[5]
    • The Watcher Knights were originally intended to be in the attic of another tower, which ended up being cut before release.[6]
  • The Watcher Knights are one of few bosses to have multiple entities attack the Knight, the others being the God Tamer, Mantis Lords, Oblobbles, and Brothers Oro & Mato.
  • After the Lifeblood update, the bodies of the inanimate Watcher Knights have been rearranged.
  • The inanimate bodies can be struck with the Dream Nail for Soul before the battle starts, as well as struck with the nail. This object behaviour is similar to the empty armour of the False Knight.
  • Before version 1.2.2.1, the Watcher Knight could Back-roll to evade attacks, this has since been removed for unknown reasons and may be a bug.
References
  1. Watcher Knights Dream Nail dialogue: "Defend...Seal..."
  2. Godmaster Icon Watcher Knights Hall of Gods lock text: "We lie dormant, guarding the Spire's peak"
  3. Watcher Knight Hunter's Journal entry: "Discarded shell of a Watcher Knight"
  4. Hollow Knight Kickstarter
  5. Early map showing "black knight 01" in the City of Tears.
  6. Reddit AMA comment on the Watcher Knights.
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