Game Theory: The Secret Identity of Hollow Knight’s Hero (Hollow Knight)

Game Theory: The Secret Identity of Hollow Knight’s Hero (Hollow Knight)


Garlan ago, sir Aha! Steph, film where the spiders are coming from. Eat ~aerosol~ you eight legged freaks Hello Internet, Welcome to Game Theory. We may not be insects, but we sure do bug a lot of people now. Let me say this up front right now. You should play Hollow Knight. This game is long overdue for some attention It is one of the best, most polished games to have been released over the last few years, and yet it’s mostly gone under the radar here on YouTube Overshadowed by larger releases or bigger indie hits like cuphead, but let me tell you if you’re a fan of Metroidvania style games Where you uncover new powers and secrets over sprawling maps, all while proving your mastery over tight gameplay and massive boss battles, then this game is a MUST play! I love it so much I played every inch of this thing, from the optional side missions to the brutally difficult boss rushes, It was so SO good And when I finally got to the end of the game, I had literally no idea what the story was about Okay, so that’s a bit of an over exaggeration, but not by much I think most people get to the end of this thing, see the final bosses title card come up as the Hollow Knight and have a moment of surprised realization as it dawns on them Oh, yes. I’m not playing as the Hollow Knight then 🙁 Interpreting the lore of this thing is like interpreting Shakespeare warily, shall we accept the will of the wyrm? It ~prescience~ shields us… Who knew bugs could speak all fancy-like~? And that line is the easy mode for the game’s dialogue If you’re looking for God Tier difficulty, then you’ve also got stuff like THIS: “Thir-Yolk-Aba-Absence-Outer-Shell-O-Gate-Contains-Light-Em-Vessel-Em-Egg-Em-Seal… …Within dreamer Intwixt-Atwixt (??) SERIOUSLY? Who wrote this in-game dialogue?! Chaucer? Yeah, that is a 𝒞𝒶𝓃𝓉𝓊𝓇𝒷𝑒𝓇𝓎 𝒯𝒶𝓁𝑒𝓈 reference in the middle of your silly video game show… because game theorists, we’re 𝖈𝖚𝖑𝖙𝖚𝖗𝖊𝖉 But in all seriousness, this game hides even its most BASIC story behind secret lore tablets and a layer of literary analysis It’s like the dark souls of story… *crowd booing* IT IS! Forgive me for comparing it to a video game that’s a pioneer in this sort of storytelling. It’s just accurate. That’s said… by the final boss, I had been able to piece together a lot of the basics, just from my casual playthrough This is, what you need to know to start off with. The insect filled kingdom of Hallownest gets plagued by some ᗷᖇᗩᎥᑎ-ᗰᗴᒪ丅ᎥᑎǤ infection and a ruler named The Pale King sacrifices one of his sons to contain it. This is the Hollow Knight, who then gets himself sealed away with the help of three guardians called ~dreamers~ but the Hollow Knight wasn’t 𝘲𝘶𝘪𝘵𝘦 as hollow as intended “It was,” as the game says, “tarnished by an idea instilled.” Which, in turn, allowed the infection he was meant to contain to start leaking out. Our job, then, as the Knight, (not to be confused with the 𝐻𝑜𝓁𝓁𝑜𝓌 𝒦𝓃𝒾𝑔𝒽𝓉) *Can’t see how 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 would have been confusing* is to return to Hallow Nest and end the infection once and for all, either by absorbing it into ourselves, replacing the Hollow Knight, OR in the game’s TRUE ending, entering the mind of the Hollow Knight and actually killing the source of the infection. A giant Moth god named
~ 𝕥𝕙𝕖 ℝ𝕒𝕕𝕚𝕒𝕟𝕔𝕖 ~ There’s a lot more to it… a LOT, and we’ll be digging a bit deeper as this theory goes on but suffice it to say The channel MossBag, did an excellent 45 minute video on Hollow Knight’s lore and it *still* didn’t cover everything. Long story short, this game is 🅳🅴🅽🆂🅴 kind of like the works of Chaucer Well, 𝑒𝓍𝒸𝓊𝓈𝑒 𝓂𝑒 for taking a break from video games to take a minute to appreciate 𝖙𝖍𝖊 𝕸𝖎𝖉𝖉𝖑𝖊 𝕰𝖓𝖌𝖑𝖎𝖘𝖍 𝖍𝖊𝖗𝖔𝖎𝖈𝖘 𝖔𝖋 𝖙𝖍𝖊 յկ𝖙𝖍 𝖈𝖊𝖓𝖙𝖚𝖗𝖞 𝖕𝖊𝖆𝖘𝖆𝖓𝖙𝖗𝖞 As we all should do from *time to time* 𝓒𝓵𝓮𝓻𝓴’𝓼 𝓣𝓪𝓵𝓮 not gonna read itself after all! In fact no one would read this effing thing if it wasn’t for English class. Look at how 𝒉𝒖𝒈𝒆 it is! So then what’s the theory here? Well, the game would have us believe that we’re playing as just this ~random~ knight The infection causes bugs to lose their will and become part of this greater 𝘩𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘦 So to defeat, it the pale King needed to create a completely empty vessel… something with no will, no desire… no nothing that could be corrupted by this infection but, as you can imagine, that’s gonna be pretty hard to do and so in his attempts to give rise to a truly empty vessel, the Hollow Knight, from the games title, thousands of other failures are made in the process, Something that we see as we fight our way through the section of the game called the 𝓪𝓫𝔂𝓼𝓼 We are ~supposedly~ just another one of those failed experiments *except* I don’t think that’s the case here. If you stop and dig through the MASSIVE amounts of secret lore hidden throughout this game, it’s my belief that we’re *not* just some random nobody We are, in fact, ʀᴏʏᴀʟᴛʏ. the king…𝓣𝓱𝓮 king, in fact. it’s my belief that in Hollow Knight we’re playing as the Pale King himself, a pale King who is transformed, whose memory has vanished and who is drawn back to Hallownest to release his trapped son, all in an attempt to atone for the mistakes that he made in dealing with the Infection the first time around. If this is true, it would have *huge* ramifications for the story of this game and so stick around, ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got ourselves a chitinous case of secret identity to crack The First clue that our knight might be ~special~ happens immediately. Throughout the game, we’re presented with Lore Tablets, each one beginning with the words: “Higher Beings, these words are for you alone.” Now, what is a higher being in Hollow Knight? Well, it’s a term reserved only for gods or creatures coming close to being gods according to a Reddit AMA with the developers of the game, Team Cherry, They exist above all others in this world. For instance, one of the most important items in the game is the “Kingsoul charm”, which is needed to unlock the game’s TRUE ending. It’s description reads: “Holy charm symbolizing a union between higher beings” the union it’s referencing is between The Pale King and his Queen, the White Lady. So, the fact that we’re able to read words that are specifically set aside for *Higher Beings* alone certainly makes it seem like we too might be in the ranks of a Higher Being. But, it’s not just our ability to read these tablets that matters. The first tablet of the game teaches the Higher Beings how to use SOUL energy, a special ability that they apparently have. A special ability, which *also* happens to be a Primary gameplay mechanic for our ~lowly~ knight throughout his quest. The tablet even says: “You shall achieve feats of which others can only dream.” Again, setting apart SOUL users, like our Knight, from pretty much every other creature that we encounter throughout this game. So not only are we reading tablets reserved for Higher Beings But we’re also using skills reserved for the godlike creatures of the world on par with the Pale King Does it really sound like we’d just be some failed experiment cast into the depths of this world? But let’s rewind even further back, even *before* the tutorial section of this game because the clues as to your true identity start at the first press of a button. Hollow Knight is a long game, so it’s really easy to forget the things that start off your quest but it’s worth noting that when you start a new game, the very first thing that you see, the thing the developers thought was most important for anyone starting their quest wasn’t a cutscene…wasn’t a tutorial… …it was a poem. “In Wilds beyond, they speak your name with reverence and regret,” “For none could tame our savage souls yet you the challenge met,” “Under palest watch, you taught, we changed, base instincts were redeemed,” “A world you gave to bug and beast as they had never dreamed.” You don’t know it when you start the game, but this poem is about The Pale King Let’s break it down 11th grade English style. Shall we? “Under palest watch..” is the most obvious. Hail King-Pale-Watch. Duh. but what’s all this about “…taming savage souls…” and “…redeeming base instincts..” Well, it’s a reference to how the Pale King was able to give bugs a mind of their own. In the beginning of the game’s lore, all bugs were basically a hive mind controlled by the moth god, ℝ𝕒𝕕𝕚𝕒𝕟𝕔𝕖 The Pale King was the one who expanded the minds of bugs, giving them individuality and sapiens. Showing them, as the poem says, “a world that they had never dreamed.” It’s important to note too that this isn’t just a poem *about* The Pale King, but it’s directed TO the Pale King. “[Y]our name, … you the challenge met.” and then what do we see appear on screen just moments later? Our Knight. It would be one thing if the poem was just about The Pale King but the fact that it’s directed AT him, just seconds before we actually see our character makes it seem like the designers are drawing a parallel between this King of Legend, and our first appearance on screen. We are the “you” in that poem. Speaking of over analyzing text, the first NPC you meet in the game is Elder Bug, the lone resident of a fading town named Dirtmouth, which basically serves as your primary hub for the rest of the game. Elder bug starts the game alone, sadly lamenting the fact that everyone he once knew has descended down into Hallownest and never returned, either dead or with their minds consume by the Infection He says, “Wealth, glory, enlightenment, that darkness seems to promise all things” “I’m sure you too seek your dreams down there.” The reason I call this out is that it’s a really clever play on words. The usage of the word “dreams” is important, since at the beginning of this game not knowing the lore of this world, we all assume It’s just our Knight pursuing the dream of wealth or fame, just like the Elder Bug says. But late in the game, we get ourselves an item called the “Dream Nail,” which is how we unlock memories of the past and ultimately defeat the radiance inside the mind of Hollow Knight. It’s also the tool that allows us to find the Pale King’s White Palace. It is a place that is literally *hidden* in ~dreams~ So like Elder Bug says, we are seeking our dreams, in perhaps a very literal sense, which is ESPECIALLY true if we are playing as The Pale King. Elder bug also has special dialogue that triggers if you don’t speak to him at the top of the game. If you ignore him and only speak to him after you’ve already started your quest, he’ll say this: “Oh! You’re back! You walked straight past me and descended down into the ruins without even saying hello!” “I thought maybe I’d seen a ghost.” If we ARE indeed the Pale King, returning to a land that we once abandoned we would *indeed* be a ~ghost~ from the past. It’s another potentially *really* clever play on words that I appreciated. Am I reading too much into this? 𝓂𝒶𝓎𝒷𝑒 but again This is clearly a team who has themselves a literary ~flair~ and who like to make you really think about the words that they’re using but even Shakespeare had to get explicit sometimes and just spell out what he was trying to say same here with Team Cherry. While the poems and Elder Bug dialogue are a bit vague and open to interpretation, other characters are definitely a bit more explicit. During one of your interactions with the White Lady aka the Queen She outright says to the Knight. “Is it more than [just] a vessel?” “I…feel like…once again I’m in the presence of my beloved Wyrm.” Wyrm being another name for the Pale King. And she’s not the only one who gets kingly ~vibes~ from the player-character The White Defender, one of the Pale King’s five main Knights, also has interesting dialogue. “Your noble bearing reminds me of our dear King.” So that’s two of the King’s closest relations being reminded of their dearly departed when they interact with us. But you know what they say, actions speak louder than words. And if that’s the case, then these bugs hanging out in the remains of the Pale King’s castle flat-out bowing to you when you approach them is just screaming that you’re the King. It’s also worth pointing out the description for these royal retainers in the hunting log that says that they are “The most loyal and devout servants of the King.” Ten out of Royal Retainers can’t be 𝐰𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐠 You Are Royalty, Plain and simple. Which means that it’s time to talk about the Pale King himself. For as weird as it might seem for me to say that this guy is the same as 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 guy It is clearly established in the lore that the King has the ability to transform. In fact, the Pale King form is actually his version 2.0 To see his first form, we need to trek into the snowy reaches of the Kingdom’s Edge You see 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭; that’s not a cave That’s the remains of the King 𝟏.𝟎, A giant ancient worm creature. and all that snow in Kingdom’s Edge? It’s actually his body just flaking away as it decays. But it’d be one thing to just establish that the Wyrm. became The Pale King It’s another thing *entirely* to allude to there potentially being a 𝓉𝒽𝒾𝓇𝒹 form of him And yet, here it is, in a line from the character Bardoon. “This ashen place is grave of Wyrm. Once told, it came to die.” “But what is death for that ancient being?” “More transformation methinks.” “This failed Kingdom is the product of the being spawned from that event So Bardoon knows the Pale King spawned out of the Wyrm, (he clearly says that the kingdom is his doing) but this line of “more transformation” seems to imply that the Pale King’s death would only lead to yet another form. Do we think that Team Cherry🍒 put this line in here for no reason? I Think 𝓝𝓸𝓽 Speaking of the Pale King’s multiple lives, we also know that he was experimenting with a substance known as VOID before he died. Now a quick note here, VOID is the liquid embodiment of darkness in Hollow Knight. It’s an ancient force that opposes the blinding light of Mothra over here, and is primarily found in the dark reaches of the abyss. So, it’s some ancient, powerful 𝓶𝓪𝓰𝓲𝓬𝓪𝓵 stuff that the Pale King was starting to unlock the potential of. In his hidden work room in the White Palace, there is a lore tablet that reads: “VOID, yours is the power opposed.” “But yours is potential, eternity potential, force that could deny Time.” “VOID, harness shall be placed upon you.” This quote is interesting. Based on the clues in that work room, as well as the game’s bestiary, we know that the Pale King was using VOID to create soldiers, the Kingsmoulds and Wingsmoulds that populate his White Palace. We also know that he was using VOID to create the vessels intended to trap the Infection. Vessels like the Hollow Knight, which would also include our character. But this quote is referencing him using the VOID for yet another purpose; a third purpose. Not fighting the radiance, not protecting his castle but instead fighting Time itself. He wants to use the VOID to achieve eternal life for himself, for his Kingdom. It’s unclear, but it, once again, gives credence to the idea that in his next life he would choose to rebirth himself as a VOID based creature; one not bound by the restrictions of Time… One, just like our knight Making this connection even more interesting are the eggs. Just outside the Pale King’s Throne Room is a lore table housed inside a black egg. A tablet, that speaks of the ancient Wyrm becoming the Pale King. It seems to suggest that 𝓉𝒽𝒾𝓈 egg here is where version 𝟏.𝟎 of the Pale King hatched into its ~upgraded~ form as it were. And *now* look at the birthplace of our Knight down in the abyss. A similar black egg. Could it be we’re version 𝟐.𝟎 transformed yet again? Further linking the two is the fact that elsewhere in the White Palace, there’s a nursery playing this song on the music box. (っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ *music* ♥ Which just so happens to be the same song that plays when you die and stand next to the shade from your former life (っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ *music* ♥ It’s basically this game’s version of bloodstains. Here’s the interesting thing about that detail, The description of these shadows reads: “Echo of a previous life.” “Each of us leaves an imprint of something when we die” “A stain on the world.” So the sound that accompanies our Knight’s past life coincides with the same sound from a nursery housed inside the Pale King’s palace the existence of a connection between our Knight and the Pale King seems undeniable. It’s almost as if the King laid the groundwork for him to be reborn as VOID, died, was hatched of VOID from the black egg in the abyss, was taken back to the Palace to be raised and was eventually sent away from the Kingdom to avoid succumbing to the Infection, Only to be called back when he was older and when the Hollow Knight started losing control. “No cost too great,” is a line that we see repeated a lot by the Pale King and it’s thought to be referring to his sacrifice of his children in pursuit of the perfect Hollow Knight. However, there is another interpretation here. That the cost is to himself. Humble in appearance, comprised of VOID, a force that is completely opposite himself, he leaves his regal body behind to take the form of a lowly nameless Knight; our player character. He chooses to reincarnate himself into the form that is most appropriate to defeat the Infection, but the cost is that he loses himself in the process, but it’s all in pursuit of helping his son in his Kingdom. That’s why we see him thinking the line “No cost too great…” on the throne where he died. It is his last thought as he passes on to his next transformation. It’s not just about the cost of sacrificing his children, it’s the cost of sacrificing 𝙝𝙞𝙢𝙨𝙚𝙡𝙛. It’s a calculated risk he’s making. The Knight being a reincarnated Pale King would explain how a nameless faceless Knight is so easily able to accept the Kings brand item, which outright marks him as a King. It would explain how, just like The Pale King snapped the bugs out of their collective stupor during his lifetime, our Knight, as you go through the game, is doing exactly the same thing Waking up bugs from the Infection and getting them to return to a life in Dirtmouth. It would explain how only you and the Pale King are seen to use the “Monarch Wings” item And if 𝘢𝘭𝘭 of that wasn’t enough to convince you, In cut dialogue that was data mined from the game, if you dream nailed the final boss, V. Hollow Knight himself, it will say this: “…Father?…” Doesn’t get much more explicit than ᴛʜᴀᴛ So, in short, if this theory holds true, Hollow Knight isn’t about some random Knight doing his duty. It’s about a King’s 𝓡𝓮𝓭𝓮𝓶𝓹𝓽𝓲𝓸𝓷. He picks a son to sacrifice to this Infection, but before he can offer him up they bond which ruins the purity of the son as Vessel. This, in turn, gives the Infection something it can corrupt, the desire to be loved; to be with its father. Knowing that not only is he offering up his son, but also that this plan is now bound to fail because of his own weakness, the King is filled with regret and eventually comes to realize that 𝖍𝖊’𝖘 the one who will need to make things right. He studies the VOID so that he’s eventually able to be reborn with its power, patching down in the abyss, getting cared for in the safety of the White Palace, and then being released out into the lands beyond Dirtmouth, the place where canonically Bugs lose all their memories. This self-exile for a period of years is probably for two reasons. One, his own protection from the radiance, and two, losing his memory helps make him purely Hollow. No memory. No desire. No ᴘᴀꜱᴛ ʟɪꜰᴇ. He’s now an empty vessel. So, that, should have come down to it, he can now be the one to take on the Hollow Knights place. Along the journey, he unknowingly assembles the Kingly items that once belonged to him. He prompts flashes of memory from his former friends and loved ones, who are reminded of him as he passes. And he reignites the will of the Bugs around him, just like he did when he first came to this land. All of it is to atone for everything; his mistakes in handling the radiance and most importantly of all, his mistakes in handling his own son. As he tells himself for the final time atop his throne as he dies into his next life “No cost too great.” And in the end, he’s finally able to put to rest his biggest mistake; the son he was forbidden to love; the son that he chose to chain up for an eternity; a son who recognizes him in his final moments of clarity “…𝐹𝒶𝓉𝒽𝑒𝓇?…” but 𝑯𝑬𝒀, that’s just a 𝓉𝒽𝑒𝑜𝓇𝓎 A 𝓖𝓐𝓜𝓔 𝓉𝒽𝑒𝑜𝓇𝓎 𝙏𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙠𝙨 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙒𝙖𝙩𝙘𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 (っ◔◡◔)っ subtitles by ♥ Luna ♥ ☾

100 thoughts on “Game Theory: The Secret Identity of Hollow Knight’s Hero (Hollow Knight)

  1. The below comment is from the channel Sumwan who did an incredible job critiquing this episode. Unfortunately, the comment got lost (YouTube has an algorithm that is constantly "turning over" comments on high-view videos) and despite digging around for hours looking for it, I couldn't find the original. But the work that she put in was SO thorough that I wanted to make sure it got seen, so here it is!

    **Original Text from Sumwan**
    I've seen this claim many times and it really does not make any sense. Not only does it contradict evidence in the game but it is very misleading. I'll go through the points one by one and explain why:

    6:35 “We too might be in the ranks of a higher being”

    The Knight is the child of the Pale King and the White Lady, who are both higher beings. It makes sense that the Knight is able to read these higher being tablets. This doesn't mean that the Pale King IS the Knight.

    7:20 “Does it really sound like we're just some failed experiment cast into the depths of this world?”

    No, it doesn't sound like that. The Vessels are the children of the Pale King and the White Lady who are born from eggs in the Abyss, which gave them a Shade. The Vessels are not just “failed experiments”.

    8:12 “This poem is addressed to the Pale King”

    It literally says “elegy for HALLOWNEST”. This poem is about Hallownest. “Under palest watch” refers to the Pale King, but the “you”, is most definitely Hallownest.

    8:30 “In the beginning of the game's lore, all bugs were basically a hive mind controlled by the moth god Radiance”

    This information is not supported by anything. Only the Radiance's descendants, the moth tribe, worshipped her. Nowhere is it stated that the Radiance controlled everything else. The Mantis Tribe, the Mosskin, Deepnest, and the Hive were all separate tribes and already had minds before the Pale King.

    8:51 “This isn't just a poem about the Pale King, it is directed TO the Pale King”

    It is about Hallownest and it is direct to Hallownest (elegy for Hallownest).

    8:55 “What do we see appear on screen just moments later? Our Knight”

    After the poem we see THE HOLLOW KNIGHT, not the Knight. The Knight scene appears after we see the Radiance break out of the Hollow Knight. Team Cherry is NOT drawing a parallel between the Knight and the Pale King. The poem is about Hallownest. It is FOR Hallownest. And the scene with the Knight does not appear right after the poem.

    10:27 “Elderbug says we are seeking our dreams in perhaps a very literal sense.”

    The context of this sentence matters. Elderbug is talking about how all the previous travellers went down into Hallownest to follow their dreams. He does not actually know if the Knight has any “dreams” themselves.

    11:00 “Elderbug wondering if he's seen a ghost is another potentially clever play on words”

    No it's not. Elderbug is just referring to how he thought maybe he didn't see anyone pass him because the Knight left so quickly. This dialogue has no other meaning besides that.

    11:36 “White Lady: Is it more than simply a Vessel? I almost feel like I'm once again in the presence of my beloved Wyrm”

    The White Lady only says this because the Knight is wearing the Kingsoul. The Kingsoul reminds her of the Pale King, not the Knight themselves. Also, the White Lady literally calls the Knight her spawn when they visit her with Grimmchild equipped: “Success then for the scarlet heart, and irony, to use my spawn to grow its own.” Are you saying that the White Lady gave birth to her own husband?

    11:46 “Your noble bearing reminds me of our dear King”

    No surprise there since the Knight is the child of the Pale King.

    12:05 “The bugs in White Palace bowing as you approach them is just screaming that you're the king”

    White Palace is a whole other issue, but this is really not concrete evidence. Also their dream nail dialogue makes no sense if it refers to the Knight.

    12:19 “10/10 Royal Retainers can't be wrong. You are royalty”

    You're actually right there. The Knight IS royalty, since they're the child of the King. Not because they ARE the King.

    13:28 “This line of “more transformation” seems to imply that the Pale King's death would only lead to yet another form”

    Not really. Bardoon says that the Pale King's death in Kingdom's Edge was not an actual death, but that it was more like a transformation. This does not mean that the Pale King can transform again after he became his bug shape. A caterpillar transforming into a butterfly also cannot transform into another being again.

    13:49 “It's an ancient force that opposes the blinding light of [the Radiance]”

    Not just the Radiance's light, but the Pale King's too. He is referred to as a light in multiple places:

    The Seer:
    “But another light appeared in our world… A wyrm that took the form of a king.”

    The Pale King calls himself a light in the throne room lore tablet:
    “No blazing kin. Only one light shall shine against the dark.”

    As does the Teacher’s Archives lore tablet:
    “-KINGLIGHT-EM-GROWTH-INKIND-FLOW-ALLTHINK-ENFIELD”

    Other bugs talk about the Pale King emanating light:
    “Though even its pure aura is no match for the light of our dear King.” (Eternal Emilitia)
    “I've heard he was a glorious bug to behold, bright and radiant in visage, so much so it hurt to look at him.” (Last/Old Stag)
    “That lingering power alone was beacon enough to draw Us to Hallownest. How bright it must have been to mortal bug stood before it.” (Godseeker)

    14:45 “The Pale King used Void to fight time itself. He wants to use the Void to attain eternal life. He births himself as a Void-based creature”

    Not literally time. Time here is capitalized, and it is more likely to just refer to the Radiance. Locking up the Radiance is generally seen as being what has caused the Kingdom to remain in a stasis:
    “Bear witness to the last and only civilisation, the eternal Kingdom. Hallownest””
    “Eternity in promise and charge in progeny cursed.”
    “Now this Kingdom's stasis becomes the Wyrm's legacy.”
    “Though this hive exists within Hallownest, we play no part in its attempt at perpetuation.”

    It is not literally time. He is a higher being, he does not need to use the Void to “achieve eternal life”. Not to mention that the Void opposes his own powers too (see previous point).

    15:25 “It seems to suggest that this egg [in White Palace] is where version 1.0 of the Pale King hatched into its upgraded form”

    It does not. The Pale King became his current bug form in the Cast-Off shell. The Wanderer's Journal even mentions that too on page 111: “Deep within the maw of the [Cast-Off Shell], a pale, broken egg of some sort hints at such a rebirth.” Not only that, but the egg of the Knight in the Abyss would be DEADLY for the Pale King. Void opposes his power, it would simply kill him if he were to become corrupted by the Void like the eggs of the Vessels were.

    15:40 “Elsewhere in White Palace there is a nursery playing this song on the music box (shade theme). The sound that accompanies our Knight's past life coincides with the same sound from a nursery housed in the Pale King's palace.”

    Yes, this is true, but not because of the reason you're describing. It's because the Hollow Knight grew up in White Palace (see Path of Pain scene). This nursery was probably for them. And since the Hollow Knight is a Vessel too, it makes sense that the Shade theme place for that area.

    16:21 “The existence of a connection between our Knight and the Pale King seems undeniable”

    Yes, it is undeniable. The Knight is the child of the Pale King.

    18:13 “In cut dialogue that was datamined from the game, it shows that the Hollow Knight says “father”.

    Cut dialogue is not evidence. The "Father?" is cut dream nail dialogue. It was cut for a reason. We don't know when this line was written, in which context it would be used exactly, maybe the Hollow Knight's fight was different at the time, etc.

    19:20 “Losing his memory helps make him purely hollow”

    It does not. Quirrel lost his memory and this does not happen to him. Not to mention that the Knight is not hollow. There are multiple places where the Knight is said to have a will:

    Steel Soul Jinn: "…It refuses to trade…? It has a will… all Its own."
    Void Heart description: "Unifies the void under the bearer's will."
    Description of a pure Vessel: "No will to break."

    Lastly I'm going to address some fundamental problems with this entire theory that you did not address or seem to have forgotten about.

    The most obvious evidence that contradicts that the Pale King is the Knight is that the Knight and the Pale King are both seen at the same time. This is during the Birthplace memory cutscene where the Hollow Knight is led out of the Abyss by the Pale King. This is a memory of the Knight themselves since the Knight dreamnails their own reflection to access this memory. Furthermore, the achievement for acquiring Void Heart also says:

    "Remember the past and unite the Abyss"

    This supports the fact that it is the Knight’s memory. Therefore, the Pale King cannot be the Knight, since they were alive at the same time.

    Secondly, the Knight is the child of the Pale King, not a transformation. The lore tablet to the right of the throne in White Palace says that the Vessels are the progeny of the Pale King, and the Pale King also says that the Vessels are "born of God and Void", the God obviously referring to him and the White Lady who are both higher beings. Since the Knight is the child of the Pale King (and the White Lady), the Pale King cannot BE the Knight.

    None of the points that were brought up align with the evidence that is in the game, and it even contradicts it in various places. To put it quite simply, the Knight is NOT the Pale King.

  2. dude, I love this game, one of my favorites, but I really didn't understand the story. This makes a lot of sense tho!

  3. I just noticed that you can sit on the throne in the Throne room at the top of While Palace.

  4. At 14:06 it shows a glowing easter egg that looks like it is charging, since everything seems to be important in this game, what does that mean?

  5. This theory seems….well right! So many hints adding to it. I need to play this game ugh. Love metroidvania games.

  6. Why is our character a child tho? Every higher being looks old and age is clearly visible with all the characters, and the way our character looks around and stuff isnt like an old man, its more like a curious child

  7. Idk the ghost has done so many things they haven’t done that it seems like they read it just because

    Also many basic Betty bugs can learn to do magic quite easy, for EX every single bug included in the soul of test.

    And he can’t do EVERY piece of magic instantly, he has to be gifted, or take the spells.

    They also call your name with reverence and regret as all the hallow bug bois were named that, though in named after the “falling” And the regret comes from the fact that it didn’t work and now all are dying or being infected.

    Many characters are reminded of the ghost due to the fact he looks just like him, (duh)
    But also because the ghost radiates with insane power that many notice.

    The hollow knight is also saying father because he’s remembering his dad and thinking about how his dad left him

    Also what about the escape the abyss sequence? We see the ghost being alive at the same time as the king.

    I might be wrong on some of these but

    idk

  8. I down loaded this not knowing what it was and searched it up on YouTube it's nice to know I'm not the only one spending hours playing this gane

  9. now this is certainly a problematic theory but that is because he tried to answer some of the most complicated and dificult questions in the game those being about the relation of the endings and the fate of the pale king which are vague enough that it is incredibly dificult to make a concrete theory on these things now there are some things that are wrong but at the very least it is an interesting theory and there is some other questionable things here.

    one thing i noticed is that the higher beings tablets are very spread out but two are in the beggining of the game one that teaches soul use and another to welcome beings now aside from tutorials why would those be there? i might understand teaching vessels to focus but why at literally the furthest point from the abyss when the king makes a POINT of not letting his knights or his people knowing of the other vessels i dont know about you but if i was going to purposefully give myself amnesia id make notes so i knew what was up

    now the eggs are dumb and as close as i can tell WHOLY unimportant other than lore tablets there is one in the throne room there is ALSO one in the black egg not the TEMPLE the egg itself i have a hard time believing something hatched from that we only know the creation of two eggs that functioned the shell egg and the abyss egg now do the tablets require an egg to craft? i dont know but not all of them are important it is also pretty notable we only see one egg in the abyss but thousands of vessels it might make sense if the king came from this one

    my final point is what makes our vessel the knight different this is a hard problem two that vessels escape the abyss at least two in order to get mothwing cloak and the lost kin fight there is the void area in deepnest that makes a worthy candidate but still why is our knight both immortal and the only one that even got close. if our knight was the pale king it would explain the knights prowes

  10. What if the the Knight is not a pure being, but a vessel(Not to be confused with Vessel) for the Void. His purpose being to have will for the Void. The Void having no will of it’s own, and not necessarily being sentient, wouldn’t be able to attack, much less defeat anything. The knight(or king) sacrificing himself so that he may carry the Void within him, dying when the Void leaves his body because the Anti-God-Like power of Void would damage his body and soul too much.

  11. your character and the young prince look a lot like each other and I am probably wrong but could it be instead of the knight is the king but instead the king and queen had a second son but again was sent to the void so the King couldn't corrupt his second son and the Hollow knight could have said "father" wasn't referencing the knight but he wants to be with his father so his last thought could be of his father and finally the knight could have been sent away as a baby so the White lady and the others wouldn't recognize him as an older bug but he is like his father so he gives off the kingly vibe

  12. This actually got me into playing games on the Nintendo switch and playing games in general I love this guy’s YouTube channel

  13. Three problems with the intro little ghost uses a nail however in the intro he dosent and hornets nail is bigger little ghost arms are in his cloak

  14. Another great video, even thou it is slightly… questionable, but you actually spent time on this and did research so take some RESPECT

  15. One More Thing That I Discovered Confirms This, There Is A Secret NPC Called "Mask Maker" And He Has Secret Dialogue In Which He Says "I See Another Takes The Mantle Of The King? Then Grim Responsibility That Shall Bestow."

  16. I love this game and think this theory's pretty good. However, "no cost too great" I've always interpreted as the fact that he was throwing his own babies off of the balcony because they kept thinking. The royal retainers bowing could be explained by the fact that you have the King's Brand. The father dreamtext is probably because it was the only thought the HK ever had, so it would be thinking about it all the time. About focusing soul, you are already royal: you're the Pale king's son! If that doesn't count as a higher being I don't know what is. That's why I don't agree. While Hornet has never been seen focusing, we haven't seen that much of her, just snippets of things.

  17. Does that mean u become the hallow knight and that ur title is actually hallow knight and ur truly hollow knight even though the bosses name is hollow knight

  18. i had been raging about hollow knight for too long (still playing it but with cheats so i can concentrate on details) And its 100% accurate and MORE

  19. Whew, there's a lot of evidence against this.

    As a basic summary of some evidences against this theory. From the MC's own memory there's a cutscene where the Pale King(and the Hollow Knight) and the Ghost (MC) are in the same room. Easy evidence against it. People referring to you as king? You literally have a "Kings Brand" item that marks you as king in the process of the game. So probably just reacting to that. Not to mention some of the proof he showed only appears once you get the "kings soul" which would make sense why our presense feels like the king when holding it. Not to mention we are his literal child so even without all of that we would still be royalty and remind people of the king. And if the kingdom is a monarchy with all other of the same bloodline (except Hornet who had a mother from a sepperate kingdom so i dunno if she counts) dead we could be considered king even without the kings brand. The knight can use soul? So can the bugs of the SOUL sanctum and the snail shamans who are not higher beings. In fact at the starting of the game we can do even less than them as all we know how to do is focus our soul to heal. All the skills we aquire are from the snail shamans and the soul sanctum so we steal their moves. And secondly THE HOLLOW KNIGHT CAN ALSO USE SOUL. He's also the kings child and he can use it so why can't we without being a reincarnation of the pale king. In fact he uses it WAYYY better than us and does much more complex stuff probably because he's been trained to use unlike us who just kind of stole moves from others as we went along.

    Edit: I know there's other proof against this but this seems like the most obvious.

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