How to Defeat the Brooding Mawlek in Hollow Knight


Randrew Mendrico

Writer and Storywriter

Drew is one of the game guide writers in PlayerAssist. He mixed his communications degree with his love for video games to help other gamers with different video game situations. Drew loves action-adventure, story or character driven role-playing games.


Learn how to defeat the Brooding Mawlek in Hollow Knight!

How to Defeat the Brooding Mawlek in Hollow Knight

In Team Cherry’s Hollow Knight, one of the optional hidden bosses the Knight may face is the Brooding Mawlek. This wild beast is found alone in a hidden area in the Forgotten Crossroads instead of the Ancient Basin where its brethren can typically be found.

In this guide, you’ll learn the Brooding Mawlek’s moves and behavior to defeat it.


A screenshot of the Brooding Mawlek's location in Hollow Knight

The Brooding Mawlek is located in a hidden area in the western part of the Forgotten Crossroads. To reach the hidden area, the Knight must go to the vertical shaft filled with Gruzzers and Tiktiks, which is on the left exit after descending to the Forgotten Crossroads from Dirtmouth, and unblock the entrance in between the middle exit and the floor by simply attacking it.

The path inside is filled with platforms and spikes. Although it is possible to traverse the area just by Nail-bouncing (bouncing by attacking downwards) on the spikes, it is recommended to have the Mantis Claw cling on walls and the Mothwing Cloak dash.


Here are the Brooding Mawlek’s attacks:


The Brooding Mawlek will slash down towards the Knight with one of its claws. It may use this attack together with the Spit attack. The Brooding Mawlek will only use this attack when the Knight is positioned close to it.


The Brooding Mawlek will spit blobs of Infection, which fly up and fall on the ground. The Brooding Mawlek will move slowly across the ground of the arena during this attack. It will spit Infection at the side of the arena where the Knight is positioned. As mentioned, the Brooding Mawlek may use this attack together with the Slash attack. It will perform the Spit attack 3 to 4 times before the Leap or Vomit attack.


The Brooding Mawlek will simultaneously perform a volley of Spit attacks to the side of the arena where the Knight is positioned. It will stand still in its position until all the Infection has reached the ground.


The Brooding Mawlek will leap towards the Knight and land where the Knight was at the start of the attack. It will then jump back to the position it landed on at the beginning of the fight.


The fight with the Brooding Mawlek is pretty straightforward as there are no phases in the battle, and you just have to watch out for its moves and avoid and counter appropriately.

The best course of action is to hit the Brooding Mawlek a few times and get out of its way as quickly as possible when it raises its claws as it is possible for the Brooding Mawlek to retaliate with the Slash attack after hitting it in close range. You can also perform a  Nail-bounce on it to get to the other side of the arena.

The Knight can dodge the Brooding Mawlek’s Vomit attack by dashing away or moving to the other side of the arena when the blobs of Infection are at the highest point of the throw. You can also perform a Nail-bounce over the Brooding Mawlek to inflict damage. If all else fails, there are still safe spots, though very small, between the blobs of Infection.

The Knight can dodge the Brooding Mawlek’s Leap attack by running or quickly out of the Brooding Mawlek’s landing zone. As mentioned above, the landing zone is on the Knight’s position at the start of the attack. The Knight can also attack the Brooding Mawlek mid-leap, as it can’t perform another attack while up in the air.

As mentioned above, dashing is a very useful ability in this fight, so it is strongly recommended that the Knight has obtained the Mothwing Cloak. Particular Charms can help the Knight defeat the Brooding Mawlek like the Longnail and Mark of Pride charms which increases the reach of the Knight’s Nail (the Longnail charm increases the range of the Nail by 15%, and the Mark of Pride Charm increases the range of the Nail by 25%) to avoid the Slash attack, the Sharp Shadow charm which can damage enemies when dashing through them, and the Baldur Shell charm which can help in healing as it spawns a shell that protects the Knight and blocks up to 4 hits.

After defeating the Brooding Mawlek, Mask Shard will emerge from its body and is now yours for the taking!

Final Thoughts

The fight’s difficulty with the Brooding Mawlek depends on when you battle him. Battling the Brooding Mawlek later in the game would make the fight significantly easier as the Knight has access to more abilities and charms, and you can better master the game. So, even with all this info and still having a hard time, try returning later when you’re more powerful and claim the Mask Shard that’s rightfully yours!

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