Within Hollow Knight, there are many bosses. Some of them are both standard enemies and bosses. When this happens, the boss is usually a lot tougher. It has a lot more health and can deal more damage to you than its standard form. The thing about this particular creature is that it become aggressive if it can’t socialize with its own kind. That’s why you have to fight it. In this Hollow Knight Brooding Mawlek guide, we’ll cover how to kill this enemy when you face it.

What is Brooding Mawlek?

hollow knight brooding mawlek
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This boss is actually a secret boss in Hollow Knight. It’s also a mini-boss within the Colosseum of Fools. You can come across one of them in the Forgotten Crossroads. This is far from any of its brethren in the world in the Ancient Basin. While it’s sat there, it’s calling for the fossilized forms of its friends around it to mate. None of them will move though. Infection and loneliness have driven this creature mad. Watch out, because it’ll leap into the arena as soon as you enter it, and explode with infection as soon as it’s dead.

Attacks and Strategies

attacks and strategies
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Hollow Knight Brooding Mawlek has a much more limited moveset than others, like those in Dead Cells, but it’s still a lethal foe to battle against.


The boss will use either of its claws to slash down and attack you. This can come from either claw, so expect any one of them to appear and hit you. The boss will only use this attack if you get too close to it though. It’ll probably use it in conjunction with the Spit attack. If you want to avoid it, you need to stay away from it and keep your distance. That’s really the best way to avoid it.


The boss will spit orbs of infection in arcs towards you. It’ll be skittering across the ground it does this. IF you see if skittering towards you or away from you, then it could well be doing this move and about to be spitting infection. These blobs will fly towards you. It doesn’t matter what side of the arena you’re on. They’ll always be aimed at you. The boss will spit three or four times and can use it in conjunction with Slash. Bear in mind that the boss is going to use this attack before a Leap or Vomit move. Watch out for what comes next.


This one is pretty simple. The boss is going to jump into the air, leap if you will, to your location. It’ll always be aiming at where you’re standing. This applies to the moment that the boss jumps because it won’t aim at your location from that point. It’s aiming at where you were when it jumped. Once it lands, it’ll immediately jump back towards the position it was before the leap. To avoid the attack, you need to get underneath it and avoid it. But make sure that you do the same for the returning leap as well.


This move is similar to Spit. The boss fires out blobs of infection at you and will shoot those in an arc. They’ll shoot up and over to land on you and hurt you. The blobs will be fire towards whatever side of the arena you’re on. They’re going to deal damage as soon as they hit you, so avoid them like the plague. The boss will stand still while the blobs are in the air, so you can get some decent hits in while they’re flying.

Best Strategy

brooding mawlek hollow knight
Image Source: Gamers Decide

If you have the Mark of Pride and Longnail charms, then you can hit the boss without it retaliating. This is a good loadout that will really help you blast through this boss like it’s paper. (https://halcyonliving.co.uk/) the best tactic is to get a few hits in and then back away before it retaliates you. When you see a claw go up, back off and avoid whatever is coming your way. If you’re good, you can jump and nail bounce over the claw and avoid more damage.

When it comes to the Leap, just run to the area with space. You need to get away from the boss and avoid all of that incoming damage. This is something that you can do pretty easily, you just need to be careful and quick about how you move. The boss can’t do anything else while it’s in the air, so you can get in close and deal damage to it while it’s leaping.

If you’ve got Baldur Shell and Cyclone Slash Nail Art, then you can use the edge of Cyclone Slash to deal damage to the boss. You can then use the SOUL you gain from it to heal inside of the Baldur Shell. Whilst using this you can also continue healing while the boss attempts to attack you. You’ll incur no damage though.

Using the Mothwing Cloak during the Vomit attack from the Hollow Knight Brooding Mawlek will allow you to get close before it hits you. Some safe spots exist between the blobs it fires, but you can get close and damage it anyway using this method.

Hollow Knight Brooding Mawlek Lore

There really isn’t much lore surrounding this boss other than what we’ve covered. It’s part of a race that’s basically dead. Taken by the infection that’s been hitting everything in this world. It’s quite sad to think about really. All that’s left of this race are beings that are infected. They don’t understand what’s going on, only that their kin are all dead. That’s probably why this boss is a secret in one area, and a mini-boss in the colosseum. It’s an endangered species that’s being treated like a circus animal. This is why you face it though because it’s an example of what eventually happens to all races in this world. When the infection spreads to somewhere, it completely destroys all the races that live there. It only adds to the world of Hollow Knight and makes it so much more engrossing.