Hunter's Journal

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.


Behaviour and Tactics

The Brooding Mawlek uses the following attacks:

  • Slash: Brooding Mawlek will perform a downward slash towards the Knight. They only use this attack if the Knight gets too close and will use it in conjunction with other attacks.
  • Spit: Brooding Mawlek will spit a blob of infection in a parabolic arc. 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 their leap. Then, they immediately follow that leap with a jump back to the center 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.
Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Brooding Mawlek

Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Brooding Mawlek

Brooding Mawlek Boss Guide Video

Without reach enhancement Charms, it may retaliate when hit, so it is safest to hit it a few times, and dash away when it raises its claws. It's also possible to jump over the boss, downstriking it to get to the other side.

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

Its acid wave may have small safe spots, but they're quite tiny and hard to spot, so a much safer option is to jump over the Mawlek altogether when it uses this attack.

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

When the Mawlek uses the Vomit attack, it is possible to safely dash over it with the Mothwing Cloak before the acid comes down.

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

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


The Mawlek is easily found in the Forgotten Crossroads beyond a wall jump section in a 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. It is even possible to fight it in the first 15 minutes of the game.



Gameplay Demonstration - Brooding Mawlek

Gameplay Demonstration - Brooding Mawlek

  • Due to the Hunter's notes on the Brooding Mawlek and the many Mawlek corpses that can be found in the room before Brooding Mawlek, it is suggested that Brooding Mawlek is the last Mawlek of it's kind.
  • The Brooding Mawlek was the second mini-boss revealed in a Kickstarter update as an optional boss.