I don't like bugs. I mean, I really don't like bugs. Like, I don't think I can sufficiently impress upon you how much I absolutely cannot stand the very idea of insects on or near my person. Paradoxically, bugs always seem to find their way into my personal space; I've had multiple instances throughout my life of bugs, both dangerous and benign, suddenly appearing within my peripheral vision. This is immediately followed by a full-body spasm and various bizarre sound effects falling out of my mouth.
Considering the characters of Hollow Knight are all various species of insect (broadly speaking), it stands to reason that I would have a similar reaction to them suddenly appearing in front of me. So, for science, let's cover how I would react if I were to spontaneously discover ten of them on my pillow next to my head in the morning. I sincerely hope you appreciate the emotional damage I'm enduring here.
10 The Knight – "Wuhehewuh!"
If we assume that the Knight and bugs of a similar body type to him are about the size of ants, I'd say that's just large enough to elicit some manner of reaction. In other words, the Knight would probably be just large and distinctive enough to make me shoot up and babble a few nondescript syllables before composing myself.
I'd probably try to squish him at that point, though considering what we've seen the Knight successfully defeat, I'm not sure my hand would survive the encounter.
9 Hornet – "nnnnNNNNNOPE"
One time, when I was sitting on the couch, I saw a huge hornet slowly descending toward me from the ceiling and had a very similar reaction to the one written above. I imagine discovering Hornet near my person would end much the same way.
Several unfortunate encounters with stinging insects growing up are one of the primary reasons I hate bugs so much. While Hornet doesn't have a stinger per se, she is rather pointy – and that's more than enough to be distressing.
8 Grubs – "D'aww!"
The Grubs in Hollow Knight are absolutely adorable, with their little green bodies and happy friend sounds. If I found one next to me in the morning, I'd be surprised, but I don't think I'd be altogether bothered. I'd probably just grab them in a tissue and put them outside.
Of course, this is banking on the assumption that they look exactly like they do in-game. We'd have a problem if they looked like real-life grubs, i.e., giant tubes of wriggling white meat with mandibles.
7 Nosk – "RAGGLEFRUG"
In the same vein as bugs, I'm not the biggest fan of spiders. I know they're important, and I try to leave them alone, but if they enter my personal space, all bets are off, especially if they're as overtly unsettling as Nosk. I'm not even sure if Nosk is a spider; admittedly, it's short two legs.
Of course, if a multi-legged abomination with a pulsating orange belly appeared near my head in the morning, I don't think I'd have the mental clarity to take a count of its legs before grabbing my squishing shoe.
6 Dung Defender – "Aw, COME ON!"
Now, don't get me wrong, I love Dung Defender. He is, like, objectively the nicest person in all of Hallownest. But the unfortunate fact of the matter is that he is a dung beetle, and dung beetles roll around in doody. Have you ever accidentally rolled over a stinkbug in your bed, unleashing its potent odor?
I assume waking up next to a dung beetle, even a friendly one, would be a lot like that, but worse. At least stinkbugs only deal in odor. With Dung Defender, you're probably gonna have to burn your sheets and take a shower. Maybe two.
5 Stag – "WHOA!"
After the initial shock of finding such a large insect, I'd probably try to catch it, so I could sell it to a conservatory or something. Certain species of stag beetle are actually endangered. In fact, we know that the Stag in Hollow Knight is literally the last one.
Seriously, certain species of stag beetle are actually worth a lot of money. Also, the presence of stag beetles in your house is usually a sign of rotting wood and foundation, so I'd probably have bigger things to worry about.
4 Grimm – "Whuh?"
My reaction to Grimm would hinge entirely on his behavior upon noticing me. After all, Grimm can be quite the cordial chap when he is so inclined, so if he was standing up straight and nodding at me, then I think I'd need to double-check that I wasn't still sleeping.
On the other hand, if he was flying around, shooting fire everywhere, and conjuring nightmares… well, I'd probably still check if I were asleep, but perhaps a bit more urgently. Heck, if I were dreaming, Grimm would probably be the reason why.
3 The Hunter – "OH JEEZE NOPE"
I'm not even sure what kind of bug the Hunter even is, assuming he's a bug at all. I certainly can't think of any bugs with six eyes, a giant hood made of foliage, and skinny, bone-like limbs. Though then again, I also can't think of any bugs that swing around nails or shoot soul-powered fireballs, so maybe that's not entirely fair to the Hunter.
He could just be large for his species. I'd be sure to think more about it when I'm not having a heart attack over the little skeleton man roaring at me.
2 The Radiance – (Unintelligible Shrieking)
The scariest thing about the Radiance in this context is the fact that giant moths are a real thing. There are moths out there that can get as big as a fully-grown guinea pig, if not a little bigger. Granted, they're harmless, but when a flying, hairy thing the size of your entire face finds its way onto your face, you'll be too busy screaming to care.
Oh, and I guess there's the whole curse of blinding light thing too, but that feels like a secondary concern in these circumstances. The Radiance doesn't need to curse me to ensure I won't forget about it, of that I can assure you.
1 Zote – "…?"
I think if there were one Hollow Knight character that would elicit no reaction from me whatsoever, it would be Zote. Have you seen that guy? He's tiny! Even compared to the Knight, who is pretty small himself, Zote is barely up to his forehead!
When bugs that small and ineffectual enter my personal space, I tend to just squish them with my index finger on pure impulse. Maybe if we were talking about Grey Prince Zote, then it would be a different story, though that would be more of a matter of confusion than anything else.
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