The White Lady is a root higher being who used to be the Queen of Hallownest and the wife of the Pale King. During Hallownest’s prime, the Queen's Gardens were her well-guarded retreat. This area used to belong to the Mosskin, but the White Lady claimed it to create her gardens.
The White Lady is the mother of the Vessels. Out of shame for her part in their creation, she bound herself in the Queen's Gardens to stop herself from having more offspring.Dryya, one of the Five Great Knights, stood guard over her, although Dryya died after defeating numerous Mantis Traitors. The White Lady is not aware of her death.
Over time, the White Lady's vision worsened and she could not see much anymore. She did sense within her roots the weakening of the Hollow Knight, prompting her to await a visit from a Vessel to give them her part of the Kingsoul.
The White Lady is found in the northwest part of the Queen's Gardens inside a cocoon-like dwelling. Outside this structure is the corpse of Dryya.
When the Knight first meets her, she gifts her half of the Kingsoul to them. She then asks the Knight to defeat the Hollow Knight and take their place in sealing the Radiance.
After the Knight has obtained the completed Kingsoul, she comments on their strength and dedication, wondering if they could be more than simply a Vessel. She tells the Knight to visit their birthplace in the Abyss to find out what is at the heart of the Kingsoul.
The White Lady can be offered a Delicate Flower but she refuses it, explaining that the flower originates from outside Hallownest and holds rare power.
She makes an appearance in Godhome in the Pantheon of Hallownest, with the Godseeker commenting on her lore and backstory. In this form the White Lady seems to be unbound and without constraints. The Godseeker mentions that the White Lady hides from their attunement, and wonders if she diminishes herself by choice.
Oh! One arrives. Far it walks to find me. Did it seek my aid? Or did the path carry it by chance to so pertinant a place?
It is true. True, that you were awaited. No. Perhaps that is inaccurate. True one like you was awaited.
I have a gift, held long for one of your kind. Half of a whole. When united, great power is granted, and on the path ahead, great power it will need.
Within my roots, the weakening of the Vessel I plainly feel. Only two obvious outcomes there are from such a thing.
The first is inevitable on current course, regression, all minds relinquished to that pernicious plague.
The second I find preferable, and would seek your aid in its occurrence, replacement.
I implore you, usurp the Vessel. Its supposed strength was ill-judged. It was tarnished by an idea instilled. But you. You are free of such blemishes. You could contain that thing inside.
I'll offer fair warning. The Vessel may itself be weak, but it is much empowered by that force within.
To claim its role requires strength of some magnitude. Prepare yourself well before attempting the task.
Prepare well, but don't dally. Were the Vessel to break prematurely, that plague would unleash with rage and power built of ages chained.
Do I seem prisoner here? If so, it's not by any choice but my own. These bindings about me, I've chosen to erect.
There is some shame I feel from my own part in the deed, and this method guarantees it cease.
I still feel that urge you see. I always will. A voracious desire to spread seeds upon the land, to propogate sicmyself, to breed.
Ahh! So it bears our once-fractured soul, now complete. Such strength, such resolve, such dedication! Is it more than simply a Vessel? I almost feel like I'm once again in the presence of my beloved Wyrm.
The Kingsoul... What is at the heart of it I wonder? If its curiosity wills it, it should seek out that place. That place where it was born, where it died, where it began...
...That scent. Does another travel with you? Is that you Ogrim, my mighty Knight?
I cannot see you, but then time has clouded my eyes and I cannot see much. Even your booming voice falls silent upon me.
Only this small one I register, if maybe because it shares some piece of myself. This one stands clear upon a misted world.
Ah.... But my my, that potent smell does recall such joyous memory. Only a short moment we had together, compared to ruin now endured, but what shining times they were.
I am grateful you would visit, even if to see me in somewhat faded form.
Dear Ogrim, I'm sure you saw Dryya on the way in? She's stood guard over me for so long.
Despite her hard front, she's always been a caring type. I'm sure she'll much enjoy a Knights' reunion.
Ahh, that creature beside. It would be naive to claim it friend, though you two share a... similarity? It is a distant link, one words would strain to convey.
For it to cling to you now... You've been consumed in the ritual of that scarlet clan.
In what poor moment they descend upon our ruin. Aid their propagation, if you so choose, but do not renege on the larger task this kingdom implores.
While wearing Grimmchild in its final phase
Your companion's eyes burn with a familiar flame... Success then for the scarlet heart, and irony, to use my spawn to grow its own.
I know you creature, and the form time shall bring. You may be all and one, clan and master, but this land shall never bear so foreign a king.
When given Delicate Flower
Ah, what precious gift it offers, though alas I shan't accept.
Not of me that flower, nor of this kingdom. Far it travelled to reach this place, brought by one beloved, fair knight of lands serene.
There is rare power hidden in those frail petals.
To hold it so close, one must surely be unaware of its nature...
The White Lady can be found in the northwest part of the Queen's Gardens. This requires defeating the Traitor Lord first.
Location of the White Lady in the Queen's Gardens
The White Lady with her eyes closed
The secret room of the White Lady in the White Palace
For the White Lady's dialogue where she talks about Hornet, the game still checks whether the King's Brand has been acquired before this dialogue is triggered, even though it is not possible to reach the White Lady without it.
The White Lady is one of the few NPCs who is able to detect when they are being Dream Nailed.
When using any Spell on the White Lady, a Seal appears over her.
In an early version of the game, the Gruz Mother fight area contained three statues: one showing the Pale King, the second showing the White Lady, and the third, a broken one, potentially representing the Hollow Knight. These statues can also be seen in the top left corner of one of the early maps.
A similar concept sketch of the White Lady was shown in an exhibition at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.
A sketch of the White Lady's cocoon depicts it with her head on the front. The in-game cocoon still has this same design including her roots, except the White Lady's face was replaced by the entrance.
Statues in the trailer
Statues on the early map
Sketch of the White Lady
Sketch of the White Lady's cocoon depicting her head
↑White Lady: "Do I seem prisoner here? If so, it's not by any choice but my own. These bindings about me, I've chosen to erect. There is some shame I feel from my own part in the deed, and this method guarantees it cease. I still feel that urge you see. I always will. A voracious desire to spread seeds upon the land, to propogate sic myself, to breed."
↑White Lady: "Dear Ogrim, I'm sure you saw Dryya on the way in? She's stood guard over me for so long. Despite her hard front, she's always been a caring type. I'm sure she'll much enjoy a Knights' reunion."
↑White Lady: "I cannot see you, but then time has clouded my eyes and I cannot see much."
↑White Lady: "Within my roots, the weakening of the Vessel I plainly feel."
↑White Lady: "It is true. True, that you were awaited. No. Perhaps that is inaccurate. True one like you was awaited. I have a gift, held long for one of your kind."
↑White Lady: "The second I find preferable, and would seek your aid in its occurrence, replacement. I implore you, usurp the Vessel."
↑ 15.015.1White Lady: "Such strength, such resolve, such dedication! Is it more than simply a Vessel? [...] The Kingsoul... What is at the heart of it I wonder? If its curiosity wills it, it should seek out that place. That place where it was born, where it died, where it began..."
↑ The Godseeker: "Why does she frustrate Us? How does she hide from Us? Does she diminish herself by choice?"