Which Hollow Knight ending is canon?

Cherry Team’s indie Metroidvania, Hollow Knight, has five endings and an additional stage to unlock, depending on your level of completion and your choices. True to the nature of Hollow Knight’s story, which is largely told through the tablets of lore found throughout the realm of Hallownest, the game’s endings are also left open to interpretation. Their meanings aren’t always immediately apparent, leading to a lot of fan speculation.

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While some endings are similar, they each have their own implications, changing the fate of Hallownest and its citizens depending on which one you unlock. The compelling story of Hollow Knight is one you’ll want to understand to the fullest.


The hollow knight

One of the easiest endings to complete, and one that new players will most likely get on a first playthrough, The Hollow Knight ending requires you to defeat the Hollow Knight without possessing the Void Heart. In this ending, the Knight alone defeats the Hollow Knight and takes his place inside the Black Egg, becoming the new vessel to seal the Radiance.

By facing the Infection instead of the Hollow Knight, the Knight is able to contain the affliction ravaging Hallownest. However, it’s unclear how long the knight will be able to seal off the infection, and they may just be prolonging the inevitable.

When you meet her, the White Lady comments that she has been waiting for “someone like you” to arrive and encourages you to become the next Vessel, saying “prepare well before attempting the task”. This suggests that the Knight is a suitable replacement; however, as the previous Hollow Knight failed, it is unlikely to succeed a second time.

Sealed Brothers and Sisters

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.

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During the fight, Hornet will intervene, restraining the Hollow Knight. However, if you take too long hitting it with the Dream Nail or hitting it with normal attacks, the Hollow Knight will escape Hornet’s grasp and knock it out. Once the Hollow Knight is defeated, the Knight absorbs the infection, with the unconscious hornet trapped in the black egg by his side. Hornet becomes a seal similar to the Dreamers, with his mask appearing on the door.

This ending is one of the saddest you can achieve, as the Knight and the Hornet are hidden within the Black Egg for eternity – or however long the seal holds.

dream no more

The Sealed Siblings alternate ending, the Dream No More ending, occurs if the Knight uses the Awoken Dream Nail on the Hollow Knight before he can defeat Hornet.

Once you’ve used the Dream Nail on the Hollow Knight, you’ll be taken to Radiance’s dream, where you’ll have to confront it. However, it’s not the “real” Radiance – it’s a dream version that exists in the mind of the Hollow Knight.

If you manage to defeat Radiance, the Shadow of the Hollow Knight appears and gives the Knight an opening to finish him off and send him into the Void. Hornet then wakes up to see the Knight’s shattered shell thrown to the ground, suggesting that the Knight has returned to the void with the other Shade Siblings.

One of the most satisfying endings in the game, this ending lets you put the siblings and knight to rest.

embrace the void

One of the hardest endings to get, the Embrace the Void ending is unlocked after you clear your way through all the pantheons in the game, unlocking the Hallownest pantheon.

Unlike the previous one, this ending takes place in Hallownest’s Pantheon rather than the Temple of the Black Egg. Here you must defeat Absolute Radiance – a more difficult version of the Radiance boss fight that is representative of its true form.

Once you defeat 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, striking it hard and repeatedly. The Void consumes the Godhome and takes the Godseeker with it, though it is unknown what happens to the Godseeker after this. His body is completely engulfed by the Void.

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The scene then changes to Hornet waiting outside the Black Egg, who is startled by the Hollow Knight’s sudden appearance and readies his needle.

As the name suggests, the Embrace the Void ending lets you do just that. In this ending, the Void gathers to end the Radiance. As the Radiance is defeated in this ending, there is 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 newfound power.

The Hollow Knight is now presumably free of the infection, but his future is unclear.

delicate flower

If you’re up for the challenge of delivering a delicate flower to the Godseeker in order to achieve this ending, you can carry one given to you by the Gray Mourner.

The Delicate Blossom ending plays out similarly to the Embrace the Void ending, except this time, instead of being consumed by the Void, the Godseeker is shrouded in white light. Leaving only the Delicate Flower behind, the Godseeker escapes the Consuming Void, though her fate still remains ambiguous.

As the delicate flower appears to be largely unaffected by the Void, this ending might suggest that the deity seeker was similarly protected.

Found in seven different locations throughout the game, Mister Mushroom is an NPC that appears in Hallownest after defeating the three Dreamers, providing clues for his next location.

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To unlock the humorous ending of Mister Mushroom Passing of the Age, you must use the Spore Shroom charm to figure out what he is saying and follow him to each location in the correct order.

After talking to him in all places and reaching one of the main endings, you’ll be treated to a cutscene where Mister Mushroom flies through the air with a blank expression on his face, along with the phrase “To Be Continued”.

Although it’s a joke ending, it’s implied that this isn’t the last we’ll see of Mister Mushroom.

What end is Canon?

With multiple endings that can be unlocked throughout the game, it leaves plenty of room for interpretation that can be considered canon. Like Team Cherry covered in a Reddit Q&Aall endings are considered “equally canonical” and you “choose the path yourself”.

This means that all endings are technically canonical, with none taking precedence over the others. Although they make an exception for Mister Mushroom, saying he’s probably leaving Hallownest whether you meet him or not.

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