I propose to trace the bird's contribution to the story throughout the novels, to examine forensically it's behaviour and dialogue,and to assess it's role in determining the future of Westeros.
Clearly this is an onerous task,therefore any assistance with the project would be welcomed.
A Game of Thrones.
Our first encounter with the raven occurs in Jon Snow's POV at the Wall.Ser Alliser Thorne has informed Jon that LC Mormont requires his presence.When he arrives we are given a description of Mormont and informed that he has "a raven on his arm,and he was feeding it kernels of corn".
So far,so good.The LC has a pet raven.Nothing to write home about.
Next he shakes the raven off,it flies to the window,watches Mormont draw out a roll of paper and hand it to Jon.At this point the bird makes it's first verbal contribution-"Corn,"it muttered in a raucous voice."Corn,corn"
We learn two things here.
First,the bird can speak.Not a major shock,as parrots on our own planet (Earth) have been known to talk.It doesn't reveal any great conversational skills and the reader is given the impression of a bird who can recite words in a limited and repetitive way.
Second,we become privy to the raven's dietary preferences.Corn.This sets it apart from the average raven we meet in the novel,who seems to prefer carrion or meat.No doubt corn is a healthy choice,it's rich in fibre (although the outer skin of the kernel is indigestible and passes out with the stool,as you may have noticed).
There are other interpretations of the word "corn",but let's take it at face value for now.
The letter informs Jon that his step-brother,Bran,albeit a cripple,is going to live.
Jon says,"My brother is going to live".Mormont shakes his head,whistles,gathers a handful of corn and the raven flies to his shoulder crying,"Live!Live".
Whilst the reader could be forgiven for assuming that the bird is merely repeating the last word of Jon's sentence,the reader might also subconsciously wonder if the bird is rejoicing in the good news that Bran is going to live.
We will follow the exploits of the strange,enigmatic bird from a Tyrion POV soon.
Edited by redriver, 09 August 2012 - 03:05 AM.