I have made a systematic research. The term "black crow" is used by: Osha, Mance, Ygritte, Tormund, Craster, Harma and Rattleshirt. It is used exactly once by a non-wildling: by Jon when he talks to Halleck
For now. “We hold the Wall. The Wall protects the realm ... and you now. You know the foe we face. You know what’s coming down on us. Some of you have faced them before. Wights and white walkers, dead things with blue eyes and black hands. I’ve seen them too, fought them, sent one to hell. They kill, then they send your dead against you. The giants were not able to stand against them, nor you Thenns, the ice-river clans, the Hornfoots, the free folk ... and as the days grow shorter and the nights colder, they are growing stronger. You left your homes and came south in your hundreds and your thousands ... why, but to escape them? To be safe. Well, it’s the Wall that keeps you safe. It’s us that keeps you safe, the black crows you despise.”
So Jon used the term only to borrow explicitly Halleck's own vocabulary. That convinces me that only wildlings designate the black brothers as "black crows" and that people south of the Wall don't use the term. If Ramsay wrote the letter, it means that he has some connection with the wildlings (not impossible through his mother).
When one looks at the words used in the letter, there is a disturbing number of references to certain scenes that have happened at the Wall or north of the Wall previously.
. It is used by Melisandre to designate Mance, and again after Mance's "death" (curiously in Ramsay's letter Mance is a real King-beyond-the-Wall and Stannis is the false King, as if Stannis and Mance authenticities have been switched). Melisandre addresses the free folk:
“FREE FOLK! Your false gods cannot help you. Your false horn did not save you. Your false king brought you only death, despair, defeat ... but here stands the true king. BEHOLD HIS GLORY!”
and later in company of Mance and Jon
“Our false king has a prickly manner,” Melisandre told Jon Snow, “but he will not betray you. We hold his son, remember. And he owes you his very life.”
: recalls the cage where Mance has been burnt.
: the exp
ression is used by Mance disguised as Rattleshirt,
Rattleshirt tapped the ruby on his wrist. “Ask your red witch, bastard.”
and again by Tormund
for all the north to see
When he was done, Tormund whistled. “Har. That’s buggered, and no mistake. What was that about Mance? Has him in a cage, does he? How, when hundreds saw your red witch burn the man?”
: Mance uses as similar exp
ression "for all the world to see", when he is disguised as Rattleshirt, and he talks about the burning.
and wildling princess
: the designations are used by the black brothers at the Wall in ASoS
cut out your bastard’s heart and eat it
“He’s hungry,” said the blonde woman Val, the one the black brothers called the wildling princess. “He’s lived on goats’ milk up to now, and
potions from that blind maester.”
The boy did not have a name yet, no more than Gilly’s did. That was the wildling way. Not even Mance Rayder’s son would get a name till his third year, it would seem, though Sam had heard the brothers calling him “the little prince” and “born-in-battle.”
: in ASoS, there is a dialogue between Mance and Styr in ASoS, they talk about Jon
Styr scowled. “His heart may still be black.”
“Then cut it out.”
I don't claim to provide any explanation for all the coincidences, but there is an awful lot of words in the letter recycled from dialogues in which Mance has been involved.
(I should say that red witch and false king are also heard at Manderly's court.)
Edited by Bran Vras, 12 May 2012 - 08:41 AM.