Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Ser Falione

How do the maester's ravens work?

Recommended Posts

I'm terribly confused with how those pesky ravens work. I don't understand how a maester can just send them off and expect them to fly to the right place. Can ravens actually do this? Is this taken from actual history or is it fictional?




I'd expect some sort of magic could be involved, but I thought maesters were against magic.



Anyone bird scholars know how it works?


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This isnt a theory/debate. All anybody knows on this is what is in the series, so why not look it up if your actually curious.





Plot convenience. Most powerful magic in fiction.




There actually is a large degree of actual magic involved (as well as realistic precedent) so its funny to see someone with near 10,000 posts on the Series dismiss it as plot convenience and jibe that said plot convenience is more powerful than the fictitious magic existent in this work of fiction, while actual magic is involved beyond the ultra powerful magic of plot convenience concept you subscribe to


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They probably just work like carrier pigeons, you can't just whisper in their ear and they will fly off wherever you want them to. When the wights attacked the NW at the fist Samwell mentioned there were cages for the birds from Castle Black and then separate cages from the Shadowtower and he told the ones he sent to "fly home" or something along those lines. The ravens can only travel to one or two places (perhaps their home and then one other location, assuming that they are just sent back to where they flew from)

I am no bird expert though, just like to have plenty of useless information on hand that just might not be so useless right now!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Carrier pigeons historically were fairly reliable carrying messages, but could only go one way. To their home and had to be manually transported elsewhere. I sorta figured that's how the ravens worked. Each Maester raises them at their castles, then distributes them to various other castles. So they end up with various ravens trained to fly to various castles.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Carrier pigeons historically were fairly reliable carrying messages, but could only go one way. To their home and had to be manually transported elsewhere. I sorta figured that's how the ravens worked. Each Maester raises them at their castles, then distributes them to various other castles. So they end up with various ravens trained to fly to various castles.

No. Ravens are (mostly) homing onto only one castle/place.

In reality ravens do not work this way.

Maesters explain their use like "raven is stronger bird thus it is better than a pigeon".

Historically (in ASOIAF) they are used traditionally. In days of CotF ravens were warged to carry message. While warging was lost, tradition of sending ravens remained.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"A maester's raven flies to one place, and one place only. Is that correct?"

The maester mopped sweat from his brow with his sleeve. "N-not entirely, Your Grace. Most, yes. Some few can be taught to fly between two castles. Such birds are greatly prized. And once in a very great while, we find a raven who can learn the names of three or four or five castles, and fly to each upon command. Birds as clever as that come along only once in a hundred years."

“Someone else was in the raven,” he told Lord Brynden, once he had returned to his own skin. “Some girl. I felt her.”

“A woman, of those who sing the song of earth,” his teacher said. “Long dead, yet a part of her remains, just as a part of you would remain in Summer if your boy’s flesh were to die upon the morrow. A shadow on the soul. She will not harm you.”

“Do all the birds have singers in them?”

“All,” Lord Brynden said. “It was the singers who taught the First Men to send messages by raven … but in those days, the birds would speak the words. The trees remember, but men forget, and so now they write the messages on parchment and tie them round the feet of birds who have never shared their skin.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that way back when people (well children of the forest) worged the birds, but over the years that went out of fashion, and they started tying notes to the legs. The thing is, when worgs die they can stay in animals. So my theory (Crack pot in coming) is that they breed so many ravens with 'extra' in them that the birds of this generation are far smarter then the real world ones... so basically super smart homing birds... also they are stealth dinosaurs.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So my theory (Crack pot in coming) is that they breed so many ravens with 'extra' in them that the birds of this generation are far smarter then the real world ones... so basically super smart homing birds... also they are stealth dinosaurs.

Maybe that's how they breed the white ravens haha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Black ravens are trained to fly between two castles, their home and another. Some ravens, very rare can be trained to fly to sometimes two or even three destinations. The Citadel breeds and trains very large white ravens to carry messages heralding the change of seasons


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like homing pigeons - raised in one castle, shipped to another, and when they are sent, they return to their castle of birth.



That's the procedure for almost all of them. A couple are skinchanger-influenced and learn several places, but that's exceedingly rare.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm now very interested in reading something from the POV of one of the very stupid ravens who can't figure out where he's supposed to go.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm now very interested in reading something from the POV of one of the very stupid ravens who can't figure out where he's supposed to go.

Corn! Snow? Snow!? Corn! CORN!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doesn't seem overly weird to me, pigeons were used as messengers in real life, no magic involved(obviously), ravens are probably trained the same way.



Also, it is mentioned in the TWOW Stannis Theon pov chapter that certain ravens could be trained to fly to more than one location.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

According to Bloodraven, virtually every raven in and around the cave has the spirit of a CotF inside. So if we assume that this is true of the maester's ravens as well, then the CotF have a very convenient means of keeping themselves well-informed of all the goings-on in the seven kingdoms throughout the ages.



Indeed, there is a scene in Dance where Sam walks into Jon's office and Jon is reading a letter with the raven on his should with his head cocked like he's reading the letter as well.



I think it also points to possible collusion between the maesters and the CotF, both of whom have very good reasons to be concerned about the return of dragons to the world.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

According to Bloodraven, virtually every raven in and around the cave has the spirit of a CotF inside. So if we assume that this is true of the maester's ravens as well, then the CotF have a very convenient means of keeping themselves well-informed of all the goings-on in the seven kingdoms throughout the ages.

Bloodraven's cave is the big exception. There are hundreds of these skinchaner-touched ravens there, but the Maesters find just about one of them per century. The rest are the ordinary one-way and extremely rare two-way ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's not forget that the ravens also used to talk. This would be likely to be pure myth except for the fact that Mormont's raven can still say a few words.



However, the current ravens working for the Westerosi Postal Service are not intelligent enough to speak, which reminds me of a relative who scored too high on the civil service exam to work in the USPS.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that, as the number of skinchangers dwindled the skinchanger-touched ravens did too and the lords started to breed regular ravens as a sort of parallel support system to the magical ravens. By the time the skinchangers weren't no more and the magical ravens weren't available, the non-magical ravens had been selectively bred for so long that they were a new species, the same way dogs are descended from wolves (and to a leser extent, from jackals and coyotes).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×