Hollow Knight Endings, Explained
Team Cherry’s indie Metroidvania, Hollow Knight, has five endings and an extra scene to unlock, depending on your level of completion and your choices. True to the nature of Hollow Knight’s story, that’s largely told through Lore Tablets found throughout the kingdom of Hallownest, the game’s endings are similarly left open to interpretation. Their meanings aren’t always immediately apparent, leading to lots of speculation by fans.
While some of the endings are similar, they each have their own implications, changing the fate of Hallownest and its citizens depending on which one you unlock. Hollow Knight’s fascinating story is one that you’ll want to understand to the fullest.
The Hollow Knight
One of the easiest endings to achieve and the one that new players will most likely get on a first playthrough, The Hollow Knight ending requires that you defeat the Hollow Knight while not possessing the Void Heart. In this ending, the Knight defeats the Hollow Knight alone and takes its place inside the Black Egg, becoming the new Vessel to seal the Radiance.
By taking on the Infection in the Hollow Knight’s stead, the Knight is able to contain the affliction that’s ravaging Hallownest. However, it’s unclear how long the Knight will be able to seal the Infection, and they may just be prolonging the inevitable.
When you meet her, The White Lady comments that she has awaited the arrival of “one like you” and encourages you to become the next Vessel, saying, “prepare yourself well before attempting the task.” This suggests that the Knight is a suitable replacement; however, as the previous Hollow Knight failed, it’s unlikely to succeed a second time.
The Sealed Siblings ending plays out similarly to The Hollow Knight ending, except this time, the Knight is joined by Hornet inside the Black Egg. To acquire this ending, you must have the Void Heart when attempting to fight the Hollow Knight.
During the fight, Hornet will intervene, restraining the Hollow Knight. However, if you take too long to strike it with the Dream Nail or hit it with normal attacks, the Hollow Knight will escape Hornet’s grasp and knock her unconscious. Once the Hollow Knight is defeated, the Knight absorbs the Infection, with the unconscious Hornet being trapped within the Black Egg alongside it. Hornet becomes a seal similar to the Dreamers, with her mask appearing on the door.
This ending is one of the saddest that you can achieve, as both the Knight and Hornet are concealed within the Black Egg for eternity – or however long the seal holds.
Dream No More
The alternate ending to Sealed Siblings, the Dream No More ending, occurs if the Knight uses the Awoken Dream Nail on the Hollow Knight before it can overpower Hornet.
Once you use the Dream Nail on the Hollow Knight, you’ll be taken to the Radiance’s dream, where you must confront her. However, it’s not the “real” Radiance – it’s a dream version that exists in the Hollow Knight’s mind.
If you manage to defeat the Radiance, the Hollow Knight’s Shade appears and gives the Knight an opening to finish her and send her to the Void. Hornet then awakes to see the Knight’s broken shell discarded on the floor, suggesting that the Knight returned to the Void with the other Shade Siblings.
One of the more satisfying endings in the game, this ending allows you to put the Siblings, and the Knight, to rest.
Embrace The Void
One of the most difficult endings to obtain, the Embrace the Void ending is unlocked after you fight your way through all the game’s Pantheons, opening up the Pantheon of Hallownest as a result.
Unlike the previous, this ending takes place in the Pantheon of Hallownest rather than the Temple of the Black Egg. Here, you must defeat Absolute Radiance – a harder version of the Radiance boss fight that’s representative of her true form.
Once you have beaten Absolute Radiance, the Knight’s shell cracks open and is consumed by the dark force known as the Void Entity. The Void Entity proceeds to destroy Absolute Radiance, slashing at her violently and repeatedly. The Void consumes the Godhome and takes the Godseeker with it, though it’s unclear what becomes of the Godseeker after this. Her body is completely swallowed by the Void.
The scene then changes to Hornet waiting outside the Black Egg, who is taken aback by the Hollow Knight’s sudden appearance and readies her needle.
As the name suggests, the Embrace the Void ending has you doing just that. In this ending, the Void comes together to put an end to the Radiance. While the Radiance is defeated in this ending, there’s evidence to suggest that the Void may now be out of control, as it ravages the Godhome and the Godseeker with its overzealous use of its new power.
The Hollow Knight is now presumably freed from the Infection, but its future is unclear.
If you’re willing to take on the challenge of delivering a Delicate Flower to the Godseeker in order to achieve this ending, you can transport one given to you by the Grey Mourner.
The Delicate Flower ending plays out in the same way as the Embrace the Void ending, except this time, instead of being consumed by the Void, the Godseeker is enveloped in white light. Leaving only the Delicate Flower behind, the Godseeker escapes the all-consuming Void, although her fate is still left ambiguous.
As the Delicate Flower appears to be largely unaffected by the Void, this ending could suggest that the Godseeker has been protected in a similar way.
Extra Ending: Passing of the Age
Found in seven different locations throughout the game, Mister Mushroom is an NPC that appears across Hallownest after you defeat all three Dreamers, providing hints for his next location.
To unlock the humorous Mister Mushroom Passing of the Age ending, you must utilize the Spore Shroom Charm to understand what he’s saying and follow him to each location in the correct order.
After speaking to him at all the locations and achieving any of the main endings, you’ll be treated to a cutscene where Mister Mushroom soars through the air with a blank expression on his face, accompanied by the phrase “To Be Continued.”
Despite being a joke ending, it implies that this is not the last we’ll see of Mister Mushroom.
Which Ending Is Canon?
With multiple endings that can be unlocked throughout the game, it leaves lots of room for interpretation for which one can be considered canon. As Team Cherry addressed in a Reddit Q&A, all endings are considered “equally canon,” and you “choose the path yourself.”
This means that all the endings are technically canon, with none taking precedence over the others. Although, they do make an exception for Mister Mushroom, saying that he likely departs from Hallownest whether you encounter him or not.
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