|“||They made me and my friends do this Harvest ritual. They said our participation would bring our family strength, health... that we'd forever be celebrated as saviors of the community. But all they really wanted was more power. So, I left before they could get it. Now, they're running out of time, because after the Harvest, comes the Reaping. And if they don't complete the Harvest, there won't be a Reaping. Soon, all the witches in the Quarter will start to lose their power. Eventually, they will cease to be witches altogether.||”|
— Davina On the Harvest
The Harvest is a ceremony performed by witches of the French Quarter. This sacrificial ritual is performed once every three-hundred years as a means to strengthen the connection of the living witches of New Orleans to their deceased ancestors. The Harvest ritual involves sacrificing four teenage girls, so that their coven can maintain their magical connection to their ancestors for the following three hundred years. The sacrifice is the method of which the witches appease their ancestors, and as a reward during the Reaping, the witches are rewarded with continued access to their ancestors magic. The final stage of the Harvest is the Reaping.
The first mention of the Harvest ritual is in Sinners and Saints, where we learn about it through a series of flashbacks from the perspectives of Davina, Sophie and Marcel. The four girls who participated were assured that they would be put to a peaceful sleep-like state for several months until the Reaping, when they would then be "reborn". However, it was revealed that the Elders of the coven had lied to the girls, and instead of being given a small cut on their palms for the blood sacrifice that would lead to peaceful sleep, they were killed by having their throats slit. Monique Deveraux and two other girls were slaughtered during the Harvest ritual before Marcel and his vampires could intervene, on Father Kieran's orders. Marcel was able to save Davina before she could be sacrificed, and has been kept hidden and protected in the attic of St. Ann's Catholic Church, ever since. In Sinners and Saints, Davina tells Elijah that while she knows she has to die in order to complete the ritual, but she is afraid that the Elders were lying about the girls being resurrected, just as they had lied about them dying in the first place.
In Après Moi, Le Déluge, Sophie became an Elder by consecrating the remains of the witch Esther, adding her power to the fold. The process still required the presence of the Originals to channel Esther's power. Due to the power bleeding out of Davina threatening to destroy everything, she agreed to be sacrificed. Regardless of whether or not she would come back. The power did not go back into the Earth as expected. The power actually went to the witch Celeste, who had somehow come to possess Sabine. Celeste used the power to resurrect three other witches; Papa Tunde, Bastiana, and Genevieve. This prevented the resurrection of the witches sacrificed for the ritual.
In Crescent City, Monique is resurrected due to Papa Tunde's death, proving that as each of the witches resurrected by Celeste die, the ones meant to resurrected will revive. However, Monique is shown to have been radicalized into believing in the witch cause, and the Harvest, by her time in the realm of the dead
- During the events of The Originals (TV Series), all of the witches involved with the Harvest Ritual were killed by Marcel and his vampires, with the exception of Agnes (killed by Elijah/vampire), Sophie, and Davina.
- The girls required for the Harvest ritual's sacrifice seems to be specific, as four girls were chosen. It is possible that there were requirements as to who could be chosen, or perhaps a magical means of choosing, but exactly how they were chosen is unknown.
- The ritual can only be completed if all four girls were to die in the sacrifice. If the ritual is not completed (i.e.: if Davina is not sacrificed), the witches in the coven will eventually lose access to their ancestors' magic, and eventually will run out of magical powers all together and cease to be witches.
- Only a Elder can do it as they're the only ones who know the spell.
- Each time one of the girls was sacrificed, the power of the particular witch would pass on to the next living girl. Monique was the second-to-last girl to be sacrificed; when she died, her powers, plus the powers of the two girls sacrificed before her, were all passed on to Davina. Since she didn't die, she continues to possess all four girls' magic.
- The interrupted Harvest resulted in Davina becoming the most powerful witch seen to date.
- Each girl symbolizes one of the elements: Water, Earth, Air and Fire. These elements were also used as a part of the Harvest ritual, before the girls were sacrificed.
- During each girl's time in the afterlife, her presence so close to the ancestral spirits causes them to being to reflect the spirits' beliefs in the witches' cause, and the harvest itself.
- Bastianna, Agnes and Sophie all participated in the same ritual. Bastianna sacrificed two girls. Agnes sacrificed Monique, the third girl. Sophie completed the Harvest by sacrificing Davina.
- Elijah, Rebekah, Niklaus and Hayley were required to complete the Harvest. As they were needed to channel Esther's magic.
- Hayley's presence was required because her daughter Hope Mikaelson is Esther's last living descendant
- It is assumed each Witch was chosen based on how powerful they were individually, which could possibly explain Davina's incredible strength.