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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.
~ Hunter's Notes on Brooding Mawlek.

The Brooding Mawlek is a minor antagonist and optional boss in Hollow Knight. It is a feral beast that lurks in the Forgotten Crossroads, crying for its own kind.


Brooding Mawleks, according to the Hunter's notes, are usually benevolent and social creatures, only turning aggressive when they cannot mingle with each other. When the Infection occurred, the Mawleks turned feral and attacked each other, slaughtering one-another until a single Mawlek was left. The Hunter notes how he can often hear the beast calling out to others of its kind, but feels sympathy knowing its calls will never be answered.

The Brooding Mawlek is located in the Forgotten Crossroads, in an area that cannot be reached until the Knight obtains the Mantis Claws from the Mantis Village in Fungal Wastes to scale walls. After navigating through a room of spikes, the Knight reaches a room littered with Mawlek corpses, along with the Brooding Mawlek, which jumps out from the pile of carcasses and attacks.

The Brooding Mawlek attacks the Knight by spitting out Infection blobs from its mouth and slashing its claws out when they get too close. It can also spit out a wave of blobs on the side of the arena that the Knight is on, or leap to where the Knight was when it began the jump. Defeating the Brooding Mawlek grants a Mask Shard.

A second Brooding Mawlek is found in the Colosseum of Fools as an opponent during the Trial of the Fool. Slightly smaller than the one encountered in the Forgotten Crossroads, it uses the same attacks only there is less room to maneuver.



  • The Brooding Mawlek is the second boss introduced in the Kickstarter, after Gruz Mother.
  • Despite supposedly being the last of its kind, there are other Mawleks species seen in Hallownest, such as the Lesser Mawleks, located in the Ancient Basin, and a second Brooding Mawlek fought in the Colosseum of Fools.
  • The Brooding Mawlek can be encountered much earlier in the game by jumping on the spikes with the Nail at a certain angle to scale up the wall.
  • During the Pantheon of Hallownest, Tiso appears as the Knight's challenger only to be crushed by the Brooding Mawlek.
    • This implies that Tiso may have been killed by a Brooding Mawlek, as Tiso died challenging the Colosseum of Fools and a Brooding Mawlek is encountered there during the Trial of the Fool.


           Hollow Knight Logo.png Villains

Hollow Knight
Hollow Knight | Pale King | The Radiance

The Infected
Brooding Mawlek | Broken Vessel | Crystal Guardian | False Knight | Flukemarm | God Tamer | Hive Knight | Moss Prophet | Myla | Nosk | Soul Master | Traitor Lord | Watcher Knights | Uumuu

Grimm Troupe

Distant Villagers | Hunter | Midwife | Millibelle | Pale Lurker | The Collector

Hollow Knight: Silksong
Carmelita | Grindle | Lace | Moss Mother | Sharpe