|“|| The Tree of Life is a gateway. From it, one may travel to places undreamed of. Whether of oceans and forests, or ice, or endless night... the Tree exists there. It may appear different, yet it is the same Tree and its roots connect all the Realms. The Tree of Life is not where journeys end, but where they begin.|
— Elder Eideard, on the Tree of Life.
The Tree of Life/Death is a massive tree that links the realms of the Darksiders universe. Each realm has its "own" tree, in the darker realms it is the Tree of Death while in the realms of light, the Tree of Life. In truth, there is but one tree that manifests itself in a different form, reflecting the inherent duality of being. The Shadow Lands exist in a blighted space between the opposing incarnations of the Tree. In any incarnation, the gate to the Well of Souls is embedded in its trunk, the path by which spirits of the dead find their way to the Kingdom of the Dead and to other realms when they are reborn.
"See your journey to its end Horseman, you will understand soon enough."
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The Tree serves both as a method of transportation and a critical plot element in Darksiders II. After helping the Maker's restore the Guardian and cleanse the Forge Lands, Death uses the Tree to traverse the realms in his quest to redeem his brother by reviving humanity. After acquiring the two halves of the Key to the Well of Souls, Death opened the massive gate in the Tree's trunk to access the well.
Inside, the horseman did battle with the root of Corruption, Absalom, and ultimately cast himself into the Well upon his victory, sacrificing his own life and the souls of the nephilim to revive humanity.
- Earth doesn't possess a Tree of Life/Death, by the order of the Charred Council. When humanity was relocated to Earth after the Nephilim destroyed Eden, the Charred Council ordered the destruction of the tree, so that no one could interfere with the Third Kingdom until the End War.
- On the lost realm of Eden, there is another tree known as the Tree of Knowledge. It is unclear whether or not there is a connection between the two.
- The Tree of Life is possibly inspired by Yggdrasil, sometimes called the World Tree. In Norse Mythology Yggdrasil connects the various worlds of Norse cosmology with its roots and limbs. The name likely arises from the immortality granting Tree of Life in Kabbalism, an ancient practice in Judaism.
- The Tree of Life is also mentioned in Genesis. It is the Tree's existence that causes God to leave a Angel to guard the entrance to Eden. While consuming the Fruit of Knowledge of Good and Evil ultimately caused Adam and Eve to become mortal, the Fruit of Everlasting Life could reverse it, making them immortal again. Since they (and their descendants) were being punished for their crime, God made it so no human could get out of their punishment (death) without redemption. The Tree of Life was mentioned four times in Genesis in Chapters 2 and 3.
- It has been noted that the the tree itself possesses a form of sentience as both the Crowfather and Ostegoth stated that the tree is wiser than anyone could know or understand. Ostegoth also stated that if it sends someone to a realm then it is where they belong, regardless if they understand or not.