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The Three-Eyed-Crow is Old Nan, not Bloodraven

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The Three Eyed Crow is Old Nan and not Bloodraven

I have tried to make various arguments for why I believe Bloodraven is not the three eyed crow on these forums, and I’ve gone back and forth about who the Three Eyed Crow is, but this is my attempt at a relatively concise explanation of why Bloodraven is not the Three Eyed Crow, Old Nan is.

 

First I: Are You a Crow?

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The crow landed on his hand and began to eat.
"Are you really a crow?" Bran asked.
Are you really falling? the crow asked back.
"It's just a dream," Bran said.
Is it? asked the crow.

Before the Crow even has three eyes, Bran asks very plainly if it is really a crow, and while the crow doesn’t directly answer, it clearly understands the question, and hears Bran call it a crow. This leaves no question that whoever is appearing to Bran will know he/she appeared as a crow.

When Bran first meets Sam he asks him if he is the Three eyed Crow.

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"The Night's Watch, yes." The fat man was still breathing like a bellows. "I'm a brother of the Watch." He had one cord under his chins, forcing his head up, and others digging deep into his cheeks. "I'm a crow, please. Let me out of this."
Bran was suddenly uncertain. "Are you the three-eyed crow?" He can't be the three-eyed crow.
"I don't think so." The fat man rolled his eyes, but there were only two of them. "I'm only Sam. Samwell Tarly. Let me out, it's hurting me." He began to struggle again.
  

            

Sam is confused, assumes Bran means a brother of the night’s watch, has the wrong number of eyes, and I think we can all agree is not the three eyed crow.

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His mouth twisted. "I don't even dream of Ghost anymore. All my dreams are of the crypts, of the stone kings on their thrones. Sometimes I hear Robb's voice, and my father's, as if they were at a feast. But there's a wall between us, and I know that no place has been set for me."
The living have no place at the feasts of the dead. It tore the heart from Sam to hold his silence then. Bran's not dead, Jon, he wanted to stay. He's with friends, and they're going north on a giant elk to find a three-eyed crow in the depths of the haunted forestIt sounded so mad that there were times Sam Tarly thought he must have dreamt it all, conjured it whole from fever and fear and hunger . . . but he would have blurted it out anyway, if he had not given his word.
Three times he had sworn to keep the secret; once to Bran himself, once to that strange boy Jojen Reed, and last of all to Coldhands. "The world believes the boy is dead," his rescuer had said as they parted. "Let his bones lie undisturbed. We want no seekers coming after us.Swear it, Samwell of the Night's Watch. Swear it for the life you owe me."

Given this is Sam’s PoV, and he’s thinking about the Three Eyed Crow in the third person, he can be safely ruled out… But it’s worth pointing out how really mad and creepy the whole thing sounds… wanting no seekers to disturb Bran’s bones.

Bran also Asks Bloodraven if he is the three eyed crow.

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"Are you the three-eyed crow?" Bran heard himself say. A three-eyed crow should have three eyes. He has only one, and that one red. Bran could feel the eye staring at him, shining like a pool of blood in the torchlight. Where his other eye should have been, a thin white root grew from an empty socket, down his cheek, and into his neck.
"A … crow?" The pale lord's voice was dry. His lips moved slowly, as if they had forgotten how to form words. "Once, aye. Black of garb and black of blood." The clothes he wore were rotten and faded, spotted with moss and eaten through with worms, but once they had been black. "I have been many things, Bran. Now I am as you see me, and now you will understand why I could not come to you … except in dreams. I have watched you for a long time, watched you with a thousand eyes and one. I saw your birth, and that of your lord father before you. I saw your first step, heard your first word, was part of your first dream. I was watching when you fell. And now you are come to me at last, Brandon Stark, though the hour is late."

Bloodraven makes the same assumption as Sam, and believes Bran is talking about the Night’s Watch.  Bran makes the same observation about the crow having the wrong number of eyes.

Bloodraven meanwhile should know exactly what Bran means if he was the three eyed crow, since Bran asked the crow in the dream if he was a crow.  It is also terribly suspicious that Bloodraven only uses passive verbs about his passed dream interactions with Bran. He says he watched, and saw, but not that he talked, pecked and buffeted…

However, the weirwood in Bran’s original falling dream does just watch.

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 At the heart of the godswood, the great white weirwood brooded over its reflection in the black pool, its leaves rustling in a chill wind. When it felt Bran watching, it lifted its eyes from the still waters and stared back at him knowingly.

 

Second II: The Many Dreams of Bran

After bran’s fall he has different kinds of dreams… 

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He was scared, even then, but he had sworn to trust them, and a Stark of Winterfell keeps his sworn word. "There's different kinds," he said slowly. "There's the wolf dreams, those aren't so bad as the others. I run and hunt and kill squirrels. And there's dreams where the crow comes and tells me to fly. Sometimes the tree is in those dreams toocalling my nameThat frightens me. But the worst dreams are when I fall."

Ok so, Bran dreams:

Wolf Dreams: when he shares Summer’s Skin

Crow Dreams: there the three eyed crow comes and pecks at him and tells him to fly

Tree Dreams: Scary tree calls Brans name (Brandon Stark!)

Falling Dreams: Where Bran relives the fall from the old tower.

So the three eyed crow is distinct from the Weirwood tree, this is important, since as I’ve shown above, Bloodraven (who appears to Melisandre as a wooden face in her fires) doesn’t self-identify as a three eyed crow. Meanwhile the Weirwood tree (distinct entity from the crow) trying to call Brans name wordlessly is a spot on match.

Now let’s look at the falling dreams…

In Bran’s first falling dream, he seems to remember Jaime throwing him and the Three Eyed Crow tells him he doesn’t need it now. I would suggest that the Three Eyed Crow is either taking a memory from Bran or hiding it from him…

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The crow took to the air, cawing. Not that, it shrieked at him. Forget that, you do not need it now, put it aside, put it away. It landed on Bran’s shoulder, and pecked at himand the shininggolden face was gone.

So we see that the Three Eyed Crow seems to be able to take Bran’s memories, or at least make him temporarily forget. When does Bran dream the Falling Dream again?

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Summer followed them up the tower steps as Hodor carried Bran back to his bed. Old Nan was asleep in her chair. Hodor said "Hodor," gathered up his great-grandmother, and carried her off, snoring softly, while Bran lay thinking. Robb had promised that he could feast with the Night's Watch in the Great Hall. "Summer," he called. The wolf bounded up on the bed. Bran hugged him so hard he could feel the hot breath on his cheek. "I can ride now," he whispered to his friend. "We can go hunting in the woods soon, wait and see." After a time he slept.
In his dream he was climbing again, pulling himself up an ancient windowless tower, his fingers forcing themselves between blackened stones, his feet scrabbling for purchase.

Bran dreams the falling dream again after Old Nan fell asleep. Remember Bran has been left in her care since his fall… and she has been protecting him as the three eyed crow from the other dreams (and perhaps from the other dreamers).

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He fought against sleep as long as he could, but in the end it took him as it always did. On this night he dreamed of the weirwood. It was looking at him with its deep red eyes, calling to him with its twisted wooden mouth, and from its pale branches the three-eyed crow came flapping, pecking at his face and crying his name in a voice as sharp as swords.

Here we see the Three Eyed Crow trying to stop Bran from listening to the Weirwood.

Using a voice “as sharp as swords”… you know what is compared to a sword, a needle! 

CLICK CLICK CLICK!

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"Crows are all liars," Old Nan agreed, from the chair where she sat doing her needlework. "I know a story about a crow."
"I don't want any more stories," Bran snapped, his voice petulant. He had liked Old Nan and her stories once. Before. But it was different now. They left her with him all day now, to watch over him and clean him and keep him from being lonely, but she just made it worse. "I hate your stupid stories."
The old woman smiled at him toothlessly. "My stories? No, my little lord, not mine. The stories are, before me and after me, before you too."

And of course, Crows have toothless smiles!

 

Third III: Knowing Fear and Fearing to Know

And then, while the joke is on Theon here, Nan continues to be birdlike:

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Theon Greyjoy had once commented that Hodor did not know much, but no one could doubt that he knew his name. Old Nan had cackled like a hen when Bran told her that, and confessed that Hodor's real name was Walder. No one knew where "Hodor" had come from, she said, but when he started saying it, they started calling him by it. It was the only word he had.
They left Old Nan in the tower room with her needles and her memories.

And then later…

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"Theon's sitting in Robb's chair," Rickon said.
"Hush, Rickon." Bran could feel the menace around them, but his brother was too young. A few torches had been lit, and a fire kindled in the great hearth, but most of the hall remained in darkness. There was no place to sit with the benches stacked against the walls, so the castle folk stood in small groups, not daring to speak. He saw Old Nan, her toothless mouth opening and closing.

Bran should be scared of the darkness (like in Bloodraven’s Lair).

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Unbidden, he thought back on the tales that Old Nan used to tell them, when he was a boy at Winterfell. He could almost hear her voice again, and the click-click-click of her needles. In that darkness, the Others came riding, she used to say, dropping her voice lower and lower. Cold and dead they were, and they hated iron and fire and the touch of the sun, and every living creature with hot blood in its veins. Holdfasts and cities and kingdoms of men all fell before them, as they moved south on pale dead horses, leading hosts of the slain. They fed their dead servants on the flesh of human children …

After all… The Night’s King was a Stark of Winterfell, named Brandon Stark…

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No, Bran thought, but he walked in this castle, where we'll sleep tonight. He did not like that notion very much at all. Night's King was only a man by light of day, Old Nan would always say, but the night was his to ruleAnd it's getting dark.

The Talking Corpse, living North of the wall in the lands of always winter, buried beneath the ground in darkness, hooked up to a white Weirwood tree… Who was sent there because he committed a crime, he slew a guest beneath his roof (Blackfyre):

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Afterward the gods transformed the cook into a monstrous white rat who could only eat his own young. He had roamed the Nightfort ever since, devouring his children, but still his hunger was not sated. "It was not for murder that the gods cursed him," Old Nan said, "nor for serving the Andal king his son in a pie. A man has a right to vengeance. But he slew a guest beneath his roof, and that the gods cannot forgive."

And finally, to loop it all back together, here is Ned teaching Bran in his very first chapter, just before they find the wolves:

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So deep in thought was he that he never heard the rest of the party until his father moved up to ride beside him. "Are you well, Bran?" he asked, not unkindly.

"Yes, Father," Bran told him. He looked up. Wrapped in his furs and leathers, mounted on his great warhorse, his lord father loomed over him like a giant. "Robb says the man died bravely, but Jon says he was afraid."

"What do you think?" his father asked.

Bran thought about it. "Can a man still be brave if he's afraid?"

"That is the only time a man can be brave," his father told him. "Do you understand why I did it?"

"He was a wildling," Bran said. "They carry off women and sell them to the Others."

His lord father smiled. "Old Nan has been telling you stories again. In truth, the man was an oathbreaker, a deserter from the Night's Watch. No man is more dangerous. The deserter knows his life is forfeit if he is taken, so he will not flinch from any crime, no matter how vile. But you mistake me. The question was not why the man had to die, but why I must do it."

Bran had no answer for that. "King Robert has a headsman," he said, uncertainly.

"He does," his father admitted. "As did the Targaryen kings before him. Yet our way is the older way. The blood of the First Men still flows in the veins of the Starks, and we hold to the belief that the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die.

"One day, Bran, you will be Robb's bannerman, holding a keep of your own for your brother and your king, and justice will fall to you. When that day comes, you must take no pleasure in the task, but neither must you look away. A ruler who hides behind paid executioners soon forgets what death is."

 

 A man can only be brave when he’s afraid…

Old Nan telling stories about wildlings abducting people and being in league with the Others. 

In truth, it is a deserter who is the most dangerous.

The man who casts the sentence should swing the sword.

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Bran looked at the crow on his shoulder, and the crow looked back. It had three eyes, and the third eye was full of a terrible knowledge. Bran looked down. There was nothing below him now but snow and cold and death, a frozen wasteland where jagged blue-white spires of icewaited to embrace him. They flew up at him like spears. He saw the bones of a thousand other dreamers impaled upon their points. He was desperately afraid.

"Can a man still be brave if he's afraid?" he heard his own voice saying, small and far away.

And his father's voice replied to him. "That is the only time a man can be brave."

 

The Three Eyed Crow (Nan) shares the terrible knowledge with Bran (looking into the Heart of Winter), just like sharing stories…

 

Nothing but snow and cold and death, with jagged blue white spires of ice, and the bones of a thousand other dreamers… This is a spot on birds eye view of Bloodraven’s Lair. The Grove of frozen Weirwoods in the land of always winter with the wights buried in the snow… The bones of a thousand other dreamers implailed on the roots of the Weirwoods.

 

Bran is afraid…

 

And then he hears Ned’s important lesson.

Oh ya, and by the way, Bloodraven is a deserter from the Nights Watch! One who casts the sentence without swinging the sword (check out the end of the Mystery Knight), one who does not know fear (like the Nights King, that was the fault in him) and embraces the darkness, and who flinched from no crime, even violating Guestright like he did by promising safe passage to a Blackfyre and then cutting his head off and presenting it to the Great Council. To complete the metaphor, it is the three eyed crow who leads Bran into the Stark Crypts after Ned’s death, and a bloody raven who brings the word of his death... dark wings dark words.

 

Of course, there are some other loose ends I didn’t even touch on... Jojen, for instance, sharing Mel’s penchant for misinterpretation. The remarkable parallels between Bloodraven’s Lair and the House of the Undying. How Old Nan repeatedly tried to talk to Bran before Theon sacked Winterfell. Or even, how I believe Old Nan is Shierra Seastar, Bloodraven’s half sister (oddly related as the crow is to the raven?)... but if people are interested, those could be topics for follow up conversations.

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“The man cannot abide a secret.”

“Is that a crow I hear, calling the raven black?”

 

 

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Bloodraven is not the 3EC, but neither is Nan.

3EC is Shiera Seastar. Same as Bloodraven, she is still alive, and now she's living under name Quaithe. Bloodraven resides near one hinge of the world - The Wall, and Shiera/Quaithe near the other - Asshai's Shadow.

Bloodraven, who was called by Coldhands, a wizard, is a parallel to magician Merlin. Merlin had two lovers, Morgan le Fay and Lady of the Lake (Nimue, Nymue, Nimueh, Viviane, Vivien, Vivienne, Ninianne, Nivian, Nyneve, or Evienne).

Lady of the Lake trapped Merlin in the cave, or according to other sources, binded him to a tree.

The earliest spelling of Morgan's name is Morgen, from Old Welsh or Old Breton meaning "Sea-born". And Shiera is star of the sea, so she's also sort of sea-born. Not to mention that her mother's name was Serenei, like a sea siren/mermaid. Or Selene - goddess of the moon. In Japanese language letter R and letter L are often used alternatively, like in the name of moon princess Serenity/Selenity.

ADWD, Dany II:

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“Reznak? Why should I fear him?” Dany rose from the pool. Water trickled down her legs, and gooseflesh covered her arms in the cool night air. “If you have some warning for me, speak plainly. What do you want of me, Quaithe?”

Moonlight shone in the woman’s eyes. “To show you the way.”

ADWD, Jon I (Quaithe was watching Jon in his dream):

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The white wolf raced through a black wood, beneath a pale cliff as tall as the sky. The moon ran with him, slipping through a tangle of bare branches overhead, across the starry sky.

“Snow,” the moon murmured. The wolf made no answer. Snow crunched beneath his paws. The wind sighed through the trees.

Far off, he could hear his packmates calling to him, like to like. They were hunting too. A wild rain lashed down upon his black brother as he tore at the flesh of an enormous goat, washing the blood from his side where the goat’s long horn had raked him. In another place, his little sister lifted her head to sing to the moon, and a hundred small grey cousins broke off their hunt to sing with her. The hills were warmer where they were, and full of food. Many a night his sister’s pack gorged on the flesh of sheep and cows and horses, the prey of men, and sometimes even on the flesh of man himself.

“Snow,” the moon called down again, cackling. The white wolf padded along the man trail beneath the icy cliff. The taste of blood was on his tongue, and his ears rang to the song of the hundred cousins. Once they had been six, five whimpering blind in the snow beside their dead mother, sucking cool milk from her hard dead nipples whilst he crawled off alone. Four remained … and one the white wolf could no longer sense.

“Snow,” the moon insisted.

The white wolf ran from it, racing toward the cave of night where the sun had hidden, his breath frosting in the air. On starless nights the great cliff was as black as stone, a darkness towering high above the wide world, but when the moon came out it shimmered pale and icy as a frozen stream. The wolf’s pelt was thick and shaggy, but when the wind blew along the ice no fur could keep the chill out. On the other side the wind was colder still, the wolf sensed. That was where his brother was, the grey brother who smelled of summer.

“Snow.” An icicle tumbled from a branch. The white wolf turned and bared his teeth. “Snow!” His fur rose bristling, as the woods dissolved around him. “Snow, snow, snow!” He heard the beat of wings. Through the gloom a raven flew.

The Mystery Knight:

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Dunk whirled. Through the rain, all he could make out was a hooded shape and a single pale white eye. It was only when the man came forward that the shadowed face beneath the cowl took on the familiar features of Ser Maynard Plumm, the pale eye no more than the moonstone brooch that pinned his cloak at the shoulder.

~

Plumm guided him across the yard. This close, there was something queer about the cast of Ser Maynard's features. The longer Dunk looked, the less he seemed to see.

ADWD, Melisandre:

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The wildling wore a sleeveless jerkin of boiled leather dotted with bronze studs beneath a worn cloak mottled in shades of green and brown. No bones. He was cloaked in shadows too, in wisps of ragged grey mist, half-seen, sliding across his face and form with every step he took. Ugly things. As ugly as his bones. A widow’s peak, close-set dark eyes, pinched cheeks, a mustache wriggling like a worm above a mouthful of broken brown teeth.

Melisandre felt the warmth in the hollow of her throat as her ruby stirred at the closeness of its slave. “You have put aside your suit of bones,” she observed.

“The clacking was like to drive me mad.”

“The bones protect you,” she reminded him.

~

In the black iron fetter about his wrist, the ruby seemed to pulse.

~

“The spell is made of shadow and suggestion. Men see what they expect to see. The bones are part of that.”

~

The wildling’s own eyes narrowed. Grey eyes, brown eyes; Melisandre could see the color change with each pulse of the ruby.

~

Melisandre touched the ruby at her neck and spoke a word.

The sound echoed queerly from the corners of the room and twisted like a worm inside their ears. The wildling heard one word, the crow another. Neither was the word that left her lips. The ruby on the wildling’s wrist darkened, and the wisps of light and shadow around him writhed and faded.

The bones remained—the rattling ribs, the claws and teeth along his arms and shoulders, the great yellowed collarbone across his shoulders. The broken giant’s skull remained a broken giant’s skull, yellowed and cracked, grinning its stained and savage grin.

But the widow’s peak dissolved. The brown mustache, the knobby chin, the sallow yellowed flesh and small dark eyes, all melted. Grey fingers crept through long brown hair. Laugh lines appeared at the corners of his mouth. All at once he was bigger than before, broader in the chest and shoulders, long-legged and lean, his face clean-shaved and wind-burnt.

Jon Snow’s grey eyes grew wider. “Mance?”

Melisandre used rubies for shadowbinding, and Shiera was using moonstones.

Moon goddess Selene, asked Zeus to put her mortal lover Endymion into eternal sleep, in the cave. According to other sources Hypnos, the god of sleep, in awe of his beauty, causes him to sleep with his eyes open, so he can fully admire his face.  

There's outdated term for sleepwalking - lunatism. "This term stems from the former belief that the light of the full moon coaxes the sleeper into leaving the bed." 

So Bloodraven, who's soul is "sleepwalking", while his body is tied to a tree in a cave, is a lunatic. And he was binded to the Weirwood by his lover Shiera Seastar. Dothraki believe that the moon is a goddess, wife to the sun. Shiera is moon, and Bloodraven is the sun, hiding in the cave of night, cave where the Children live.

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“Snow,” the moon insisted.

The white wolf ran from it, racing toward the cave of night where the sun had hidden

Another hint that the 3EC is a woman:

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The crow opened its beak and cawed at him, a shrill scream of fear, and the grey mists shuddered and swirled around him and ripped away like a veil, and he saw that the crow was really a woman, a serving woman with long black hair, and he knew her from somewhere, from Winterfell, yes, that was it, he remembered her now, and then he realized that he was in Winterfell, in a bed high in some chilly tower room, and the black-haired woman dropped a basin of water to shatter on the floor and ran down the steps, shouting, “He’s awake, he’s awake, he’s awake.”

There's no connection between Bloodraven and Nan, so there's no reason for Nan to be the 3EC.

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You guys are both bonkers. Please believe me, though, I say that without intending to insult, only to spread the gift of laughter. 

I know there is a reason to question the identity of the three-eyed crow. But old Nan? 

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5 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

You guys are both bonkers. Please believe me, though, I say that without intending to insult, only to spread the gift of laughter. 

I know there is a reason to question the identity of the three-eyed crow. But old Nan? 

No way Old Nan is the 3EC; everybody knows that Balon Greyjoy is the 3EC

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7 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

You guys are both bonkers. Please believe me, though, I say that without intending to insult, only to spread the gift of laughter. 

I know there is a reason to question the identity of the three-eyed crow. But old Nan? 

Imagine that you have read TWOW, and in there it was revealed, that Quaithe is Shiera Seastar, and that she's also the 3EC, what's your reaction?

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1 hour ago, Megorova said:

Imagine that you have read TWOW, and in there it was revealed, that Quaithe is Shiera Seastar, and that she's also the 3EC, what's your reaction?

I actually like the idea that Old Nan is Shiera Seastar...

She had daughters who moved away, Mel and Quaith... likely sold into slavery. Maybe one is Bloodraven’s and the other Bittersteel’s?

It provides a way for Blackfyre and/or Darksister to be in Winterfell.

It explains why so many of her stories are about the south, the targaryens, and dragons.

It explains why she knows the comet is about dragons... and why she’s also waiting for, the right, Brandon Stark.

the timeline for her arrival works out nicely...

as her few strands of white hair and cataracts disguise her Targaryen features and two colored eyes...

Though Old Nan did not think so, and she'd lived longer than any of them. "Dragons," she said, lifting her head and sniffing. She was near blind and could not see the comet, yet she claimed she could smell it. "It be dragons, boy," she insisted. Bran got no princes from Nan, no more than he ever had.
 
This interesting in that there was no reason for Nan to call Bran a Prince before... but of course makes sense if she herself is a legitimized Targaryen Bastard.
 
It made her think of the sea. Maybe that was the way out. Old Nan used to tell stories of boys who stowed away on trading galleys and sailed off into all kinds of adventures.
 
Seastar - also this is another example of how Nan told Targaryen stories to the Stark children.
 
He looked at the passing faces and the tales came back to him. The maester had told him the stories, and Old Nan had made them come alive. "That one is Jon Stark. When the sea raiders landed in the east, he drove them out and built the castle at White Harbor.
 
Made the stories come alive? Like in a dream?
 
Winterfell is burned and fallen, Arya reminded herself. Old Nan and Maester Luwin were both dead, most like, and Sansa too. It did no good to think of them. All men must die. That was what the words meant, the words that Jaqen H'ghar had taught her when he gave her the worn iron coin. She had learned more Braavosi words since they left Saltpans, the words for please and thank you and sea and star and fire wine, but she came to them knowing that all men must die.
 
Old Nan isn’t dead, and Arya arrived having known Shiera Seastar, even if she doesn’t know it! (Sansa - please and thank you, Maester Lewin - fire wine) the women mentioned here have not yet died.

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1 hour ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

You guys are both bonkers. Please believe me, though, I say that without intending to insult, only to spread the gift of laughter. 

I know there is a reason to question the identity of the three-eyed crow. But old Nan? 

Haha no insult taken, I myself once scoffed at the issues, but yes, Old Nan

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1 hour ago, Megorova said:

There's no connection between Bloodraven and Nan, so there's no reason for Nan to be the 3EC.

I think Old Nan is Seastar, and Mel may be her and Bloodraven’s child. Quaith May be Nan’s and Bittersteel’s.

 

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1 hour ago, Megorova said:

Another hint that the 3EC is a woman:

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The crow opened its beak and cawed at him, a shrill scream of fear, and the grey mists shuddered and swirled around him and ripped away like a veil, and he saw that the crow was really a woman, a serving woman with long black hair, and he knew her from somewhere, from Winterfell, yes, that was it, he remembered her now, and then he realized that he was in Winterfell, in a bed high in some chilly tower room, and the black-haired woman dropped a basin of water to shatter on the floor and ran down the steps, shouting, “He’s awake, he’s awake, he’s awake.”

I completely agree this points to the three eyed crow being a woman, not just that, but one who was sitting by Bran’s bedside.

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1 hour ago, Megorova said:

Imagine that you have read TWOW, and in there it was revealed, that Quaithe is Shiera Seastar, and that she's also the 3EC, what's your reaction?

"Fuckin' A! Those dudes weren't bonkers after all."

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2 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

"Fuckin' A! Those dudes weren't bonkers after all."

 :rolleyes:

36 minutes ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

I think Old Nan is Seastar, and Mel may be her and Bloodraven’s child. Quaith May be Nan’s and Bittersteel’s.

Based on the fact that Old Nan somehow managed to survive, first Theon taking Winterfell, and then Boltons, probably she will reappear later in the books. Thus she may be someone important, not only because of her past connection to Bran, and stories that she told him, but also for the future development of the plot. Probably there's still lots of Long Night and the Others-related information that she knows.

41 minutes ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

I think Old Nan is Seastar, and Mel may be her and Bloodraven’s child. Quaith May be Nan’s and Bittersteel’s.

Seastar can't be Old Nan, because even when she will finally die from old age, she will still look beautiful, and much younger than her real age. She's user of blood magic. She bathed in blood. So same as her mother, Serenei, she will always look not old.

Though probably there are some secret children of Shiera and Bloodraven. Because even if Bloodraven wouldn't want to have children, probably Shiera did wanted children, to pass her knowledge to them.

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1 hour ago, Megorova said:

Imagine that you have read TWOW, and in there it was revealed, that Quaithe is Shiera Seastar, and that she's also the 3EC, what's your reaction?

By the way, as far as I am concerned it is nearly a fact that Shiera Seastar is Quaithe. 

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54 minutes ago, Megorova said:

Based on the fact that Old Nan somehow managed to survive, first Theon taking Winterfell, and then Boltons, probably she will reappear later in the books.

Could you point me to where this "fact" is documented? All I recall is that Ramsey "took the women" and killed all the men. I didn't see any indication of names, and Nan was old as Maester Aemon, thus less likely to survive the trip. Probably didn't provide much sport for Ramsey's "girls", either.

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5 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

The Three Eyed Crow is Old Nan and not Bloodraven

...

Bloodraven meanwhile should know exactly what Bran means if he was the three eyed crow, since Bran asked the crow in the dream if he was a crow.  It is also terribly suspicious that Bloodraven only uses passive verbs about his passed dream interactions with Bran. He says he watched, and saw, but not that he talked, pecked and buffeted…

However, the weirwood in Bran’s original falling dream does just watch.

...

Second II: The Many Dreams of Bran

After bran’s fall he has different kinds of dreams… 

Ok so, Bran dreams:

Wolf Dreams: when he shares Summer’s Skin

Crow Dreams: there the three eyed crow comes and pecks at him and tells him to fly

Tree Dreams: Scary tree calls Bran's name (Brandon Stark!)

Falling Dreams: Where Bran relives the fall from the old tower.

So the three eyed crow is distinct from the Weirwood tree, this is important . . .

Very nice work! Right up my alley, of course. And a nice job of pulling supporting evidence from the text.

I've been pondering the minutiae of Dunk & Egg, and I'm finding that any and every "crossing" is important: bridges and fords, in particular, but I suspect that dreams will also be "crossings" as they represent a state between life and death. Of course, the raven can fly back and forth through the door between life and death. Crones can peer through the door, but don't necessarily make the crossing themselves. The Black Gate at the Night Fort, gates in castle walls, passages, always the door to the right, etc.

Not terribly newsworthy, I realize, as passages are pretty standard literary symbolism, for the most part.

Your ideas help to nudge my thinking, though, because I have been realizing that Walder Frey, as Lord of the Crossing, is an important figure in all this. We know that Hodor is another Walder, and that Old Nan is his great-grandmother. Are they Frey descendants? Are they part of the crossing symbolism?

The idea of Old Nan as the being who can communicate with Bran via his dreams (some kinds of dreams, anyway) might fit with the Lord of the Crossing notion.

But here's a potential challenge to the association of Nan with both Hodor / Walder and with the three-eyed-crow: Wald is the German word for woods. There is a lot of tree symbolism associated with Bloodraven, as you point out - the root growing through his cheek, seeing through the eyes of the heart tree, etc. There was a recent thread discussing the possibility that the trees are hostile toward the humans of Westeros and I've been trying to sort out whether that is playing in the background of the Dunk & Egg stories, where Dunk puts the elm tree at the center of his sigil (at Egg's suggestion). If Nan and Hodor are Freys, are they wood-related? Does Nan get her crow status or ability from the other side of her family? Maybe the raven tree at Raventree Hall shows us that wood and black birds can coexist.

I guess this starts to go off on a tangent pretty quickly, so I'll stop. I do think that Nan is generally underestimated, though, and look forward to whatever surprise revelations will emerge about her in the last two books.

P.S. Another kind of "crossing" might be books and stories - transporting the reader or listener to another place and time. So that is definitely one of Nan's strong points.

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I can't really follow you down the path to Nan being the 3EC...too many jumps...but I was struck by your observation that the crow didn't want Bran to listen to the weirwood. For me, that's as damning to the Bloodraven 3EC identity as he confused response when Bran asks him if he is the 3EC. 

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1 hour ago, zandru said:

Could you point me to where this "fact" is documented? All I recall is that Ramsey "took the women" and killed all the men. I didn't see any indication of names, and Nan was old as Maester Aemon, thus less likely to survive the trip. Probably didn't provide much sport for Ramsey's "girls", either.

She did survived the trip, because she was mentioned in the Appendix of Crows.

Quote

APPENDIX II:
OTHER HOUSES GREAT AND SMALL

HOUSE STARK

BETH CASSELL, KYRA, TURNIP, PALLA, BANDY, SHYRA, PALLA, and OLD NAN, women of Winterfell held captive at the Dreadfort,

Quote

ADWD, Theon I

They were all dead now. Jory, old Ser Rodrik, Lord Eddard, Harwin and Hullen, Cayn and Desmond and Fat Tom, Alyn with his dreams of knighthood, Mikken who had given him his first real sword. Even Old Nan, like as not.

But he doesn't know that, it's just his speculation, that she's dead. He had no idea, what was happening at Dreadford, while he was staying at Winterfell. And in Appendix of ADWD, Old Nan wasn't mentioned, even amongst those, that died. Thus so far, the last known information about her, is that she's alive, and she's at Dreadford.

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Old Nan is the Crone.  The Latin name for the European (carrion) crow is Corvus corone.  The word "crone" comes from the french word meaning "carrion" (carogne).  crone = crow = carrion

She may just be a representative of the weirwood there to teach Bran, similar to the other crones and woodswitches like the Ghost of Highheart.  But insofar as the weirwood is a hivemind, and both she and the 3-eyed crow are part of that hivemind, they might as well be the same person.

Towers represent weirwoods, Bran is crippled and confined to the Tower, a Crone who is a repository of knowledge tells him stories.  Foreshadowing.  She also knits the whole time, which is a nod to the Norns weaving the fates of men.  Bran was also a boy who knew no fear ("I'm not made of clay. And anyhow, I never fall.") and that was the fault in him, he climbed too high on the Tower and fell. 

But Old Nan says all crows are liars, and if she is a crow, does that mean she is a liar?

Bonus

Crannog in addition to being an artificial island built out of logs, ("crann" means tree) a crannog can mean "crows nest" like the observation tower on a ship.

Vares and varis mean crow in estonian and finnish.  And it is krage in Danish (like craghorn), and krake in norwegian (crakehall)

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10 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

Towers represent weirwoods, Bran is crippled and confined to the Tower, a Crone who is a repository of knowledge tells him stories.  Foreshadowing.  She also knits the whole time, which is a nod to the Norns weaving the fates of men.  Bran was also a boy who knew no fear ("I'm not made of clay. And anyhow, I never fall.") and that was the fault in him, he climbed too high on the Tower and fell. 

That's very interesting given Ned's dream of a tower long fallen.  I have often thought this particular tower was the broken tower, otherwise known as the First Keep in Winterfell.  It's associated with the crypts, the lichyard and the weirwood tree.

I've said before that when Old Nan says that all crows are liars, that she is referring to the men of the night's watch. Joer says as much:

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Jon I

"I've always known that Robb would be Lord of Winterfell."

Mormont gave a whistle, and the bird flew to him again and settled on his arm. "A lord's one thing, a king's another." He offered the raven a handful of corn from his pocket. "They will garb your brother Robb in silks, satins, and velvets of a hundred different colors, while you live and die in black ringmail. He will wed some beautiful princess and father sons on her. You'll have no wife, nor will you ever hold a child of your own blood in your arms. Robb will rule, you will serve. Men will call you a crow. Him they'll call Your Grace. Singers will praise every little thing he does, while your greatest deeds all go unsung. Tell me that none of this troubles you, Jon . . . and I'll name you a liar, and know I have the truth of it."

So I think the 3EC in this case is a man of the night's watch.  I also think that Patchface identifies the 3EC for us:
 

Quote

 

A Dance with Dragons - Jon XI

Jon had expected that. The direwolf made Queen Selyse anxious, almost as much as Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun. "Ghost, stay."

They found Her Grace sewing by the fire, whilst her fool danced about to music only he could hear, the cowbells on his antlers clanging. "The crow, the crow," Patchface cried when he saw Jon. "Under the sea the crows are white as snow, I know, I know, oh, oh, oh." Princess Shireen was curled up in a window seat, her hood drawn up to hide the worst of the greyscale that had disfigured her face.

 

 

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8 hours ago, Megorova said:

Imagine that you have read TWOW, and in there it was revealed, that Quaithe is Shiera Seastar, and that she's also the 3EC, what's your reaction?

If I was a casual reader which most readers of ASOIAF are, then my reaction would be, "huh?" because Shiera is only mentioned once in the 5 main books and then only in passing and certainly not memorably.

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