Everything Known About Hornet Before Hollow Knight: Silksong's Release


After a long wait, it seems like Hollow Knight: Silksong may be just around the corner. Fans have been waiting for Team Cherry’s next game since it was announced back in 2019. Despite an initial slew of trailers and information, various troubles have pushed Hollow Knight: Silksong further and further back. As of 2022, footage for the game has resurfaced, but a date still has not been announced. Even so, with Microsoft’s E3 conference heavily advertising that all of its games would be out within the next year, fans have renewed hope for a solid date.


The original Hollow Knight was a major indie success story, spreading from PC to every platform over a few years. Hollow Knight’s 2D platformer take on a Soulslike combined with its atypically cute presentation struck a chord with many players, and DLC provided more adventures to pursue. The game’s Kickstarter had even promised that its rival character Hornet would get a playable campaign of her own, but this never came. Instead, because the scope was becoming too big, Team Cherry decided to make Hornet the star of Hollow Knight: Silksong, a full-blown sequel. Hornet herself is a compelling character, and there are a lot of details to learn about her even before Silksong introduces more.

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How Hornet Came To Live in Hallownest

The seeds leading to Hornet’s birth were sown long ago, with a tribe of spiders called Weavers moving into the Deepnest portion of Hallownest. Weavers are heavily implied to hail from Pharloom, the kingdom that Silksong is set in, and many are stated to have left for their homeland before Hallownest’s Infection began. As spider silk and needles similar to Hornet’s own appear to be a prominent part of Pharloom’s culture, it’s not hard to see where Hornet got her iconic weapons from. Herrah the Beast was Hornet’s mother, once serving as the queen of the Spider Tribe after her higher-caste partner passed away. Left without an heir, Herrah resorted to drastic measures to ensure her tribe’s prosperity.

The Spider Tribe remained separate from Hallownest, refusing to bow down to the divine Pale King. However, when the Infection manifested, the King asked Herrah to become a Dreamer to help seal the plague away. Seeing the chance to save her tribe’s present and future, Herrah asked the Pale King to conceive a child with her as payment. The child that resulted from their union was Hornet, making her both the heir to the Spider Tribe’s throne and the princess of Hallownest. Hornet supposedly spent a brief time with Herrah, but dialogue from both imply they loved each other very much.

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Hornet’s Appearance in Hollow Knight

Little is known of Hornet’s early years, but it’s likely that most of them were spent training to become the warrior that players see in Hollow Knight. It seems that Hornet is aware of her status as a princess, but likely thinks little of it due to a combination of her upbringing and the plague-ravaged state of the kingdom. Instead, Hornet’s titles in Godhome and assorted dialogue reveals that she sees herself as Hallownest’s protector, wandering the ruins and warding off travelers who might worsen the Infection’s hold.

Likely due to Hornet’s heritage and time spent exploring the kingdom, she already knows many of its secrets, and guards what she perceives to be the most dangerous. Her relationship with the Pale King seems solely based on duty, but a trusting sibling bond grows between Hornet and the playable Knight as the game goes on.

Hornet in Hollow Knight is fought twice, once in the depths of Greenpath, and later as an optional encounter at Kingdom’s Edge. Hornet is a formidable fighter who uses her light frame to move around the battlefield rapidly. Her range covers nearly the entire screen thanks to her dashing and jumping, and she can catch players unaware by throwing her needle out on a thin strand. Hornet wields her needle like a combination of a sword, a lance, and a whip, and adds traps to her rematch arsenal. While she is a fierce warrior, the player encounters her outside of combat several times, even being saved by her from a cave-in after their second duel. Hornet can also be found grieving Herrah’s death if a certain path is taken, noting it to be necessary, but that she is not unfeeling and needs time to say goodbye.

Hollow Knight: Silksong Shows Hornet In a New Context

After the true ending of Hollow Knight where the Knight is able to destroy the Infection, Hornet no longer has a reason to stay in Hallownest. At some point off-screen, Hornet departs for the kingdom of Pharloom, where she is seemingly captured. This may be a deliberate ploy to infiltrate a building high up in the towering kingdom, but Hornet’s goals in Pharloom have yet to be revealed. All that is known for sure is that Hornet’s fighting style seems suspiciously similar to ones found in the silk-oriented kingdom, and that Hornet wishes to climb to the nation’s highest spire.

Hornet may be walking a solitary path, but that doesn’t mean she’s alone in her fights. Unlike the first game’s Knight, Hornet can speak. Through this, she can form relationships with many NPCs dotting the declining but still active kingdom of Pharloom. Hornet is also able to craft tools supplementing her high-flying fighting style, and remains more agile than the Knight even at her weakest. No matter what Pharloom throws at Hornet, the princess-protector of Hallownest will be ready to handle it, even if it’s some dark truth about her mother’s people. Fans will need to wait until Hollow Knight: Silksong is out to help Hornet pry open Pharloom’s secrets, and possibly discover some of Hornet’s own.

Hollow Knight: Silksong is coming soon to PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

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