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This article is about Red Oak Tree. You may be looking for White Oak Tree.
I had a vision of a tree. I didn't realize it was on school grounds, but I should have known Nature would create balance near the site of the tribrid's birth.
Cleo about the Red Oak Tree in You're A Long Way From Home

The Red Oak Tree admired by Cleo

The Red Oak Tree (Quercus rubra) is a large tree standing on the estate of the Salvatore Boarding School for the Young & Gifted. Created by Hope, Lizzie, and Josie, it is unknowingly one of Nature's loopholes that finds balance with the birth of the tribrid, Hope Mikaelson, and its wood is seemingly the only thing that can kill her.



Hope, Lizzie and Josie unknowingly create the tree.

The Red Oak tree was created in We All Knew This Day Was Coming. Hope decided to transition and become a fully activated tribrid. Since witches lose their abilities to practice magic when they complete their transition, not being able to cast another spell is something she'd miss, particularly with Lizzie and Josie. To celebrate her last day alive, Lizzie and Josie prepared a spell for the three of them to cast. In the garden of the Salvatore School, they join hands in a circle of branches and other herbs and as they cast the spell, the nearby Cherry trees begin to blossom. Beneath them, the sapling sprouts. Lizzie and Josie explain to Hope that it's a promise of new life and a life full of promise.

Throughout Legacies Series[]


In There's No I In Team, or Whatever, Cleo inspires herself with a solution on how the tribrid can be killed. In the vision, she sees a mighty tree with bright red foliage.

In You're A Long Way From Home, Cleo combs through a dendrology text researching trees. She’s trying to locate the tree she saw in her vision. Finch clues her in when she notices a drawn leaf in the text, explaining to Cleo that the tree exists in the garden by the Cherry trees and that she can't miss the bright red leaves.

In the garden, she admires the tree, noting how quickly it has grown since Lizzie, Josie and Hope originally cast the spell.

Later that night, Cleo uses the Therapy Box and confronts Hope with a stake fashioned from the Red Oak tree in hand. This time, the simulation will be different. She explains to Hope that she had a vision of a tree and she should have known that Nature would have created balance near the place of the tribrid's birth. Since she came alone, Hope reasons that she still hasn't told anyone else about it, but Cleo wants to test her theory first. Cleo casts a spell as Hope vamps towards her. Cleo teleports behind her and stakes her in the heart from the back. Hope immediately begins to desiccate and turn to ash and ember, blowing away in the wind.

In Someplace Far Away From All This Violence, while Lizzie is using the therapy box, Hope kills and turns Josette into a vampire. Josette attacks and mortally wounds uncle Ric and Lizzie vows vengeance against Hope. Before dying, Ric gives Lizzie two pistols with special bullets capable of killing Hope.

Lizzie buries her sister and uncle as Hope finds her. She's prepared and plans to end her in an old fashioned pistol match, seeing who can draw their weapon quicker. Hope questions if she really believes she's faster than a vampire and they draw. Hope is quicker and shoots Lizzie in the shoulder. Nevertheless, Hope is impressed with Lizzie and offers her death or life. Lizzie chooses death and trips Hope, who falls into a makeshift cross, stabbing her in the stomach. Hope is a tribrid and believes she can't be killed. Lizzie fires several shots, killing Hope who burns away into ash. Lizzie comes to a realization that there's always a loophole, even to Hope.

In You Will Remember Me, Cleo chops down the Red Oak tree and stacks the wood up. MG approaches her, believing he's come for some inspiration. He thinks her work looks therapeutic and takes the ax. He's worried about Lizzie. She grabbed him to help with her mysterious plan and it kind of bothered him. Hope was right. Being the leader is lonely. She reassures him. Sometimes the right decisions are the hardest ones to make. She explains that Lizzie asked to inspire her, but similarly she doesn't think she's thinking clearly and turned her down. MG believes she's protecting her from herself. Cleo confides in him her burden. She explains to him about the tree she's chopping down and how it can kill Hope. She questions if she should destroy it to protect Hope or begin sharpening it to protect the world from her. MG reasons that when Hope was at the school, she handed her a sword to see if he had the guts to kill. He reiterates her words, that he was weak because he wouldn't go that far. She was right. He wouldn't go that far and believes that Hope is still one of them. He tells her she should burn it. Cleo accepts his advice and, casting a spell, sets the wood on fire. Walking away, Lizzie and Ethan uncloak themselves from her magic. They've heard their entire conversation and continue to watch the wood burn.

With most of the Red Oak tree burned to ash, Lizzie finds two remaining pieces. She needs to salvage whatever they can, though Ethan reiterates that it can kill Hope. He doesn't want to be an accessory to murder. They just heard them. No one at this school will hurt her. He just got here and should see that. He questions if the therapy box taught her that, but she explains that sometimes doing the right thing means people will call you the villain. Ethan doesn't know. Malivore already made him a villain once and he didn't like it. Lizzie, however, is asking him to be a hero. She's going after Hope alone, but she needs someone willing to protect the school and finish the job should she fail. Ethan questions what she'd do if he just phased back and warned MG and Cleo, but Lizzie tells him that would only put them in more risk. She can't have that and tosses him one of the two stakes. He asks if that is a threat, but the only threat they have is Hope. He has two choices, to lie to his best friend or she can do a spell to make him forget they had this conversation and insert a fake memory. For all he'll know they walked out to the Old Mill to talk.

Later that night and still determined to kill Hope, Lizzie fashions a stake from one of the remaining pieces of the Red Oak tree.

In I Can't Be the One to Stop You, Lizzie confronts "Hope" with the stake that she fashioned from the Red Oak tree. She stabs her hand, wanting to chat with her. Eventually, she decides to team up with Aurora, in Hope's body. Together, they plan to make Hope Mikaelson pay.

Despite their team up, Lizzie goes against Aurora and helps Hope regain her body, and seemingly, her humanity. Hope manages to get a hold of the stake, asking what it is. Lizzie explains that it's from the tree they created. Hope quickly reveals that it was all an act and she hasn't regained her humanity. Instead, she burns the stake with a spell.

In The Story of My Life, Lizzie taunts Hope, trapped in a Chambre de Chasse by Professor Vardemus, about being able to kill her. Hope doesn't believe her, but Lizzie shows her a whittled stake that holds up her hair. She explains that it was a large Red Oak tree and she made more than one stake.

After she left the chambre de chasse, Lizzie learned that she could not harm Hope. Soon after Lizzie's hint at escaping the chambre de chasse, Hope freed herself and used the motus spell to take the Red Oak stake from Lizzie's hand. Hope intended to use it against her since she was now a vampire and wood would kill her. Lizzie, however, casts incendia and incinerates the stake before Hope has the chance.

In Everything That Can Be Lost May Also Be Found, during a fight between the humanity and humanity-less Hope, the former is staked by the latter without effect. Humanity Hope points out that if her other self was truly in control, the stake would've been red oak as only red oak can kill the tribrid. Humanity Hope transforms the stake in her hand into a red oak stake, stating that her other self would have some red oak if she was truly in control of their mind. Humanity Hope throws the red oak stake into her humanity-less self and then rushes forward, impaling Humanity-less Hope further on the stake and hugging her. Humanity-less Hope burns to ashes and Humanity Hope regains control of her body. However, Humanity-less Hope later appears to Hope as a hallucination, showing that she's not truly gone and stating that the war between them isn't over yet.

In By the End of This, You'll Know Who You Were Meant to Be, Ken has a one-on-one with Cleo to reach an accord with one-another. They can be civilized, after-all, only one person needs to die: the tribrid. Cleo is sure that he can't kill her because the Red Oak is gone. However, Ken ponders just what he could do if he had the ashes of one of those Red Oak stakes forged into a weapon made by a god. That would kill her. He makes Cleo an offer. Bring Hope to him and he will let everyone else live. Refuse, and all the deaths that come after this will be on her and her alone.

In This Can Only End in Blood, at Torch 'n Toke, Jen forges her father's weapon—a spear made with god magic and Red Oak ash. She claims that it's a lethal combo for Hope, provided it's stuck into her heart. When Ken used it against her, injuries resulting from the weapon persisted, unable to heal, while it weakened her as it made its way through her bloodstream to her heart.


  • Quercus rubra (the red oak) is native to and very common in North America, in the eastern and central United States and southeast and south-central Canada. It is also a significant invasive species across western and central Europe. The prevalence of this species in the TVD universe is unknown.


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