Hollow Knight is a beautiful dance of bugs and blades where it’s almost inevitable to take a hit while weaving between enemies. That’s part of what makes the Delicate Flower Quest given by the Grey Mourner so challenging: as a single hit destroys your progress, forcing you to start again. As mentioned in our review of the game, the Delicate Flower quest unlocks some of the game’s different endings, so if you’re having trouble making your way to the Queen’s Garden, let’s talk points of strategy.
For starters, let’s talk about what you need before starting this quest. The Grey Mourner can be found in the Resting Grounds, and the Traitor’s Child’s grave can be found in the Queen’s Gardens, so to start you’ll need access to both these areas in the game. The Resting Grounds can be accessed fairly early on, typically after the player has explored the Crystal Peak. The Queen’s Gardens, however, are a little more tricky. To initially make your way in, you will need one of two items: either Isma’s Tear or the Shade Cloak. I recommend Isma’s Tear, as it may be much faster to unlock at that stage of the game and will significantly reduce the danger of falling into acid. The other thing to consider while attempting this quest is the stage of the game you are in overall.
More than likely, you’ll want to attempt this quest before the Forgotten Crossroads become the Infected Crossroads. The enemies in the Infected Crossroads are much more powerful and aggressive than the ones in the Forgotten Crossroads, making it much harder to avoid taking a hit on your trek across them. The easiest, fastest path to take while delivering the flower takes you through the Crossroads regardless, so if you have the opportunity beforehand, take it. The Crossroads become infected when the player obtains the Monarch Wings, so even though your movement will be more limited, it’s better to put that item off for later.
Provided you’ve already explored both areas beforehand, you should also have any shortcuts you may want to take unlocked ahead of time. No need to risk taking a complicated detour full of enemies while holding the flower when some preparation can be done to avoid it. If all goes according to plan, your biggest challenges when it comes to enemies will be a single Mantis Petra and a couple Spiny Husks in the Queen’s Gardens. So, finally, let’s talk about Charms.
There are endless Charm set-ups that work for this run depending on how you plan to deal with the enemies you’ll come across along the way. One strategy is to make your nail as powerful as possible, as shown above with the Fragile Strength charm paired with Long Nail. This build is also helped if you’ve previously upgraded your Nail to the Sharpened Nail or the Coiled Nail, making most enemies along the route very easy to dispatch. The other option is to invest in a spell-heavy build, utilizing the range of the Vengeful Spirit spell to take out enemies before they can get in range of you. With both of these, getting through the Resting Grounds and the Forgotten Crossroads shouldn’t be too bad, so let’s skip ahead to the Fog Canyon.
The enemies in Fog Canyon are all passive, so they should be avoided if at all possible. The smaller Uomas can be carefully attacked if you’re running short on Soul, but overall, this area should be taken slow and steady. Also, watch out for the patches of Charged Lumaflies, and any stray infected bubbles that could hurt you. This area also shouldn’t pose a huge challenge as long as you stay aware of your surroundings. Take a dip in some acid, and you’ll be in the Queen’s Gardens on the final stretch.
From there, the only thing you can do is take care and take your time. You’ll have to either face or avoid a couple tricky enemies, but it should only take you a couple tries beyond that point, and soon you’ll have completed the main stage of the Delicate Flower Quest. The Hollow Knight Wiki has a couple alternate routes mapped out if a certain area is proving particularly problematic, but these couple tips should help your overall run immensely. Best of luck; don’t get hit!