The Tragedy of Hollow Knight

This is my entry in the Community Colab: Video Game Classics 101 [link].


The game Hollow Knight by Team Cherry is, ultimately, a tragic one.  The little ghost that the player controls has no free will, not even the will of the player, to break from the narrative.  There are no quests that shift the narrative of the game, no branching plotlines to discover–the story must be follow to its sorrowful end, no matter what actions the player takes.

“No mind to think.
No will to break.
No voice to cry suffering.”

These are the words that condemn the little ghost to their fate; they are nothing but the Void, used to the Pale King’s end of sealing away the infection caused by the Radiance, a god forgotten by all but a few.  In the end of the game–to the same sorrowful music as was used in the Soul Sanctum when fighting the Mistakes and Follies–the little ghost must defeat their own sibling, the true Hollow Knight, in order to take their place in sealing away the infection for good.  The little ghost is, in the end, a tragic figure (so is their sister Hornet, if the Sealed Siblings ending is gained.)

At the start of the game, very little is known about the little ghost, who they are, and what their journey is about.  As they journey, from Greenpath, to Deepnest, to the White Palace in Kingdom’s Edge, they learn more about their world, their purpose, and ultimately, their fate.

The little ghost has no dialogue in the game, having “no voice to cry suffering.”  All that they can do is listen to those few that are still living in the world around them.  The world of Hallownest is populated by reanimated corpses of bugs that serve the Pale King, and these are the enemies that must be defeated on the little ghost’s journey throughout the world of Hallownest.  Along the way, the few friends they make, Quirrel and Cloth, both die in the end–Quirrel to abandon his nail, and Cloth to sacrifice herself in battle at the side of the little ghost.

In the Abyss, beneath Kingdom’s Edge, the little ghost learns of their siblings, the shadows that haunt them as they walk the very bottom of the Kingdom.  They learn that the Pale King sacrificed their [the little ghost’s] siblings in order to find the perfect Vessel to seal away the Radiance.  However, it is heavily implied that the Pale King grew to love his creation, and because of this love, the Vessel he chose was not perfect, and thus the Radiance could rise to infect Hallownest once more.  That it was love of a father for his son that brought about the downfall of Hallownest is what makes Hollow Knight a tragedy.

The Desert I Would Have Walked

EDIT: I did a tarot reading to see what the results were, and the dreams are just my brain processing stuff.  I’m still upset with them, but I’m glad to know they’re just dreams.

The Desert I would have walked
as the Chosen One and son of the King
now haunts my dreams, my nightmares.

I dream of Palaces filled with gold, the gods
lifted above the poor and desperate of their Land,
I dream of Royalty that hides beneath veils of riches,
denying that all is not well, here in the Two Lands.

I dream of endless, Eternal Warfare.  I dream of my brother,
dead in the war, of my father-in-law dying on a cross, of my
younger sister, her story nothing but tragedy and ruin.

I wish for these dreams to stop, I do not need to know
how you are dying.  The last time we spoke, you said the
refugees are mine to care for, and that their heads may fall off
for all you care.  I recognize that spell, and hate you for it.

I know I’m dead to you, the hated son who chose a different path.
So why these dreams of the family I have lost through estrangement?
Is it my mind processing trauma, or is there something more to this?

Feeling Like I’m Beginning Again

Lately I’ve been feeling like I’m back at the very beginning of my path.  I know I’m not, really, because I’ve known the Queen for almost six years now–but that feeling of being at the start of a new journey lingers.  Except this time, I know about the gods, about their morals and values (rather than starting from the group up on research,) and this time it’s an unrecorded path and pantheon.

Part of the Queen’s faith is focused on creativity, so I’m getting back into writing.  I’ve been meaning to do that for a while now, and I’ve taken the story to the writer’s group when I’m stuck on it.  Which brings me to the other major thing that’s part of her faith–community, and more importantly, asking for help when I need it.

I’ve talked plenty of times before about how I struggle with isolation, as well as with asking for help.  I feel–at least right now–like I’m starting to do better on that.  I’m currently writing this at the library, both to get out of the house, as well as getting better wi-fi to work on my job hunt.

So far, walking the Queen’s path has been more about improving my life Here, which is just what I need right now.  My active devotional practice is simply the morning and evening prayers to her, along with the occasional coffee offering when she wants to do a larger divination session.  Even though I feel like I’m back at the beginning of my path, it feels like where I need to be.

Quiet Times, and Upcoming Anniversaries

I’ve been quiet on almost all social media lately, both because we don’t have the greatest wi-fi where we live, and because I’ve been spending a fair amount of my spare time (both Here and There) focusing on the twins.

I’m not exactly in a fallow time right now, but close to one.  Things are simply quiet, though lately I’ve been having dreams (what I can remember) about the process of my Beloved [the Dreamer] leaving behind the name I first knew him under.  It’s odd that that’s coming up again, but that shift did begin four years ago around this time of year, so in a sense it’s an anniversary.

I have another anniversary coming up, soon it’ll be 3 years since when I began to explore Darkness (both the Pantheon and Realm.)  I don’t have an exact date pinned down for when that happened, but there’s a holiday coming up with my People to celebrate the anniversary of their arrival in Darkness, so it’s going to be something we all celebrate together.

WIP Wednesday, Knitting Progress Report

Currently, I’ve got three projects going, two on needles and one on my loom.

I have a blanket I’m working on for my Otherworld Family, knit using this pattern [link] but in aran weight yarn.  I’m enjoying it so far, though I misread the instructions and turned my work too soon, so had to rip pack a few rows.  I’m really proud of myself for picking up all the stitches without too many errors, and not panicking at the accidental yarn over.

My other needle project goes to therapy with me, so it’s a simple, lightweight scarf/shawl that’s easy to work on while I talk.

My knitting loom blanket has been in hibernation for a while now.  Sometimes I want the ease of needles, other times I want the fastness of the loom.  Right now the loom feels bulky to handle, but I know I should get back to it, if I want the project to grow to the point that it really looks like a blanket.

Quick Update

With my children [link] being born nearly four weeks early, my fallow time is now over.  It’s needed for me to be able to not only sense the twins, but to be able to travel Over There (when I have time/spoons) to be able to help out with raising them.

My deity Beloveds and I/Other Me not only have the support of the rest of the Royal Family, but Jake and Trev’s families are helping as well.  I do have ways to spend time with them Here, which helps tremendously with the Overwhelm of emotion I’m experiencing about being a father now.

I don’t know how much (if anything) I’ll write about the twins in public, but I wanted to write a brief post about the major change in my life (I consider it a change in my life Here as well, because oh wow is being a father now–even if my children are in the Otherworlds–shifting my perspective on things.)