I'm just wondering if anyone else has come to the conclusion that the 3 eyed crow is literally a crow - Mormont's to be exact?
(warning minor spoiler from AFFC)
I reread AFFC fairly recently and found that one scene in particular peaked my suspicion. When Sam has organised the vote for leader of the nights watch and Mormont's raven bursts out of the Voting Kettle screeching "Snow". This seems terribly un-Raven/Crow like behaviour. The others blame Sam but he appears genuinely surprised.
The other tentative "clue" is that when the 3 Eyed Crow visits Bran one of the first things it does is asks for corn which as Maestar Aemon tells Jon is not the preferred food of a normal Raven. (I am somewhat fudging the distinction between ravens and crows here but I think this distinction is pretty fudged already in the ASOIAF series, and the raven is a member of the crow family.)
How this would work - I'm not sure: perhaps Animatism, or the raven could be controlled or occupied by a Warg.
I'd like to know your thoughts.
Anyway here's the quotes that made me suspect:
Jon shifted the bucket to his right hand and thrust his left down into the bloody bits. The ravens began to scream noisily and fly at the bars, beating at the metal with night-black wings. The meat had been chopped into pieces no larger than a finger joint. He filled his fist and tossed the raw red morsels into the cage, and the squawking and squabbling grew hotter.
Feathers flew as two of the larger birds fought over a choice piece. Quickly Jon grabbed a second handful and threw it in after the first. "Lord Mormont's raven likes fruit and corn."
"He is a rare bird," the maester said. "Most ravens will eat grain, but they prefer flesh. It makes them strong, and I fear they relish the taste of blood.
In that they are like men . . . and like men, not all ravens are alike."
"Help me," he said.
I'm trying, the crow replied. Say, got any corn?
The kettle was in the comer by the hearth, a big black potbellied thing with two huge handles and a heavy lid. Maester Aemon said a word to Sam and Clydas and they went and grabbed the handles and dragged the kettle over to the table. A few of the brothers were already queueing up by the token barrels as Clydas took the lid off and almost dropped it on his foot. With a raucous scream and a clap of wings, a huge raven burst out of the kettle. It flapped upward, seeking the rafters perhaps, or a window to make its escape, but there were no rafters in the vault, nor windows either. The raven was trapped.
Cawing loudly, it circled the hall, once, twice, three times. And Jon heard Samwell Tarly shout, "I know that bird! That's Lord Mormont's raven!"
The raven landed on the table nearest Jon. "Snow," it cawed. it was an old bird, dirty and bedraggled. "Snow," it said again, "Snow, snow, snow" It walked to the end of the table, spread its wings again, and flew to Jon's shoulder.
Lord Janos Slynt sat down so heavily he made a thump, but Ser Alliser filled the vault with mocking laughter. "Ser Piggy thinks we're all fools, brothers," he said.
"He's taught the bird this little trick. They all say snow, go up to the rookery and hear for yourselves. Mormont's bird had more words than that."
The raven cocked its head and looked at Jon. "Corn?" it said hopefully. When it got neither corn nor answer, it quorked and muttered, "Kettle? Kettle? Kettle?"
The rest was arrowheads, a torrent of arrowheads, a flood of arrowheads, arrowheads enough to drown the last few stones and shells, and all the copper pennies too.