|Skilled protector of Hallownest's ruins. Wields a needle and thread.|
|I have seen this nimble little creature. I thought her prey and pounced at her, but with a flash she stabbed me with her flying stinger and darted away. Could she be... a Hunter?|
First Encounter, Greenpath
When travelling through the area, she will appear several times, but will quickly dash away. When approached at the end of the zone, she is standing by the body of another vessel. She says that she can sense something awakening within Hallownest and that she knows the nature of The Knight, and because of that, she cannot allow them to proceed.
Hornet has 4 base attacks:
Wait until she moves in with a Lunge attack and get a few hits in to charge SOUL. Then, when she moves out of range, hit her with Vengeful Spirit. At this point in the game, Vengeful Spirit does 3 times as much damage as the Nail.
After taking about a fifth of her health, she will kneel on the ground to recover. This happens four times throughout the fight. Use this time to either heal if needed or hit her with Vengeful Spirit, as the next attack on her will cause her to immediately recover.
The best moments to heal during battle are during her Throw Attack and her Gossamer Storm Attack since both have limited range and take time to complete.
The player can perform a downward slash if they mistimed their jump over the Needle during the Throw Attack, allowing them to bounce off of Hornet's Needle without taking damage.
Come no closer, ghost.
I've seen you, creeping through the undergrowth, stalking me.
This old kingdom... A terrible thing awakens. I can smell it in the air...
I know what you are. I know what you'd try to do. I can't allow it...
Second Encounter, City of Tears
Hornet will appear briefly outside the Fungal Wastes entrance to the City of Tears. Once The Knight reaches the statue of The Hollow Knight, she will appear again and tell them to seek "the grave in ash" if they wish to seek a role in Hallownest's perpetuation. This will not occur if she was already encountered at Kingdom's Edge.
Again we meet little ghost.
I'm normally quite perceptive. You I underestimated, though I've since guessed the truth.
You've seen beyond this kingdom's bounds. Yours is resilience born of two voids.
It's no surprise then you've managed to reach the heart of this world. In so doing, you shall know the sacrifice that keeps it standing.
If, knowing that truth, you'd still attempt a role in Hallownest's perpetuation, seek the Grave in Ash and the mark it would grant to one like you.
Third Encounter, Kingdom's Edge
Hornet is next encountered in the far east area of Kingdom's Edge, which requires the Monarch Wings to reach. Upon meeting Hornet here, she will challenge The Knight to one more battle to prove that they are worthy to see the truth about Hallownest.
She has the same attacks as her previous fight in addition to two others:
Use tactics similar to the first encounter, though now the player will most likely have many more moves to use. Dashing over her as she lunges is a typically safe move and using Desolate Dive/Descending Dark will prevent the player from taking damage while it is being cast.
Using Nail Arts Great Slash is effective due to the fact that Hornet rarely stays in one place long enough to get more than one or two standard Nail strikes in.
After defeating her, the player is allowed to enter the Cast-Off Shell and mark themselves with the King's Brand, allowing them to open the gate to the Abyss. However, once the player has interacted with the King's Brand, the shell collapses and Hornet rescues them.
So you'd pursue the deeper truth? It isn't one the weak could bear.
Prove yourself ready to face it. I'll not hold back. My needle is lethal and I'd feel no sadness in a weakling's demise.
Show me you can accept this Kingdom's past and claim responsibility for its future.
You could do it, if you had the will.
But could you raise your nail once knowing its tragic conception? And knowing yourself?...
Then do it, Ghost of Hallownest! Head onward. Burn that mark upon your shell and claim yourself as King.
Fourth Encounter, The Abyss
After obtaining the Shade Cloak upgrade, she will appear at the top of the area, telling The Knight that there are two choices ahead of them; to prolong the world's stasis, or face the source of the plague.
Ghost. I see you've faced the place of your birth, and now drape yourself in the substance of its shadow.
Though our strength is born of similar source, that part of you, that crucial emptiness, I do not share.
Funny then, that such darkness gives me hope. Within it, I see the chance of change.
A difficult journey you would face, but a choice it can create. Prolong our world's stasis or face the heart of its infection.
I'd urge you to take that harder path, but what end may come, the decision rests with you.
...It faced the void, and ascends unscathed... Could it unite such vast darkness?...
Fifth Encounter, Deepnest
If defeated in Kingdom's Edge and if the player has acquired the King's Brand before facing Herrah the Beast, she will appear after The Knight has undone Herrah's seal. Unlike other instances, she does not offer advice or clues, but is simply there to mourn the passing of her mother.
So you've slain the Beast... and you head towards that fated goal.
I'd not have obstructed this happening, but it caused me some pain to knowingly stand idle.
...What? You might think me stern but I'm not completely cold.
We do not choose our mothers, or the circumstance into which we are born. Despite all the ills of this world, I'm thankful for the life she granted me.
It's quite a debt I owed. Only in allowing her to pass, and taking the burden of the future in her stead, can I begin to repay it.
Leave me now, ghost. Allow me a moment alone before this bedchamber becomes forever a shrine.
...Mother... Forgive my inaction... but another path may be possible...
Final Encounter, Final Boss
In the final battle, she restrains the Hollow Knight after it has taken enough damage, allowing the player to either strike it with the Dream Nail or continue attacking it.
If the player chooses to attack, Hornet is thrown to the floor, unconscious, and the battle continues. Upon victory, the Sealed Siblings ending plays out, with her sealed inside The Black Egg along with the player and her mask appearing on the entrance.
If the player uses the Dream Nail and defeats the Radiance, the Dream No More ending plays out, in which Hornet awakens to find the player's broken mask on the ground, implying that they died in the final struggle.
The path is opened. One way or another an end awaits inside.
I won't be joining you in this. That space is built to sustain your likes. Its bindings would drain me were I to join.
Don't be surprised. I'll not risk my own life in your attempt, though if the moment presents I'll aid as I'm able.
Ghost of Hallownest, you possess the strength to enact an end of your choosing. Would you supplant our birth-cursed sibling, or would you transcend it?
Do it! Make your choice. My thread will only hold so long.
Prolong our world's stasis or face the heart of its infection.
Final Encounter, Final Boss (with Void Heart)
I'm impressed little ghost. You've burdened yourself with the fate of this world, yet you still stand strong.
To break the Dreamer's seals would alone be considered an impossible task, but to accept that void inside yourself, that casts you as something rather exceptional.
...Could it achieve that impossible thing? Should it?
Hornet can be found in several locations across Hallownest. However, she may not appear in all due to events within the game.
- Hornet was revealed in one of the Kickstarter updates:
- "Quick with her deadly needle, relentless in battle, Hornet is exploring Hallownest to find the answer to a riddle that has plagued her. She has so far resisted the infection, but will still cut you down if you stand in her path."
- "You may catch glimpses of Hornet during your exploration of Hallownest, although she always seems to be one or two steps ahead of you. If you do manage to catch up with her, be wary! Her needle can cut a bug down from thirty yards."
- One of the Kickstarter goals (for AU$ 56,000) was Hornet to receive her own DLC in a later update and becoming the second playable character. This goal was reached and her DLC will involve her fighting an Assassin Bug several times as a backer boss character.
- Hornet is the child of Herrah the Beast, though whether or not she is biologically her daughter is unclear, although it is implied in dialogue with the White Lady that she is the result of a 'dalliance' (sexual encounter) between the Wyrm and Herrah. Herrah traded her allegiance (she previously did not accept the Pale King's rule) and took on the role of a Dreamer in exchange for a child.
- After defeating her in the second battle, if the player dream nails her before talking to her, they will gain soul as if she were still an enemy.
- Hornet is among the few bosses who do not have to be killed but rather just defeated.
- At one point, Team Cherry intended Hornet to be "the Child of Three Queens - one birthed, one raised, one trained", and that the queen who trained her would have been Hive Queen Vespa, hence Hornet's name. The devs themselves are uncertain if any of that is still true, and since the White Lady implies that she is not Hornet's mother and hasn't interacted with her very much, and Vespa, Herrah, and the White Lady are the only three possible "queens" that we know of, either Hornet was raised by a third queen we haven't met, or the "Child of Three Queens" concept no longer applies.