The Five Great Knights are often mentioned and they must have played an important role in Hallownest before the infection.
The Five Great Knights are:
- Fierce Drya
- Kindly Isma
- Mysterious Ze'mer
- Loyal Ogrim
- Mighty Hegemol
From left to right: Hegemol, Ze'mer, Drya, Isma, Ogrim and the Pale King
"Mighty Hegemol was always my favourite. What a towering figure he was, though surprisingly soft spoken for one so large.
They were all impressive in their own right, of course. Fierce Drya, kindly Isma, mysterious Ze'mer ... erm, and the other one."
"One of Hallownest's five greatest Knights and defender of the Queen’s Glade. She was driven mad by her Queen lost and the garden overrun. Still she retains her honour, offering fair challenge to the Hollow Knight: Nail against nail. A duel to the death." - Official Kickstarter Update
Unfortunately Drya did not make it into the game alive. Her corpse is found in front of the White Lady's hiding place in the Queen's Gardens, surrounded by the corpses of Mantis Traitors, which implies that she died defending her Queen. Unfortunately, the White Lady is unaware of this.
White Lady, when wearing Defender's Crest
"Dear Ogrim, I'm sure you saw Drya 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."
Kindly IsmaIsma's body is found in Isma's Grove and is only accessible after draining the acid after defeating the Dung Defender. Both their dialogue suggests, as well as a note hung outside of her Grove that they had a very close relationship. From his dialogue, Dung Defender does not seem to be aware of her death.
Dream Nailing Isma
"...Ogrim... there's no time..."
Dream Nailing sleeping Dung Defender in his hiding place
"...Isma... So strong.... Teach me..."
Talking to Dung Defender while having Isma's Tear
Ahh! That tear... You've been to her grove!
I swore I'd visit, but... my duties... my oath...
She's a great judge of character, so if she gave you her blessing you must be something special indeed. I'm barely worthy to be in your presence!
Mysterious Ze'merPossibly the Grey Mourner due to her resembling the Dung Defender's statue as well as the way she speaks; she seems to refer to the player as "le'mer" which is very similar to "Ze'mer". She also has a large Nail in her home and comments about serving the King when shown the King's Brand. However, while other NPCs who know about such things tend to comment on the player wearing the Defender's Crest, the Grey Mourner has no such dialogue.
Grey Mourner when shown the King's Brand
"Le'mer, takes that heavy mantle...Che' wouldn't wish it upon one. Having served that brand at its great height, che' knows well what suffering it brings. Enough to turn nym'King to flee or fair Knights to mourning."
Loyal Ogrim"Deep in the Waterways beneath the City of Tears lurks a shunned being. Once a knight, now lost to puerile obsession: The Dung Defender.
Despite his exile, the Dung Defender has for centuries maintained a self-conferred charge: the protection of his mysterious gleaming 'beloved.'
Stalwart and full of bravado, the Dung defender eagerly challenges all who would enter his noxious realm."
Found in the Royal Waterways, presumably defending Isma's Grove from those overtaken by the infection. Outside of Isma's Grove, a sign reads:
"Only those who prove their honour in combat may enter the grove beyond. - The Defender"
Dung Defender, after defeated:
"I was once a Knight you see. By the grace of our good King, I stood proudly before the throne, watching Hallownest swell to greatness.
Then that nasty business with the affliction...
We knights defend against the physical, but a formless enemy. How to defeat such a foe?
Our King tried in his own way. A cruel means it was... And still, eventually, we were brought low.
Bah! I shouldn't be so morose. You've invigorated me. 'Tis truly a delight to meet one whose strength can match my own."
White Lady, when wearing Defender's Crest:
"...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."
Not much is known of the Mighty Hegemol or his whereabouts. His armour was stolen by a maggot as to defend his brothers. It is unknown whether or not he is alive. While the False Knight wields a mace with an armoured bug attached to the end, it is unknown if Hegemol used the same weapon. According to Nailmaster Sheo, he was a "towering figure, though surprisingly soft spoken for one so large". A statue of him can be found outside the City of Tears, requiring the City Crest to open the gate to the city.
Based on some file names in the game files, Hegemol was originally the name of The Beast, later renamed to Herrah.
Cut Hegemol (later Herrah) dialogue
"Wyrm, your attempt may prove futile, but your offer I could not refuse. For her, I would give it all. My child...For you, I would give it all."
- In the Kickstarter campaign, it was stated that all five Great Knights were intended to be bosses of some type, but was dropped in the full release for unknown reasons.