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What's the deal with Zote the Mighty, a knight of great renown? (Applause)

Feb 27, 2020
Ladies and gentlemen, Zote the Mighty. He is arguably one of the most complex and developed characters in all of Hollow Knight. In fact, Zote has more dialogue than any character in the game with over 2600 words of dialogue, far more than Seer, Lemm or Elderbug. But despite all this dialogue, Zote remains one of Hallownest's biggest mysteries. Debates about his origins and impact on history have divided friends, family, and redditors alike. There are so many questions. Where does Zote come from? Where he goes? Who are his parents? Where was Zote on 9/11? Why won't he take a polygraph test?
what s the deal with zote the mighty a knight of great renown applause
Is he hitting thanks? Well today we are going to get to the bottom of these mysteries. Because

what

the fuck else would we be doing with our lives? Zote appears in the game quite early. He establishes himself as a comic relief character, constantly needing the Knight's help to save him while also proclaiming that he is a Knight of

great

renown

. Eventually, the Knight fights Zote in the Coliseum of Fools and he's fucking pathetic. It's like shooting a fucking dog, Jesus Christ. So yes, Zote is a joke and yet there is one thing about him that causes a total shit storm for those of us trying to understand the game's lore.
what s the deal with zote the mighty a knight of great renown applause

More Interesting Facts About,

what s the deal with zote the mighty a knight of great renown applause...

Zote closely resembles the Knight, more so than any other NPC in the game. This is a big problem. If you don't know why this is important, I'll give you a quick rundown. The Knight is basically one of several hundred failed test tube babies created by the King and Queen of Hallownest to prevent Mothra from taking over the world, who were then locked in the cellar because they thought too much. So the fact that the Knight has several brothers mixed in with his uncanny resemblance to Zote has led to some interesting theories. And the idea that Zote is one of these failed Vessels has been raised by some.
what s the deal with zote the mighty a knight of great renown applause
If you go to the Hollow Knight Wiki page, which is where all the Hollow Knight prostitutes look for his information, you can see that some users have posted the idea. So I'm not making this shit up. So yeah, that's the big question. Some people think that Zote is one of the failed vessels of the escaped Pale King. And the others say that Zote has nothing to do with the Pale King's experiments. So

what

's my fucking opinion? Well, I think Zote probably isn't related to anything involving the Pale King. The idea that Zote came from the Abyss just doesn't hold up when looking at all of his dialogue.
what s the deal with zote the mighty a knight of great renown applause
But, in case you didn't know, I'm the type to pretend to hear both sides of an argument before continuing to stick with his biased decision, so let's hear the evidence for why Zote is a brother. Now, remember when I said that Zote has the most dialogue of any NPC in the game? Well, while that's true, most of his dialogue is completely irrelevant to anything important. After finishing his side quests, Zote ends up in Dirtmouth teaching Bretta his Fifty-seven Precepts. And most of these precepts are either common sense or just plain bad advice. Like the Forty-Fourth Precept that says you can't breathe water.
Or Precept Nineteen which says only attempt something if you know you will succeed. Or the Thirty-Eighth Precept that speaks of a mysterious force. Hope for?! But within Zote's dialogue, we see a theme begin to emerge. Basically, Zote has issues with his dad. During the fight in the Colosseum, Zote has dialogue from Dream Nail which reads as follows. "I will kill a thousand more... Will that be enough, father?" Zote mentions the word "Father" again in Precept Fifty-two. The precept is entitled "Beware of parental jealousy." Zote explains in the precept that parents believe that their children must "serve" them, and that parents must be defeated or abandoned.
The use of the word "serve" here is interesting. This word appears when the Knight's dream nails the molds that were used to make the empty constructions of the Pale King. Zote also mentions that mothers will always betray you, in Precept Eleven, which is titled "Mothers will always betray you." And we know that the White Lady is not exactly proud of her participation in the creation of the Vessels, perhaps because she also sees it as a betrayal. Geez, looks like Zote had a really bad dad. Hey, you know who was a bad dad? The Pale King! Zote is the son of the Pale King confirmed!
Well, not so fast. What about the fact that Zote has a personality? Aren't the vessels supposed to be completely empty of mind or thought? Isn't that the point? There are two explanations for this. The first is that it is possible for the brothers to have personalities and voices, since we know that Hornet is a brother. The second argument is that maybe Zote was one of the first experiments, so the Pale King didn't know how to make Empty Vessels. So in other words, Zote is just a really screwed up experiment. Since we don't know much about the finer details of the Pale King's experiments, it's hard to argue with the second point, but Hornet's explanation is on shaky ground.
Hornet was not created with the intention of being used as a vessel. She was a gift to Herrah from the Pale King in exchange for his help in fighting the infection. And no reason is given to explain why Zote would have been created differently from the rest of the brothers. The Twenty-two Precept also fits the narrative very well. Zote mentions that he left his birthplace as soon as he could. He tells him not to linger there, as there is nothing worth staying for. And I'll admit, the Abyss doesn't sound like a very nice place to stay.
There's also this dialogue from Zote. He mentions that Dirty Mouth is sad and scary, and that it reminds him of his "home". I think you could interpret this dialogue either way, but I'll share it here as it seems relevant to me. If this was all the information we had to decide if Zote was the son of the Pale King, then this theory would be quite plausible. But once we look at some of Zote's other dialogue, it becomes hard to justify this theory. Before I get into what I think is the biggest issue here, I'd like to mention a few things.
The Hunter's Journal entry for the Broken Glass mentions that he resembles the insects of Hallownest. So it seems that the vessels themselves might not be very unique in terms of their appearance. Bugs like Elderbug are probably what the Hunter is referring to. Elderbug has a shell with features similar to Zote's, the most notable being his mouth. The Knight, Hornet, and the other brothers have no mouths, although Hornet can still talk? So maybe Zote and Elderbug are the same species, and their resemblance to siblings is just a coincidence. Anyway, here's the big

deal

that Zote is a brother made from the Void.
If the player character catches Zote once he returns to Dirtmouth, Zote mentions that he "came to this realm". So Zote isn't originally from Hallownest, or at least doesn't remember being from Hallownest. At this point, we're going to have to talk about the lands beyond Hallownest. The problem is that we basically know shit about the lands beyond Hallownest. While the player can never leave Hallownest during gameplay, we do get a glimpse of the outside world, thanks to the Quirrel comic that Team Cherry released to their Kickstarter backers. This comic follows Quirrel on his way from the desert back to Hallownest.
The comic begins by establishing that the critters of nature have no mind. They let go of their thoughts and chose to trust their instincts as a way to survive. This fits quite well with the lore tablet that can be found in Howling Cliffs. During his journey, Quirrel meets Boon, another insect that can communicate through speech. Quirrel finally makes it to Hallownest, where he confronts Hornet. Hornet tried to assassinate him, but discovers that Quirrel has some pretty serious plot armor and decides to let him through to Hallownest. So what's going on with this guy? Quirrel was once an assistant to Monomon the Master.
Quirrel lived in Hallownest, but eventually left the kingdom for unknown reasons. But in this comic, as well as for most of the game, Quirrel shows no recollection of his previous time in the kingdom. Why was Quirrel's memory forgotten? Is it because the desert sands clouded his mind for so long that it took him a while to remember? Does leaving Hallownest cause the bugs to lose any memory of life within the realm? Does Quirrel's memory loss have nothing to do with leaving Hallownest? Well, to better understand this, let's look at the other bugs that travel to Hallownest during the game.
Aside from Quirrel and Zote, Tiso, Cloth, Cornifer, and Iselda appear to have ventured to Hallownest from somewhere else. All these characters seem to have all their memories intact. They never suddenly remember long-forgotten things, and what they do remember seems to imply that they never lost their memories in the same way that Quirrel did. Cloth and Tiso are two other Kickstarter backer characters that the player can interact with during gameplay. It's true that none of the characters openly state that they're from beyond Hallownest, but it's heavily implied. Cloth is a cicada-type warrior with a large club who is searching for Nola, a character he mentions throughout the game.
The fabric was designed by a Kickstarter backer named Noah Sturtridge. He was originally a male character named Burlap, who wore a burlap sack on his head. Team Cherry changed the name Burlap after realizing that Burlap doesn't exist in Hallownest. However, I'm not sure why they changed their gender. I guess it's just Team Cherry trying to make us swallow more of their progressive agenda. Tiso was created by Tiso Spencer, and his design is quite similar to the one he became in the final game. In the Team Cherry post that revealed Tiso, it was mentioned that his story would have an interesting conclusion, and well… he dies off-screen.
Tiso travels to Hallownest because he wants to fight in the Coliseum of Fools, which he has heard rumors about. Tiso's knowledge of the Colosseum of Fools and Tela's memory of his friend shows that these characters still have memories of him. Then there's Iselda and Cornifer. Cornifer mentions that she moved to Dirtmouth as soon as she could, after hearing about the Kingdom of Hallownest. You know, this being Cornifer's kingdom on the map explains why the Hallownest map he draws is so fucking horrible, but that's beside the point. Iselda also mentions that she used to be a fighter, but she gave it up to be with Corny.
But this dialogue could be hinting at a future fight with Iselda's boss. But anyway, the point is that these two bugs must have lived somewhere beyond Hallownest before the start of the game. So yes, there are examples of smart bugs beyond Hallownest. As for Quirrel, the best we can say is that he originated from Hallownest, he lost his memory and his time in Hallownest helped him regain his memory. So where does that leave Zote? Is he like Quirrel, or is he like the others? If he was from Hallownest before and lost his memory, why doesn't he remember anything about Hallownest during the search for him?
Is it because he's not as curious as Quirrel? Maybe, but doesn't it seem more likely that Zote is simply from another part of the world? Zote has specific memories of his past, as do Iselda and the other travelers. There's no evidence that Zote has lost his memory, and he doesn't act like he's been to Hallownest before. So yeah, this "I came into this realm" comment is the nail in the coffin for me. So why include all this dialogue about Zote's father if there's no connection between Zote and the Pale King? Does Team Cherry like to make their jimmies mad at their fans and confuse the hell out of them?
Well, it could have been included as another way to contrast Zote and the Knight. While they both have parents who probably won't get any "World's Best Dad" mugs for Christmas, the Knight continues to search for him despite everything, while Zote rejects his family and lives a life of self-absorption. . So yeah, I think that pretty much sums up what we know about Zote. If I missed something, which I definitely did, someone will eventually come along and clear things up in the comments, so go check it out. And as I said before, this is just my interpretation of the evidence.
It's definitely one of those things in Hollow Knight lore that Team Cherry could definitely change by adding more stuff via a content pack. And who knows, maybe one day we'll get a Zote DLC and my life will finally make sense again.

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