Hollow Knight: History, Lore & More


Umaiza Mahmood

Released on February  24, 2017 by Team Cherry Hollow Knight is an indie game that has gained the hearts of thousands. It even has a book, plushies, T-shirts and much more. It is a metroidvania roleplaying game that you can play on multiple different platforms. This article will be explaining the lore, characters, game plot and other things of the game. 



As humans, it is a simple fact that many of us worship a god. Whether that is ideologies, technology or God. Similar to that, the bugs in Hollownest worship “higher beings’ ‘ as well. The moths worshiped the Radiance. The plant-like creatures of Greenpath worshiped Unn. Then there were the mantisses, mushrooms, spiders and other creatures. 


The story of Hollowknight begins with a creature worthy of worship: something that was born from the carcass of a Wyrm. This carcass can be found in an area of the game, giving us an idea of what they had looked like. Years later these creatures have gone extinct. They were very long – almost serpent-like – had little to no limbs and had the ability to see into the future. In the game, it is explained that the Wyrm, particularly the carcass, used to travel beyond Hollownest and when it arrived in Hollownest it died. From this, there was a pale egg that formed a new wyrm, referred to as the Pale King. 


The Pale King was a higher being and the goal of the Pale King was to be in line with other Wyrms. And, since it’s in his nature, the Pale King started building his civilization or eternal kingdom, Hollownest. However, there’s a bit of an issue: Things are already living there.


This area was filled with many different creatures, all already with their own ways of life. The mushrooms were one of the easier groups to accept the Pale King’s rule. Then there was the Mantis Tribe that made an agreement with the Pale King. In exchange for their independence from Hollownest, they kept the beasts of Deepnest from escaping to Hollownest. 


The creatures of Hollownest were able to leave tablets detailing everything we would want to know about them, but Deepnest didn’t do that. What we do know about Deepnest is as follows:

  • There is a separate group of spiders called the Weavers that establish their own culture in Deepnest.
  • They use silk to weave stories, spells and shields
  • They did not want anything to do with Hollownest
  • They had a monarchy

The mantises, mushrooms and spiders of deepnest did not worship anything, from as far as we can tell. There is however a giant slug that is worshiped, Unn.


Greenpath is another area of pre-hollownest. This area was created by Unn. She used her mind to dream the greenery of greenpath into once empty caves. The mosskin, who follow Unn, were created by her. 


Next there are the Bees. These bugs hid their hive away from everything with only patrol bees entering and exiting. These aren’t very useful in the lore since they don’t show up much. 


Lastly there is the moth tribe. This tribe was born from the Radiance, a light that the moth tribe basked in. This tribe is a rather pacifist group that would not even pick up a weapon. In modern times(in the game),  they are only found in the resting grounds. The moths completely turned their backs on the Radiance when the Pale King came in. With that the Radiance became a remnant of the past. 

The Radiance: A creature that appears to be made of Essence. Also appears to be the main god when it comes to dreams.


The land outside hollownest is a barren wasteland, where bugs survive on their own. Hollownest apparently changed their ways and the Pale King basically changed the instinct of his subjects.


Aside from the previously mentioned areas of hollownest, there are many others:

Dirtmouth: First area, where you meet Elderbug

Forgotten Crossroads: Area where you go after Dirtmouth

City of Tears: capitol city, blue lakes rests above it

Others: Fungal wastes, Fog Canyon, Queen’s Garden, Kingdoms Edge, Ancient Basin, Royal Waterways


There are certain powers that are shunned in Hollownest:

  • Lifeblood: blue liquidy substance that gives health to those that drink it. This is considered taboo.
  • Soul: a life force that animates the body of the user. SOme can summon powerful spirits using this. 


There was another higher being called the White Lady:a Root-like being that is encased in a strange cocoon. We might not know much about her, but we do know that she likes to breed. The white lady along with the pale king are pale beings which we also don’t know much about. 


Under the rule of the Pale King hollownest went under many changes. Like the construction of the stagways to transport goods and the Forgotten Crossroads/ City of Tears storerooms to store. There were also tramways to travel.


There are five main protectors of Hallownest: Ogrim, Hegemol, Ze’mer, Dryya and Isma. They all played important roles in the Champion’s Call, the Knotted Grove and Battle of the Blackwyrm. 


Going back to the Radiance, there is a statue of her that was meant to keep her memory alive. Her light began to appear in dreams of the citizens of Hollownest and that light manifested itself in an infection. Those that were infected would fall into a deep sleep and awaken with broken minds. Infected bugs would attack others that were not infected. The Scholars of the Soul Sanctum tried to use the power of soul to fight against this infection. This led to many of them dying. The Soul Master had grown mad from its power. 


The Mantis Tribe fought it off better but one of the four Mantis Lords turned against the other 3 and became known as the traitor lord. The Pale King used void to fend off the infection. His palace was in the ancient basin along with a pit known as the abyss, a lake composed of void. The void could be given form so the Pale King placed the void into armored shells imbued with soul. He tried to also create a pure vessel, something that he thought could contain the Radiance and the Infection. The two higher beings, the Pale King and White Lady, created many eggs that the void would seep into. This resulted in the creation of Vessels. Within each vessel is a Shade, a void being. The Hollow Knight was chosen as the pure Vessel. The Hollow Knight used a nail, the weapon used in this game, to fend off anyone that may try to kill it. 


The Radiance was then trapped inside the body of the Hollow Knight and the Hollow Knight is held in the Temple of the Black Egg. 



When you start the game, you play as The Knight, a vessel made of void. You start in Kings Pass and learn all of the basic skills needed for the game, then move into Dirtmouth. After this you can explore the rest of Hollownest.

The basic plot of the game is that you, The Knight, have to travel across Hollownest to defeat the Hollow Knight and the Radiance. All to stop the infection. There is plot, side quests, lovable npc’s, lore and more on the way.