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Hollow Knight: Grimm Troupe Questline

Hollow Knight Grimm

In this guide, we will discuss the Grimm Troupe DLC and, specifically, the Grimm Hollow Knight character. We will discuss everything from how to activate his questline to his two encounters and the lore/motivations that drive this character. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

Key Takeaways:

  • Troupe Master Grimm seeks to feed flames to the enigmatic Nightmare Heart for power.
  • To access the Grimm Troupe DLC, defeat the False Knight and interact with a lantern in the Howling Cliffs.
  • The first encounter with Grimm is a dynamic battle requiring precision and quick reflexes, aided by the Grimmchild charm.
  • The second encounter with Nightmare King Grimm is a challenging, rhythmic battle with relentless attacks.


Lore Of The Grimm Troupe

The lore of the Grimm Troupe in Hollow Knight is a mysterious and captivating aspect of the game’s world. It revolves around a traveling group known as the Grimm Troupe and their leader, Troupe Master Grimm, alongside their own deity, the Nightmare Heart.

Troupe Master Grimm is the enigmatic leader of the Grimm Troupe, a group of performers that wander Hallownest. Grimm is known for his striking appearance, wearing a tall horned mask, a flowing black cape, and brazen charm.

The Nightmare Heart is a significant element in the Grimm Troupe’s lore. It is a source of great power and darkness. Troupe Master Grimm seeks to harvest the flames and feed them to the Nightmare Heart, ultimately strengthening it.

The exact purpose of the Nightmare Heart and the ritual is somewhat shrouded in mystery. However, it’s implied that the Troupe’s goal is to collect enough flames to empower the Nightmare Heart, possibly for the sake of their own power or some larger, unknown purpose.

Possibly reincarnating the Troupe Master to continue to other kingdoms in the desolate land so that they may feed and keep this cycle perpetually stagnant.

How To Activate The DLC

Before accessing the Grimm Troupe DLC, you must first conquer the False Knight. This early-game boss battle is a prerequisite since you need to get past them to unlock the area we are headed toward, the Howling Cliffs.

Hollow Knight Grimm Troupe Location

In the Howling Cliffs, you’ll come across a conspicuous, glowing orange lantern with a corpse beside it. This corpse belongs to one of the now-deceased members of the Grimm Troupe.

Approach the lantern and interact with it. You’ll be presented with the option to “Listen.” Choose this option to summon the Grimm Troupe and initiate the DLC by returning to Dirthmouth.

The tents for the Grim Troupe will be on the left side of Dirthmouth, separated from all the other houses with 3 distinct characters.

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First Encounter with Grimm

You first start off by talking to all the members of the Grimm Troupe, and the Troupe Master, Grimm Hollow Knight, gives you the Grimchild charm. This is what you will use throughout your entire DLC storyline to progress further.

After collecting a few flames scattered around the map, you go back to Grimm Hollow Knight, and he faces off against you in a battle that is more reminiscent of a theatrical dance rather than a serious fight, audience, and all.

First Encounter With Grimm

The battle with Grimm is a dynamic and intense experience. He moves with graceful yet deadly agility, delivering swift strikes and launching fireballs in your direction. Grimm’s attacks are a dance of precision, requiring quick reflexes and strategic evasion to survive.

During the fight, you have the Grimmchild charm equipped, and it becomes your ally. This charm unleashes fireballs to aid you, offering a glimmer of hope amidst the challenge. This is also necessary since you can only engage in this fight if you have the charm equipped.

Upon defeating Grimm, you are given a standing ovation, and more flames spawn across the map, but these are stronger than before.

Move set

In your first encounter with Grimmchild, he will have access to the abilities mentioned below. It is worth noting that if you attack him while he is bowing, he will attack you with the pufferfish ability.

Firstly, Grimmchild has Fire Bats.

During this attack, he will launch three fire bats from his cloak that will deal significant damage if they hit you.

However, it is easy to dodge them since they aren’t good at tracking knights. Furthermore, it gives you an opening as during this attack, Grimmchild will be standing still, and if you are able to get close to him, it will disrupt his attack, making him teleport away to launch one last fire bat.

Move Set

So, if you interrupt him at the start, you can end it and only have to deal with one fire bat.

Next up on his arsenal is the Dive Dash. During this attack, he envelops himself in his cloak and mimics the appearance of a drill. He then dives towards the knight, which can be across the entire arena. Make sure to dodge it, as it does considerable damage.

Another powerful attack is the Dash Uppercut, during which Grimm runs around the arena and jumps into the air with an uppercut. At the peak of his jump, he launches five fireballs in an arc all across the arena.

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Next up, we have the Pufferfish attack, in which Grimm wraps himself with his cloak and releases small fireballs all across the arena. This attack is also a reactionary attack which activates when Grimm’s health drops down to 25%, 50%, and 75%.

Pufferfish Attack

There are twelve sets of fireballs, which always start from the center of the arena and chase Knight in packs of 2. They are dodgeable, so try your best to jump through them. During this attack, Grimm gains immunity to certain types of attacks, such as nail art, so make sure you have the right attacks planned.

Additionally, Grimm also has teleport as a utility skill, which enables him to position himself out of your attacks and maintain the edge in the fight. 

Furthermore, if he teleports too close to a knight, he will run back on all fours and might launch an attack before going back. Lastly, he also has cloak spikes, during which Grimms throws his cloak into the group, causing massive spikes to erupt from the ground. As the spikes grow taller, their damage increases. However, they are fairly easy to dodge, so don’t panic once you see them.

Fighting Strategy

Grimm’s kit is designed in such a way that prolonged fights always favor him. Furthermore, his disengage spell, teleport, allows him to stay safe in case of any attack for the most part.

Hence, it is advised that you try to output as much damage as you possibly can during the early stages of the fight. As for which spells to use, Dash Slash Nail arts is quite powerful against him as it allows you to output 2.5x damage while maintaining the range advantage.

Furthermore, you can also counter his Dash Uppercut by moving into where he is positioned, as the fireballs will move away from that space in an arc.

However, if you aren’t able to do this and struggle to gap close, you should try double jumping and dashing through his attacks, as they will put you in a spot to deal damage.

If you are looking for a cheesy strategy to beat this boss, then you can put your points in health and just stand and tank his hits while dealing damage. You can use the Abyss Shriek Spell along with the Shaman Stone Charm for maximum damage output to ensure your victory once the dust settles.

Second Encounter with Grimm

After collecting all the enhanced flames, you must go back to the Grimm Troupe tent and completely use the Dream Nail on a sleeping Grimm. Remember to have the Grimchild charm equipped; otherwise, you will not be able to engage in this second fight.

Upon entering his dream, Grimm takes a dramatic turn as he transforms into Nightmare King Grimm, shedding his elegant facade for a more menacing form. This transformation is a testament to the steep challenge that lies ahead of you.

Nightmare King Grimm’s battle is a fiery inferno of relentless attacks. His movements become even more ferocious as he unleashes a barrage of fiery assaults, including devastating fire pillars and explosive shockwaves.

Hollow Knight Grimm

The battlefield itself seems to ignite as you face his onslaught. All of this while not giving you room to breathe or heal.

The entirety of this battle can be best summarized with rhythm. You must match the rhythm of Nightmare King Grimm Hollow Knight. He can be compared to other bosses from popular game franchises, such as the Dancer of the Boreal Valley from Dark Souls 3 or Lady Maria from Bloodborne.

You can beat these challenges by dancing along to the rhythm that these bosses follow, and that is no exception for Nightmare King Grimm. That is the only way to beat him, and it will show after a few attempts. It all depends on how good you are at syncing up with the rhythm.

Once you defeat this boss, then congratulations, you have just defeated the second-hardest boss in the entire game. Take a moment to congratulate yourself if you haven’t already.

Move set

In your second encounter with Grimm, he will prove to be more of a challenge, having received numerous upgrades to his kit and attack patterns. The fight is very action-packed and high-paced, so keep up if you wish to progress further. As Grimm arsenal gains more buffs, it is integral that you are aware of them and in a position to counter them, so let’s take a look.

Grimm still uses his signature Fire bats, which in this form release for fire bats rather than 3. These bats target you from both high and low, allowing you an avenue to dodge if you can time your jump through the middle. If this causes you to get within Grimm’s reach, he will teleport away and send two more fire bats at you, one aiming lower while the other goes for your head.

As for his Dive Dash, whenever he uses it, it casts a fire trail behind him, which deals some damage. It doesn’t do as much damage as the rest of the attack if you get hit by it once, but if you are getting constantly hit by it, the damage will build up, leaving you in a precarious situation.

The Dive Uppercut now gives you way little time to get close to Grimm and launches another additional fireball, making their count go up to six. The Cloak Spikes are now fiercer and don’t need to fully grow to deal significant damage.

Furthermore, there are fewer gaps to dodge now, making it more difficult for you to sustain through the fight. Likewise, the Pufferfish attack also fireballs at higher speed, making them more of a threat.

Fighting Strategy

If you were able to recognize which attacks Grimm was going to do in previous encounters, this fight won’t be that difficult to beat. If you know what attack is coming, you can keep a countermeasure ready.

You can dodge his second-fire bat by jumping over it and evading the third and fourth, which will put you in range to attack Grimm. Here, you can use Vengeful Spirt or Nail Arts to deal some damage before backing away to prepare for his next move.

If you cannot dodge, you can equip the Dreamshield charm, which blocks all the fire bats attack. You can dodge the rest of the skills and finds the timing to counterattack if you can identify it coming. In this battle, you must remain patient and find an opening rather than going all in.

Furthermore, as this fight will be quite fast-paced unless you have healing charms, you will need to find moments where you can heal yourself. I recommend using two or three heals, while Grim is staggered if you are struggling to keep your health up.


The inherent conclusion to the DLC is not something grand but rather subdued and reserved in nature. We simply see Grimm fade away as the entire circus, alongside him, begins to disappear while only leaving Divine and her tent until her interaction with Leg Eater, after which she also disappears.


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