Brooding Mawlek

Location Godhome
Colosseum of Fools
Forgotten Crossroads
Health 300
Reward/s Mask Shard

Brooding Mawlek is a Boss in Hollow Knight. Bosses are special Enemies that feature their own arena, a large amount of health, and a variety of unique moves and abilities. You will need to perform multiple attacks such as using The Nail and Nail Arts along with the Spells and Abilities in order to defeat them. Some bosses are capable of entering into a state of stagger after landing a number of attacks on them.

As soon as you encounter a boss, its name will appear on the screen, the music will change into a boss battle theme, and usually,  paths connecting the arena will close or will be blocked leaving you no choice but to face these devastating and unique foes.


Ferocious but extremely social creature. Becomes aggressive if not able to mingle with its own kind.

I hear this beast crying out sometimes as I prowl the caverns, although I've never actually laid eyes on it. Who or what is it calling for? As far as I can tell, its voice is never answered.


Brooding Mawlek Location


Brooding Mawlek Rewards



Brooding Mawlek Strategies

Strategy Writeup

The Brooding Mawlek is a difficult boss to deal with. As it remains in the middle of the arena, moving left and right while executing its attacks - it constantly shoots out blobs of infection, has a melee attack using its claws if you get too close and later gets aggressive by mixing up its attacks by leaping and covering the area with more projectiles.

A couple of Charms can help with defeating this boss and increasing your survivability. Charms like Quick Focus will help you recover health quickly, Thorns of Agony will allow you to inflict damage after taking a hit, as well as the Grubsong charm that is also helpful as you regain SOUL from taking damage. It is also important that you try to keep your distance to avoid any damage, so having the Longnail or Mark of Pride charm can make it easier to land your strikes while keeping a safe distance.

For the Spells and Abilities, Desolate Dive is a useful spell as you can both avoid any attacks and deal damage at the same time. Vengeful Spirit and Shade Soul can also be used if you want to maximize the distance and still inflict damage. So be mindful that if you are coming into battle with using your Spells more, be sure to have the Shaman Stone and Spell Twister charms equipped to elevate the effectiveness of your spells.

As for how to approach this tricky boss, make sure to have the Mothwing Cloak or Shade Cloak abilities as you will be frequently dashing and avoiding the blobs it spits out. While it performs its spitting attack, always maintain a safe distance and strike using The Nail or Spells to still be able to get a reach of the boss (we will assume you have the Longnail or Mark of Pride charms equipped). ALWAYS keep your distance since it is useless to stand close to it, as you will definitely take damage from its claws.

Once it starts to become aggressive, it will begin to switch up its attack with a leaping attack and a vomiting attack - this is where the dash abilities will come in handy. For the leaping attack, always remember that the first leap will jump towards The Knight's direction, and the second leap will have it jump back onto the middle platform. So always dash towards the middle during the first leap and dash out towards the left or right side of the arena during its second leap.

The vomit will be the most difficult part to avoid since it will cover most of the part of the arena with blobs of whichever The Knight is standing on. To avoid this, you can simply jump and dash towards the opposite area before this creature vomits the cluster of blobs. You will have a brief window of doing this since the Brooding Mawlek will need to charge up before it releases the blobs.

Also, be sure to have The Nail upgraded by speaking to the Nailsmith in order to gain a permanent increase of damage to The Knight's primary weapon.


Attacks & Counters

Attack Counter
Phase 1
Downward Slash Attack The Brooding Mawlek has a melee attack where if The Knight is quite close to the boss' claws, it will raise its claw to perform a downward almost forward-like attack. It can execute this attack while performing other attacks at the same time. It is recommended to keep a fair distance from the boss to avoid any extra damage.
Spitting Infection This attack is the primary attack of the boss where it constantly spits out blobs of infected balloons that shoots towards whichever direction The Knight is standing on. It doesn't lock onto the player, but only pops out and lands on The Knight's direction.
Leaping Mawlek The Brooding Mawlek will lock onto The Knight and leap twice towards its direction. To identify if it will start to leap, it will stop moving from side to side and will stay in place for a brief moment before leaping in for the attack.
Multiple Vomit The last attack consists of a projectile attack where the Brooding Mawlek will focus for a brief moment and follow up with vomiting a large cluster of infected blobs. These do not lock onto The Knight but covers a huge area of whichever The Knight is standing on of the arena.



Brooding Mawlek Lore

The Brooding Mawlek as per The Hunter is a ferocious yet sociable creature who is able to mingle with its own kind. It is the last of its kind, so it constantly cries out hoping for another of its kind will answer and reunite. However, there are different variations that can be found such as the Lesser Mawlek or the Mawlurk, it still is unknown if they are different stages of growth for its species or are different from one another.

This boss battle will begin where once you step inside the arena, its paths will be locked and the Brooding Mawlek will jump in from the background. Defeating it implies that you have killed the last of its kind and are extinct - you will be rewarded with a Mask Shard after the battle.


Brooding Mawlek Notes & Trivia

  • A smaller Brooding Mawlek can be fought in the Colosseum of Fools.
  • Tiso may be killed by the Brooding Mawlek in the Colosseum of Fools.



Broken Vessel  ♦  Brothers Oro and Mato  ♦  Crystal Guardian  ♦  Dung Defender (Boss)  ♦  Elder Hu  ♦  Failed Champion  ♦  False Knight  ♦  Flukemarm  ♦  Galien  ♦  God Tamer  ♦  Gorb  ♦  Great Nailsage Sly  ♦  Grey Prince Zote  ♦  Gruz Mother  ♦  Hive Knight  ♦  Hollow Knight  ♦  Hornet (Boss)  ♦  Lost Kin  ♦  Mantis Lords  ♦  Markoth  ♦  Marmu  ♦  Massive Moss Charger  ♦  Nightmare King Grimm  ♦  No Eyes  ♦  Nosk  ♦  Oblobble  ♦  Paintmaster Sheo  ♦  Soul Master  ♦  Soul Tyrant  ♦  Soul Warrior  ♦  The Collector  ♦  The Radiance  ♦  Traitor Lord  ♦  Troupe Master Grimm (Boss)  ♦  Uumuu  ♦  Vengefly King  ♦  Watcher Knight  ♦  White Defender  ♦  Winged Nosk  ♦  Xero  ♦  Zote the Mighty (Boss)


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