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For the Godmaster Icon Godmaster variant, see here.
Ferocious but extremely social creature. Becomes aggressive if not able to mingle with its own kind.

I hear this beast crying out sometimes as I prowl the caverns, although I've never actually laid eyes on it. Who or what is it calling for? As far as I can tell, its voice is never answered.

Brooding Mawlek is the last of its kind left in the Forgotten Crossroads, though one more can be found in the Colosseum of Fools. It is an extremely social creature that keeps calling out for others of its kind, but this cry is never answered. Although Lesser Mawleks and Mawlurks can be seen in the Ancient Basin, it is unknown if these are different stages of Mawlek life or a different species entirely.

Behavior and Tactics

The Brooding Mawlek uses the following attacks:

  • Slash: Brooding Mawlek will use either one of its claws to perform a downward slash towards the Knight. It only uses this attack if the Knight gets too close and will use it in conjunction with the spit attack.
  • Spit: Brooding Mawlek will spit blobs of infection in parabolic arcs at regular intervals. These blobs fly towards whichever side of the arena the Knight happens to be standing on. This attack can happen in conjunction with the Slash Attack.
  • Leap: Brooding Mawlek leaps to the Knight's location, landing where the Knight was at the beginning of its leap. Then, it will immediately follow that leap with a jump back to the center of the arena. If there is no center platform then it will simply leap to a random area of the arena.
  • Vomit: Brooding Mawlek will shoot a multitude of blobs of infection in a parabolic arc simultaneously. These blobs fly towards whichever side of the arena the Knight happens to be standing on at the time. Brooding Mawlek will stand idle until all the blobs have made contact with the ground.

Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Brooding Mawlek

Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Brooding Mawlek

Brooding Mawlek Boss Guide Video

Without reach enhancement Charms, Brooding Mawlek may retaliate when hit, so a solid strategy is to hit them a few times and move away quickly when Brooding Mawlek raises their claw. It's also possible to jump over the boss, downstriking them to get to the other side.

To dodge Brooding Mawlek's Leap, the player needs to run quickly in whichever direction they have space to move. This is also an opportunity to hit Brooding Mawlek, which cannot spit or slash while in the air.

If the player has managed to obtain the Baldur Shell charm and Nail Art: Cyclone Slash, it's possible to chip away at Brooding Mawlek's health with the edge of Cyclone Slash and use the SOUL gained from the attack to heal safely inside Baldur Shell. While using Baldur Shell, the Knight can also enter into the body of Brooding Mawlek without taking damage, allowing the Knight to heal while Brooding Mawlek attacks.

When Brooding Mawlek uses the Vomit attack, it is possible to safely dash over them with the Mothwing Cloak before the acid comes down. There are also some small safe spots in between the projectiles.

If the player has the charm, Sharp Shadow, it can be used to dash through Brooding Mawlek and deal damage.

Mark of Pride or Longnail makes it easier to damage Brooding Mawlek when it performs the slash attack while avoiding damage.

Another Brooding Mawlek is fought as part of the Trial of the Fool in the Colosseum of Fools in a very tight area where dodging their attacks is much more difficult.

Dream Nail Dialogue
  • Where...Where are they...?
  • ...Do they hear me...?
  • ...Alone...Alone...


Brooding Mawlek is found in the Forgotten Crossroads beyond a wall jump section in a blocked room to the left of the vertical shaft filled with Gruzzers and Crawlids. Defeating it rewards a Mask Shard.

Despite being "inaccessible" at the beginning, it is possible to reach by nail-jumping on the spikes with downward strikes.

Another Brooding Mawlek can be fought in the Colosseum of Fools.


Gameplay Demonstration - Brooding Mawlek

Gameplay Demonstration - Brooding Mawlek

  • The Brooding Mawlek was the second mini-boss revealed in a Kickstarter update as an optional boss.
  • It is suspected that Tiso was killed by the Brooding Mawlek in the Colosseum of Fools.