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

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On 4/28/2018 at 0:36 AM, Lady Blizzardborn said:

a massive war that's coming up between men and ice demons.

I am surprised that in the current year, some people still think that the Others are the "bad guys" and they will face off against mankind who are the "good guys"

"the whole concept of the Dark Lord, and good guys battling bad guys, Good versus Evil, while brilliantly handled in Tolkien, in the hands of many Tolkien successors, it has become kind of a cartoon. We don’t need any more Dark Lords, we don’t need any more, ‘Here are the good guys, they’re in white, there are the bad guys, they’re in black. And also, they’re really ugly, the bad guys"

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According to George R. R. Martin, the Others "are strange, beautiful… think, oh… the Sidhe made of ice, something like that… a different sort of life… inhuman, elegant, dangerous"

The Others are not Orcs, they are strange, beautiful fairy people.  We just don't understand them.  Yes, perhaps they were originally created by the CoTF and weirwood as a weapon against mankind, but the CoTF have since lost control of them, the Others now have their own agenda.

 

On 4/28/2018 at 0:36 AM, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Bloodraven is still wearing his blacks, and not dead. He is still working to protect Westeros, and everyone else now, against the biggest threat they've ever faced.

The description we get of Bloodraven was crafted to raise extreme red flags about this guy--he is a partially decomposed grisly talking corpse.

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His body was so skeletal and his clothes so rotted that at first Bran took him for another corpse, a dead man propped up so long that the roots had grown over him, under him, and through him. What skin the corpse lord showed was white, save for a bloody blotch that crept up his neck onto his cheek. His white hair was fine and thin as root hair and long enough to brush against the earthen floor. Roots coiled around his legs like wooden serpents. One burrowed through his breeches into the desiccated flesh of his thigh, to emerge again from his shoulder. A spray of dark red leaves sprouted from his skull, and grey mushrooms spotted his brow. A little skin remained, stretched across his face, tight and hard as white leather, but even that was fraying, and here and there the brown and yellow bone beneath was poking through.
 
"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.
 
 
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Seated on his throne of roots in the great cavern, half-corpse and half-tree, Lord Brynden seemed less a man than some ghastly statue made of twisted wood, old bone, and rotted wool. The only thing that looked alive in the pale ruin that was his face was his one red eye, burning like the last coal in a dead fire, surrounded by twisted roots and tatters of leathery white skin hanging off a yellowed skull.
The sight of him still frightened Bran—the weirwood roots snaking in and out of his withered flesh, the mushrooms sprouting from his cheeks, the white wooden worm that grew from the socket where one eye had been. He liked it better when the torches were put out. In the dark he could pretend that it was the three-eyed crow who whispered to him and not some grisly talking corpse.

The man who was Lord Brynden is dead, and has been dead for a number of years.  His life force was drained by the weirwood and the desiccated corpse animated by the weirwood is all that remains. 

After being outside of your body for too long (warging or in the network), personal identity is lost, subsumed by the host.

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"The wolf ate," Jojen said. "Not you. Take care, Bran. Remember who you are."

"Remember that, Bran. Remember yourself, or the wolf will consume you."

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Elk and deer were prey; wear their skins too long, and even the bravest man became a coward. Bears, boars, badgers, weasels … Haggon did not hold with such. "Some skins you never want to wear, boy. You won't like what you'd become." Birds were the worst, to hear him tell it. "Men were not meant to leave the earth. Spend too much time in the clouds and you never want to come back down again. I know skinchangers who've tried hawks, owls, ravens. Even in their own skins, they sit moony, staring up at the bloody blue."

 

If Bran almost loses his identity after a few days of warging into Summer, what would being in the weirwood for ~50 years do to Bloodraven?  How much of him do we honestly think is left? 

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Most of him has gone into the tree ... He has lived beyond his mortal span, and yet he lingers. For us, for you, for the realms of men. Only a little strength remains in his flesh. He has a thousand eyes and one, but there is much to watch. One day you will know.

 

Edited by By Odin's Beard

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1 hour ago, By Odin's Beard said:

I am surprised that in the current year, some people still think that the Others are the "bad guys" and they will face off against mankind who are the "good guys"

"the whole concept of the Dark Lord, and good guys battling bad guys, Good versus Evil, while brilliantly handled in Tolkien, in the hands of many Tolkien successors, it has become kind of a cartoon. We don’t need any more Dark Lords, we don’t need any more, ‘Here are the good guys, they’re in white, there are the bad guys, they’re in black. And also, they’re really ugly, the bad guys"

The Others are not Orcs, they are strange, beautiful fairy people.  We just don't understand them.  Yes, perhaps they were originally created by the CoTF and weirwood as a weapon against mankind, but the CoTF have since lost control of them, the Others now have their own agenda.

I’d even say they are probably a fire of nature outside direct Children control but who can communicate with the Children.

More importantly I completely agree with the Tolkien comparison, GRRM has all but flat out said as much. There is no evil dark lord with inhuman minions as the arch villain... 

There will be all too human chraracter behind even the magical forces of destruction like dragons and Others.

1 hour ago, By Odin's Beard said:

The description we get of Bloodraven was crafted to raise extreme red flags about this guy--he is a partially decomposed grisly talking corpse.

I agree 

1 hour ago, By Odin's Beard said:

The man who was Lord Brynden is dead, and has been dead for a number of years.  His life force was drained by the weirwood and the desiccated corpse animated by the weirwood is all that remains. 

After being outside of your body for too long (warging or in the network), personal identity is lost, subsumed by the host.

If Bran almost loses his identity after a few days of warging into Summer, what would being in the weirwood for ~50 years do to Bloodraven?  How much of him do we honestly think is left? 

It is entirely possible he’s losing or lost himself... or that he’s been brooding over the wrongs he feels have been done to him...

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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.

 

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12 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Could you give me a quote? I’m not sure where you are getting that except the tv show.

I'm not factoring the show in. Where I get it is that Bloodraven is the 3EC. If you discount that, based on your own interpretations of the text, then we won't get anywhere on this one.

12 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

It was his half brother’s son’s son, his grand nephew... 

Yes, a more distant relations than say a full sibling, or a parents, or his own child. There are degrees in kinslaying, per GRRM. The closer the relation, the worse the crime is considered.

12 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

 I do not think it was good for the realm, I suspect Bloodraven meant for the Great Council to elect him.

Did I say anything about what you think? Or even what I think? Bloodraven claimed it was for the good of the realm. Until I hear otherwise from GRRM, I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt on that one.

If he wanted to be named king, he would have been. And I must say if that's what he was after he should have started using the Targaryen name after his father legitimized him. 

12 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

In the falling dream:

And here are the trees, those jagged spires of ice:

One says jagged spires of ice. The other says buried in snow. Two different things. If GRRM wanted to connect the two, he would have used the same language for both.

12 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

He isn’t a greenseer, he just has green dreams, he just has visions he has to interpret on his own. 

Like Mel, he can be wrong...

I didn't say he was a greenseer. We'd be able to have a much better conversation if you'd stop trying to put words in my mouth.

Anyone can be wrong. But we have to go with what we have in the text, until GRRM gives us good reason to believe otherwise.

12 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Only if Coldhands is really taking him to the three eyed crow... and isn’t just a monster taking them to other monsters like Bran flat out suggests during their journey.

And the odds on that are as much for as against. Bran could be wrong. As you said elsewhere: "he's a kid, kids make mistakes."

12 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

We don’t know that there is only one crow appearing in dreams, that was the point, again something Bran suggests, I’m not just pulling it out of thin air.

We've been given nothing by the author that says otherwise except what a character who is a child thinks. GRRM has mentioned repeatedly in interviews that his characters do not know everything, and sometimes are wrong about what they think they know. If you need an example just look at Sansa's kiss with the Hound.

12 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Presumably his evil eye is red and black... I believe he seeks to follow in the Line of Harren the Black and will try to bend the Weirwoods of the Gods Eye to his will... without going to much into the sample winds chapter, the old gods do not appear impaired on his iron throne.

You may be right about Harren, but I doubt Theon is wrong about his uncle's eyes. He says the dark one is black, not red and black.

12 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

We don’t know much about Jojen’s motivations or reasoning here actually... he says he dreamed of the winged wolf and the crow, but only decided it was Bran later. How he came to the conclusion the three eyed crow was beyond the wall is never explained. This is a glaring omission! Remember the little grandfather isn’t Old Nan, and his “wisdom” shouldn’t be trusted without question, he’s a kid, kids make mistakes.

No, Jojen isn't Nan. Nan repeats stories that have been handed down for thousands of years and no doubt improved by the tellers over the millienia. Jojen on the other hand has new and current info. He could misinterpret it, but for the most part he seems to just say what he saw and no offer interpretation. Case in point: the sea coming to Winterfell. If he'd offered an interpretation he might have said something about a massive earthquake dropping the land and a tsunami coming in (granted he wouldn't use the word tsunami). 

And Jojen is not acting entirely on his own. It was his father who sent him to Winterfell, which means Howland (not a kid) made the decision. Howland decided/knew that Bran was the winged wolf. Howland sent his children to take Bran to the 3EC. There's no other explanation for him sending them. The 3EC is chipping at the chains. Why send Jojen and Meera if not to help accomplish that?

12 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Howland sent them to Winterfell, not beyond the Wall.

Howland sent them on a mission, and either he told them they needed to go beyond they Wall or they decided it was necessary to the mission. Jojen may not always completely understand his visions, but not one of them has been wrong.

12 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

No he’s not, we went over already up thread about how Bloodraven is no longer a crow by his own admission, he says he was once a crow, no longer, he abandoned his post. 

We?  Try you. I explained my reasoning and you summarily dismissed it. I'm not even sure you actually read that part of my post fully.

13 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Sorry, I trust Nan over some Old Maester 10 times out of 10.

The Maesters don't talk about Night's King. If you think Old Nan knows the original story verbatim, with no exaggerations added in, then good for you. But GRRM has pointed out that all of the figures from Westeros' ancient history are figures of legend who may or may not have existed at all. That includes Night's King, Bran the Builder, Garth Greenhand, and all those other fun characters about whom we history nerds like to read. He's also mentioned deliberately making characters' recollections of things they actually witnessed conflict with each other, because memories are fragile things and not always to be trusted. Do you really believe that in a story where the characters can't get their own memories right a story that's thousands of years old has come down through oral tradition unchanged and entirely true?

13 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Interesting that you read “flew down from the wall and caught her” as being seduced... 

Interesting that you read "bewitched" as "seduced."  Bewitched implies magic, not just sex. If there's any truth to the story at all I have no trouble believing that NK was entirely willing to sleep with the girl, whoever she was. The general understanding is that she had a magical hold over him, hence the line "when he gave her his seed, he gave her his soul."  It's not like you can just decide to give someone your soul and hand it to them. Kind of implies sorcery was involved. Whether or not that's true is anybody's guess. 

13 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

What do you call Coldhands if not bound by sorcery?

I never said he wasn't. But we don't know what happened with him, only that he's not Benjen. He can speak, he seems to have a mind of his own, and his eyes are not blue. That sets him apart from the wights. He's also dead/undead. There's nothing in the text about NK killing his NW drones, so it's a leap to imply that he did.

If Coldhands were an example of anyone trying to turn the Night's Watch into their own personal army a la Night's King, we'd have far more guys like Coldhands running around, and fewer wights. Ser Waymar Royce for example would have made a fine Coldhands-like soldier, but instead he becomes another voiceless blue-eyed slave to the Others.

13 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Also, Night has not fallen yet, Winter is Still Coming... Heralded by a white raven.

I'm not sure whether this is in reference to Bran's mission or the discussion about NK. If the former, Bran has to learn whatever he's going to learn before the next Long Night if at all possible. If the latter, NK came after the Long Night was done.

13 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

His bones... we want no seekers disturbing his bones... but I’m the one adding interpretation? Lol

I forgot that line. My apologies.

But like the monster line, that one could also be interpreted different ways. Is the monster Coldhands, or Bloodraven? Are the bones we don't want disturbed Bran's or Bloodraven's? Anyone who comes looking for Bran is going to find Bloodraven too, so it's not outside the realm of possibility. While we're on the subject of words and interpretations, do you think Tommen is the valonqar? I can't remember who argued that it has to be Tommen based on the word placement, but I thought that was too strict an interpretation.

13 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Just pause and think about what you are saying for a second... the dead are walking, winterfell has been sacked, Bran’s brother is Lord Commander of the Nights Watch, but they don’t want to tell him? Because he might not believe them?

Not believing them isn't the problem. If he doesn't believe Bran is alive, he does nothing, nothing changes, and there's no danger to anyone from it. It's if he believes it that there could be problems. If he decides to go and rescue his brother it could blow up spectacularly in everyone's faces.

For one thing it will interrupt the preparations he has the Watch making for the coming war with the dead. For another he could be accused of abandoning the Watch to go rescue his little brother. For another, if he succeeds in his "rescue" then Bran never finishes training.

And oddly enough what might be the absolute worst outcome would be for him to go to get Bran, learn about the training and all kinds of things he doesn't know about the threat, go back and tell his NW brothers, and be deposed by reason of insanity.

13 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

The better question by far is why hasn’t Bloodraven reached out to the Nights Watch if he’s really still on their side? 

How would that work exactly? "Hi guys. You haven't heard from me in decades, but I'm not dead (sorry about disappearing and everything), the dead are marching on us and the Others are real, and I need your help to find my apprentice because I'm stuck in a tree."  

I guess he could send Coldhands, but I don't think the members of the Watch would react well to CH.

Of course a guy who spent a lifetime being distrusted because of 1) his birth, 2) his skincolor, and 3) his mysterious spying talents (aka skinchaging/greenseeing), might have a little trouble reaching out to people in general and expecting any kind of respect or belief. Seems like Bloodraven's experiences may have taught him that he needs to handle things himself if he wants them done right.

13 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Bloodraven hasn’t said anything about stopping Others, the good of mankind, or anything about any other benevolent ends... unless you have some textual support for your assumption that he’s got noble motivations?

And Ned doesn't mention that his sister had a baby either. As above, it's tied to Bloodraven being the 3EC. Which reminds me...

If Bloodraven is NOT the 3EC, how come the real 3EC hasn't tried to fix this little error and get Bran brought to the correct location? Bran hasn't been contacted by any birds telling him he's in the wrong cave.

13 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Bran does... when he questions over and over again if all is as it seems...

Bran would be an idiot if he didn't question everything when his world has been turned upside-down, inside-out, and three kinds of sideways. You have to first question something before truly accepting it. Every person has doubts, and those doubts can actually serve to strengthen faith in the long run. And I mean any faith, in anything, including in themselves.

13 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

I wouldn’t have it any other way, but this is a very odd response to my just providing another nickname after you did... crow call the raven black much?

The one I used was made up on the spot as a joke. You seem to have missed that.

13 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

I’m not gonna break out a ruler... but come on... this is wild speculation

No, it's pretty tame speculation. Bran had to fly a long way before he got anywhere near the Heart of Winter, and you can cover more miles, faster when flying than you can being carried by Hodor. I wouldn't put in terms of actual miles, but the HoW seems to be pretty far distant.

13 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

What?!? I’m not convinced there is a great other any more than I am there is a r’hloo... but yes I think that Bloodraven is behind the return of the Others.

If Bloodraven is behind the return of the Others then by default that makes him exactly what Mel called him. 

If Bloodraven's lair is the Heart of Winter, then it is likely the source of the coming Winter/Long Night 2.0  and thus the source of the Others. Great Others aside, the Others and wights are not originating from that cave, and they should be if it is Heart of Winter. In fact the Others and wights can't get in the cave. 

Why would Bloodraven need to do anything (like sending Coldhands) to protect Bran from the Others and wights if the Others are under his control? What's he recruiting Bran to do exactly? If he's training an evil minion, that evil minion should not need protection from the drones of the emperor. It would be like Palpatine putting a force field around Anakin so the Stormtroopers couldn't touch him. Unless you're thinking Bloodraven brought the Others back and then found out he can't control them...but then what would he be training Bran for if not to find a way to get them under control or defeat them?

13 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Again I have to ask, do you have any evidence that he’s up there guarding the realms of man?

And again I have to state that all evidence in the text points to Bloodraven being the 3EC, and the evidence is that 3EC wants Bran to help battle winter. Why would Bran need to learn to see through the weirwoods to perpetuate evil? It's cool and all, but there's something in the history that Bloodraven wants Bran to learn and I don't think it's about Jon's paternity--riveting though that subject is.

I gave you quotes last time. You didn't like them.

14 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Wrong... as I’ve tried to point out over and over, he literally made up an expression about them, used it in every book, and has ravens and crows visibly fighting with each other and not getting along...

So you've never heard of identity crisis? It's rather a major part of several character arcs. How much of a dragon is Dany? Who the heck is Jon really? And then there's that Aegon kid.

Things can be both different and alike. They can be separate and linked. Speaking of things used in every book, here's a great example: ice and fire (also see R+L=J).

14 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Poor cousins aren’t the same thing, they are related sure (like Bloodraven and Seastar) but are not the same... he even gets into the diet, you’ll notice Mormont's Raven is different.

They don't have to be exactly the same to be related and similar enough that crow vs raven is not necessarily as big a deal as you think it is in identifying the 3EC, nor are they so dissimilar that a character can't be identified as both. Leaving out the disagreement I have with you and Brynden himself about whether he is a crow now or not, he certainly was one in the past but that didn't change the fact that he was also a raven--he was both at the same time. 

Cousins are a closer relationship than a guy and his half-brother's grandson. :D

14 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Do you have any basis for this or are you just repeating over and over your faith that he’s a “good guy”?

Again, the text leads us to 3EC being Bloodraven. 3EC seems to be a good guy. So if Bloodraven is in fact 3EC then ipso facto Bloodraven is a good guy. I wouldn't call him a sparkling white saint with no blemishes. More of a guy who's made questionable decisions to follow what he thought was best, but whatever his past sins will end his life on the right side of things.

So many people point to the grim and forbidding set decoration and automatically think it means bad guy, but we know GRRM doesn't do things like that. He likes to play with shades of grey, and turn characters we think are black around to at least less black. He kills off good guys, and makes villains like Cersei entertaining. He keeps us guessing and makes our favorites do things that make us want to reach in the books and smack them. It's not going to be as simple as it as looks. He said he wanted to write a book where the good guys wear black. And then he populated the "good guys" organization with rapists, thieves, murderers, and who knows what else. Anybody in this series has the potential to be a good guy or a hero if they live long enough,

A lot of people take the speech about darkness as an indication of evil, but I take it as pragmatic. There's a reason the Night's Watch (which was formed during the Long Night) wears black. And when the Long Night comes again, the only safe place may be underground where it's...wait for it...dark.

14 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Because as I’ve said, Bloodraven himself says he’s not a crow anymore... 

And as I've said, I disagree with him.

If the characters in this series were better at knowing what they are and aren't, then I'd take him at his word. 

14 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

I think you will find that Wars are usually between men and men. Even when dragons and Others are involved, I doubt there will be a dark lord Sauron with hordes of orca to paint as monochromatic villains... not do I think the Others are just an elaborate doomsday clock.

If you believe everything Old Nan says about the Long Night then you must agree that the battle back then was men vs Others, not men vs men. If she's correct about that, then there is no reason to expect the next one to be different.

You've already cast Bloodraven as Sauron, or at last as Saruman. Makes me wonder who you think Gandalf is.

Where did the doomsday clock come from? I didn't say anything about it.

14 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

I find it far more likely men are responsible for men’s woes.

I agree. But we have to allow for GRRM to make full use of his playground, and that playground includes magic. Probably men messing with magic screwed things up in the first place.

That doesn't change the fact that icy magic warriors are coming and killing everything in their path. They have to be dealt with even if they end up not being the Big Bad.

14 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

I think you have room for improvement in your reading, writing and critical thinking skills department, but that’s ok, practice makes perfect! 

First, leave my writing out of it. You've never read any of my books, so you can't possibly have a thing to say about my writing skills.

Second, attacking the reading, and critical thinking skills of someone who disagrees with you is hardly worthy of you, and when a person defending a theory does it it comes across as desperate. My reading skills are fine. It's my memory that gives me trouble, particularly during fibro flares and migraine clusters, both of which have been plaguing me lately. So unless your memory is perfect, maybe you'd like to lighten up a bit. My critical thinking skills are better than those of the average bear, thank you.

14 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

But go back and read that Sam/Coldhands path and please explain to me how I’m the one bassing 99% on leaps... because it is wild to me that you can read that and twist it into a promise of safety and help for the good of humanity without using any textual support at all... then accuse me of making assumptions.

That's the 1% in your favor, silly.

I did use quotes from the text, and explained my reasoning based on the text. That is textual support. Your disagreeing with it does not negate that it was used.

14 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

People who live in glass castles shouldn’t throw stones.

Then get polishing. As much as I'd love to live in a castle, that kind wouldn't be practical for the winters here.

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13 hours ago, By Odin's Beard said:

I am surprised that in the current year, some people still think that the Others are the "bad guys" and they will face off against mankind who are the "good guys"

They don't have to be the Big Bad for a face-off to be necessary. If they aren't stopped the whole world ends up dead. That's a pretty big threat and it must be faced.

I didn't say mankind are the good guys. Though GRRM said he wanted to write a story where the good guys wear black. Take that as you will.

13 hours ago, By Odin's Beard said:

The Others are not Orcs, they are strange, beautiful fairy people.  We just don't understand them.  Yes, perhaps they were originally created by the CoTF and weirwood as a weapon against mankind, but the CoTF have since lost control of them, the Others now have their own agenda.

I don't think the Others are necessarily evil, but they are killing everything they come across. You have to admit that is not good for PR.

13 hours ago, By Odin's Beard said:

The description we get of Bloodraven was crafted to raise extreme red flags about this guy--he is a partially decomposed grisly talking corpse.

Which doesn't actually mean he is a bad guy. GRRM likes to toy with us. Remember how we all hated Jaime back in AGoT, and then he turned out to not be as bad as we thought? And the Hound turned out to have a soft spot for poor innocent Sansa? And Cersei is far worse than we could have imagined before we got her POV?

I imagine if Jon or Dany sat in a tree for decades they wouldn't look all that benevolent either.

13 hours ago, By Odin's Beard said:

The man who was Lord Brynden is dead, and has been dead for a number of years.  His life force was drained by the weirwood and the desiccated corpse animated by the weirwood is all that remains. 

He's not completely dead. He remembers his life, his love, his enmities. There's at least as much of Brynden in Brynden as there is Beric in Beric. He's almost gone, I'll grant, but he's managed to keep alive long enough to find the person he's spent decades looking for.

And Bran will be using what he's taught to help save the world from extinction, whether his teacher has that in mind or not. 

If Bran's not learning how to save the world, then what is he learning? Not just from the characters' perspectives but from the story angle? GRRM put him in that cave and started his training for a reason. He started the whole series with Bran (the first chapter he wrote was AGOT Bran I), so I don't think a grisly end is what's in store for the kid.

13 hours ago, By Odin's Beard said:

After being outside of your body for too long (warging or in the network), personal identity is lost, subsumed by the host.

If Bran almost loses his identity after a few days of warging into Summer, what would being in the weirwood for ~50 years do to Bloodraven?  How much of him do we honestly think is left? 

Is that true of all hosts though? We've heard that birds are particularly dangerous. Probably because it's cool to fly. And Bran is susceptible when in Summer because summer can walk and run and be free while Bran can't. 

If there's nothing or next to nothing of Brynden left, then who is actually speaking to and training Bran? The tree? A long-dead greenseer? 

Considering the lack of esteem in which Bloodraven is held on the boards, having almost nothing left of his personality could be considered a good thing. It actually makes the idea of him working for the good side more likely, not less.

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16 hours ago, By Odin's Beard said:

The man who was Lord Brynden is dead, and has been dead for a number of years.  His life force was drained by the weirwood and the desiccated corpse animated by the weirwood is all that remains.

I read it quite differently.  He's not dead, he's lingering.  He's not a corpse animated by the weirwood.  The merging of man and root isn't very pretty but I think that the roots are sustaining him and have been doing so for years, extending his lifetime decades beyond what men typically live, allowing him to observe more and learn more.

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4 hours ago, White Ravens said:

I read it quite differently.  He's not dead, he's lingering.  He's not a corpse animated by the weirwood.  The merging of man and root isn't very pretty but I think that the roots are sustaining him and have been doing so for years, extending his lifetime decades beyond what men typically live, allowing him to observe more and learn more.

Bloodraven's bodily processes have ceased, he is described as being dead 10 different ways.  Part of his face has rotted away, his skull shows through, and he has mushrooms and branches growing out of his head.  The weirwood is not sustaining him, it was robbing him--using him up, it is a vampiric parasite bleeding him dry.  (Just like the Undying wanted to do to Dany.)  Now the only thing keeping him "alive" is the weirwood roots running through him, and it supplies the bare minimum for any sort of functioning. "the last coal in a dead fire" "Most of him has gone into the tree."  Most, as in >50%, almost all, the majority of.  Only a small fraction of Brynden remains.  How long after Bran and company arrive at the cave is it until Bloodraven introduces himself as Brynden?  His personal identity almost gone.  He is more like a talking hand-puppet of the weirwood at this point, like the weirwood is doing an impersonation of Bloodraven.  He is a desiccated husk.

"Lord Brynden drew his life from the tree, Leaf told them. He did not eat, he did not drink. He slept, he dreamed, he watched."

And you conveniently avoided the text that suggests that just the mere fact of being in the network as long as he has been would have caused him to lose his identity to it. 

When Stoneheart and Beric get resurrected, what gets reanimated is not the same person that died, its vital processes have stopped, it is changed.  It is a zombie that has some of the memories of the host, but it is not the living person anymore.

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11 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

I'm not factoring the show in. Where I get it is that Bloodraven is the 3EC. If you discount that, based on your own interpretations of the text, then we won't get anywhere on this one.

I’ve been looking for you to make an arguement for Bloodraven being the 3EC, to contend with the points in my posts and the op using the text. You haven’t done that, you’ve just stated you think they are the same and you trust BR. That’s great, but it isn’t convincing.

Coming to a thread who’s purpose is to question the assumption that Bloodraven is the 3EC and then arguing without evidence besides your assumption that Bloodraven is he 3EC is pointless and unproductive.

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Yes, a more distant relations than say a full sibling, or a parents, or his own child. There are degrees in kinslaying, per GRRM. The closer the relation, the worse the crime is considered.

I agree, still it’s not like this is the only family member he’s responsible for killing... or the only of the Old Gods Laws he’s broken.

My point is that he checks all the boxes Old Nan, Ned, and the Old Gods warn against.

Incest, Kinslaying, oathbreaking, violating guest right, knowing no fear, passing the sentence without swinging the sword, and abandoning his post.

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Did I say anything about what you think? Or even what I think? Bloodraven claimed it was for the good of the realm. Until I hear otherwise from GRRM, I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt on that one.

We are here on a forum discussing our ideas and interpretations of a book, so of course you did... save the bullshit.

I guess that’s the crux of it, you take his word that everything was for the good of the realm and believe that’s still the case, and that’s cool, it just doesn’t bring anything to the discussion.

If you want to show corroborating evidence, or explain, or point out quotes supporting the view, by all means, otherwise it’s just what you think.

I’m suggesting that even if he meant it then, and really believed what he was saying, he’s had a long time to brood over perceived wrongs. Of course I tend to doubt his motivations were so pure to begin with... but we can’t even get to why you believe something so why bother digging.

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If he wanted to be named king, he would have been. And I must say if that's what he was after he should have started using the Targaryen name after his father legitimized him.

Maybe, he managed to rule in all but name for a while, and using the threat of Blackfyres seemed to work. A remarkable number of Targs died, to get to a fourth son of a fourth son, under his watch, including the ever suspicious Spring Sickness despite supposed Targaryen immunity to illness.

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One says jagged spires of ice. The other says buried in snow. Two different things. If GRRM wanted to connect the two, he would have used the same language for both.

Buried from root to crown in frozen snow

From root, despite your past complaints about the roots being to warm, to crown (language choice?) in frozen snow... frozen snow isn’t enough like ice for you?

ok, but it seems like to much to be coincidence to me...

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I didn't say he was a greenseer. We'd be able to have a much better conversation if you'd stop trying to put words in my mouth.

Simmer down there, I’m trying to express a point not put words in your mouth, if anything I’m trying to hold your hand through this... you are spewing opinions, I’m just trying to tether this discussion to the text.

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Anyone can be wrong. But we have to go with what we have in the text, until GRRM gives us good reason to believe otherwise.

Oh I agree, which is why I use things like BR saying he’s not a crow, not understanding when Bran asks if he’s a crow, having the wrong number and color of eyes as Bran points out, having a differently described voice than the crow...

Also, we might note what’s not in the text, despite you talking like it’s accepted fact. Bloodraven never claims to be the three eyed crow, he never claims to have spoken to Bran in a dream, he never claims to be helping Bran, and he never claims to be helping men fight the Others.

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And the odds on that are as much for as against. Bran could be wrong. As you said elsewhere: "he's a kid, kids make mistakes."

Yes, but the questions are in the book because we should be asking them...

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We've been given nothing by the author that says otherwise except what a character who is a child thinks.

Again, when characters spell out questions, it isn’t unreasonable to ask them ourselves... I’m not even expressing opinion at this point, just pointing out that it’s there in the text.

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GRRM has mentioned repeatedly in interviews that his characters do not know everything, and sometimes are wrong about what they think they know. If you need an example just look at Sansa's kiss with the Hound.

Or who the three eyed crow is?

This is the whole point...

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You may be right about Harren, but I doubt Theon is wrong about his uncle's eyes. He says the dark one is black, not red and black.

Ya, I’ve been split myself on this, but I can see a bloodshot eye with a black pupil fitting both descriptions, and a squid on a sea of blood, nothing certain however.

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No, Jojen isn't Nan. Nan repeats stories that have been handed down for thousands of years and no doubt improved by the tellers over the millienia.

She does...

but she also smells the comet and says it means dragons...

she also tells lots of tales which aren’t from the old north... tales of the red keep, tales of harrenhall, tales of the kings guard... and she predicts Bran’s fall (and the crow coming to peck out his eyes!). 

Of course the line between old story and prophesy of what’s to come isn’t so clear to begin with...

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Jojen on the other hand has new and current info. He could misinterpret it, but for the most part he seems to just say what he saw and no offer interpretation.

Except in this case, going North of the wall, no reason for the belief is given and no vision even referenced... 

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Case in point: the sea coming to Winterfell. If he'd offered an interpretation he might have said something about a massive earthquake dropping the land and a tsunami coming in (granted he wouldn't use the word tsunami). 

He recognizes the metaphorical nature of the dreams? I’m not sure of your point... we never see any explanation for a vision pointing them North, we just get his word.

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And Jojen is not acting entirely on his own. It was his father who sent him to Winterfell, which means Howland (not a kid) made the decision. Howland decided/knew that Bran was the winged wolf. Howland sent his children to take Bran to the 3EC. There's no other explanation for him sending them. The 3EC is chipping at the chains. Why send Jojen and Meera if not to help accomplish that?

Howland sent them on a mission, and either he told them they needed to go beyond they Wall or they decided it was necessary to the mission. Jojen may not always completely understand his visions, but not one of them has been wrong.

I’m not saying his visions are wrong, but there isn’t an example of him correctly interpreting one either... he wasn’t even sure the winged wolf was Bran until they met.

Howland sent his children to reaffirm allegence to Winterfell, because his son saw a vision. There is no reason to believe he knows anything about or approves of in any measure a venture beyond the wall.

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We?  Try you. I explained my reasoning and you summarily dismissed it. I'm not even sure you actually read that part of my post fully.

I will admit it’s tiring to explain how just because crows and ravens are both black birds doesn’t make them the same... it’s tiring to hear you repeat over and over with no textual support your opinion that Bloodraven was wrong when he said he was once a crow and how sure you are that he still is and that he’s a raven and a crow and a really really good boy all at the same time.

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The Maesters don't talk about Night's King.

Did you read a world of ice and fire? Because you are just flat out wrong.

And Sam kinda implies they at least question all of it... which means they probably talked about it.

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If you think Old Nan knows the original story verbatim, with no exaggerations added in, then good for you.

Oral tradition isn’t the same in a world where trees can store memories... 

verbatim doesn’t apply since she’s not quoting something, but whatever... 

The point is accuracy is less of an issue if one can view the past through the Weirwoods. 

But she’s not givin history lessons, she’s telling stories, and we should look for the lessons.

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But GRRM has pointed out that all of the figures from Westeros' ancient history are figures of legend who may or may not have existed at all. That includes Night's King, Bran the Builder, Garth Greenhand, and all those other fun characters about whom we history nerds like to read. He's also mentioned deliberately making characters' recollections of things they actually witnessed conflict with each other, because memories are fragile things and not always to be trusted. Do you really believe that in a story where the characters can't get their own memories right a story that's thousands of years old has come down through oral tradition unchanged and entirely true?

It doesn’t have to when the Weirwoods store memories! And the dead don’t stay dead... How do you miss that!

Also, let’s not conflate Nan’s stories with the semi-hisorical Maester’s accounts... yes those “histories” are going to be innacurate and full of mistakes... so we need to make sure we know when we are referencing them, versus other sources, like Nan or visions of the past.

For instance, did the Night’s King come after the Long Night? He ruled for Thirteen years and the night was his to rule... sounds like a long night. You are the one quoting the Maesters.

I wouldn’t have trouble believing that the last hero was the Nights King (and Brandon the Builder)... the last hero’s twelve companions line up with the NK being the thirteenth man to lead them. And binding them to his service is bringing them back a la Coldhands.

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Interesting that you read "bewitched" as "seduced."  Bewitched implies magic, not just sex.

The point I was making was that you seem to read it as the woman, using magic or natural means, to entrap the man... not the other way around.

I genuenly found this interesting at first wondering how you came to that conclusion, but now I wonder if you’ve really thought about this at all.

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If there's any truth to the story at all I have no trouble believing that NK was entirely willing to sleep with the girl, whoever she was. The general understanding is that she had a magical hold over him, hence the line "when he gave her his seed, he gave her his soul."  It's not like you can just decide to give someone your soul and hand it to them. Kind of implies sorcery was involved. Whether or not that's true is anybody's guess. 

What general understanding?

Is this based on something? Do you see why I have an issue with statements like this?

Usually you have to agree to give up your soul in storys... yes... was that a joke?

The woman is cold as ice, so yes sorcery is involved, but come on, there are such better explanations than ice witch mind controlling some Stark.

This might be too out there for you, but what about love?

That fits the themes pretty well...

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I never said he wasn't. But we don't know what happened with him, only that he's not Benjen. He can speak, he seems to have a mind of his own, and his eyes are not blue. That sets him apart from the wights. He's also dead/undead. There's nothing in the text about NK killing his NW drones, so it's a leap to imply that he did.

I’m just pointing out a brother of the nights watch who appears bound by sorcery... unless you have another example or another suggestion, I’m not sure what you are trying to say... I never suggested he killed any drones, or even that they were drones, wtf? 

I would imagine Coldhands was killed long ago... hopefully we’ll learn more.

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If Coldhands were an example of anyone trying to turn the Night's Watch into their own personal army a la Night's King, we'd have far more guys like Coldhands running around, and fewer wights. Ser Waymar Royce for example would have made a fine Coldhands-like soldier, but instead he becomes another voiceless blue-eyed slave to the Others.

Where are you getting any of this?

what does it take to make a Coldhands?

and why do you need more if you have an army of wights?

Or maybe things aren’t even that simple and the Others are a power unto themselves, a force of nature, and while someone is likely responcible for bringing them back, that doesn’t mean they can control them.

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I'm not sure whether this is in reference to Bran's mission or the discussion about NK. If the former, Bran has to learn whatever he's going to learn before the next Long Night if at all possible. If the latter, NK came after the Long Night was done.

Maybe, the histories back then aren’t so clear, and The NK Thirteen year rule could well have been the Long Night.

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I forgot that line. My apologies.

But like the monster line, that one could also be interpreted different ways. Is the monster Coldhands, or Bloodraven? Are the bones we don't want disturbed Bran's or Bloodraven's? Anyone who comes looking for Bran is going to find Bloodraven too, so it's not outside the realm of possibility.

Look, you can’t accuse me of being the one to make assumptions and spinning my own opinions into the text when you are gonna answer like this... it really doesn’t matter who’s bones they are (plenty to choose from amidst all those other dreamers), that’s a creepy line, especially given the last hero was a “seeker” of the children of the forest.

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While we're on the subject of words and interpretations, do you think Tommen is the valonqar? I can't remember who argued that it has to be Tommen based on the word placement, but I thought that was too strict an interpretation.

No, it’s not impossible I guess, but Jaime with his cold gold hand is sort of a wringer... get it?

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Not believing them isn't the problem. If he doesn't believe Bran is alive, he does nothing, nothing changes, and there's no danger to anyone from it. It's if he believes it that there could be problems. If he decides to go and rescue his brother it could blow up spectacularly in everyone's faces.

For one thing it will interrupt the preparations he has the Watch making for the coming war with the dead. For another he could be accused of abandoning the Watch to go rescue his little brother. For another, if he succeeds in his "rescue" then Bran never finishes training.

And oddly enough what might be the absolute worst outcome would be for him to go to get Bran, learn about the training and all kinds of things he doesn't know about the threat, go back and tell his NW brothers, and be deposed by reason of insanity.

He might have talked some sense into the children... that’s the point... because everything you are saying is based on the idea that Bloodraven is a good guy.

If Bloodraven were at all worried about trying to help the Nights Watch he’s had ample time to try... even some basic information and scouting would go a really long way.

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How would that work exactly? "Hi guys. You haven't heard from me in decades, but I'm not dead (sorry about disappearing and everything), the dead are marching on us and the Others are real, and I need your help to find my apprentice because I'm stuck in a tree."  

Besides, sure that sounds better than doing nothing... dude can write and has birds aplenty to carry messages, these are some super easy issues to deal with if you really want to help the Night’s Watch. Wouldn’t even have to say it was him, just start sending some helpful tips... but really it doesn’t make any sense at all that you are saying you think he’s still a crow (member of the nights watch) but isn’t willing to communicate or help them in any way... 

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I guess he could send Coldhands, but I don't think the members of the Watch would react well to CH.

Or a bird, or a wildling, or a dream, I mean anything...

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Of course a guy who spent a lifetime being distrusted because of 1) his birth, 2) his skincolor, and 3) his mysterious spying talents (aka skinchaging/greenseeing), might have a little trouble reaching out to people in general and expecting any kind of respect or belief. Seems like Bloodraven's experiences may have taught him that he needs to handle things himself if he wants them done right.

So now he’s to shy and has trouble asking for help? He wouldn’t even have to say who it was... these are just excuses and they don’t make sense because there is a better explanation.

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And Ned doesn't mention that his sister had a baby either.

He has a reason not to! His buddy the king kinda likes killing Dragonspawn! That’s not the same at all.

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As above, it's tied to Bloodraven being the 3EC. Which reminds me...

If Bloodraven is NOT the 3EC, how come the real 3EC hasn't tried to fix this little error and get Bran brought to the correct location? Bran hasn't been contacted by any birds telling him he's in the wrong cave.

Because Old Nan was taken to the Dreadfort, and now he’s on the other side of the Wall. 

It appears that the only communication from one side of the wall to the other requires being underground by a Weirwood, like in BRs lair, or the crypts of Winterfell.

But Nan tries to talk to Bran a few times after he wakes up and keeps getting interrupted. 

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Bran would be an idiot if he didn't question everything when his world has been turned upside-down, inside-out, and three kinds of sideways. You have to first question something before truly accepting it. Every person has doubts, and those doubts can actually serve to strengthen faith in the long run. And I mean any faith, in anything, including in themselves.

Or he has a good reason to question... and Jojen has good reason to question... and Meera has good reason to question...

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The one I used was made up on the spot as a joke. You seem to have missed that.

I used a real one in response, this seems to be telling about the difference between us...

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No, it's pretty tame speculation. Bran had to fly a long way before he got anywhere near the Heart of Winter, and you can cover more miles, faster when flying than you can being carried by Hodor. I wouldn't put in terms of actual miles, but the HoW seems to be pretty far distant.

I’m not fighting about dream flight distances, so if that’s all ya got...

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If Bloodraven is behind the return of the Others then by default that makes him exactly what Mel called him. 

No it doesn’t...

The Children of the Forest can likely communicate with the Others... we could get into why if you need me to explain... but being responsible for the Others return (inviting them back) isn’t the same as being in command of them, and that’s not the same as being a God.

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If Bloodraven's lair is the Heart of Winter, then it is likely the source of the coming Winter/Long Night 2.0  and thus the source of the Others. Great Others aside, the Others and wights are not originating from that cave, and they should be if it is Heart of Winter. In fact the Others and wights can't get in the cave. 

Unless he just called them to cull the heard... and doesn’t have command over them... then it makes perfect sense.

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Why would Bloodraven need to do anything (like sending Coldhands) to protect Bran from the Others and wights if the Others are under his control? What's he recruiting Bran to do exactly? If he's training an evil minion, that evil minion should not need protection from the drones of the emperor. It would be like Palpatine putting a force field around Anakin so the Stormtroopers couldn't touch him. Unless you're thinking Bloodraven brought the Others back and then found out he can't control them...but then what would he be training Bran for if not to find a way to get them under control or defeat them?

I think Bloodraven’s body is falling apart and he wants to take Bran’s... since, as we learned in the prologue, the power to warg stays with the body and not the mind when it jumps to another, Bloodraven needs a powerful greenseer to occupy if he wants to keep his powers.

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And again I have to state that all evidence in the text points to Bloodraven being the 3EC, and the evidence is that 3EC wants Bran to help battle winter.

Saying something doesn’t make it true... what evidence is there really for Bloodraven being the 3EC? Again it’s the point of this thread, so if that’s not the conversation you want to have, this isn’t the place for you.

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 Why would Bran need to learn to see through the weirwoods to perpetuate evil? It's cool and all, but there's something in the history that Bloodraven wants Bran to learn and I don't think it's about Jon's paternity--riveting though that subject is.

Did you ever notice that Bran doesn’t even look out of the Weirwood he’s told to look out of, that he’s told to look out of the wierwoods above his hollow hill and instead sees out of the Winterfell Hearttree? 

Does Bloodraven ever say why he’s teaching him?

Does he ever say he’s trying to show him something from the past?

I believe it’s because he want to take Bran’s bodies and his powers...

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I gave you quotes last time. You didn't like them.

You sound like a child. You need to use the quotes in a convincing way if you expect anyone to like them.

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So you've never heard of identity crisis? It's rather a major part of several character arcs. How much of a dragon is Dany? Who the heck is Jon really? And then there's that Aegon kid.

Gtfo of here making that comparison!

This is the trouble with you just spouting  nonsense without any basis in the story.

There is no evidence for what you are saying... what identity crisis? Are you suggesting Bloodraven has forgotten who he is? Or just his vows? What are you even saying here? That a crow is a raven but just for him because he’s confused?

You picked two original pov’s with questions about their parentage playing key roles in both arcs, and a kid who has lived his whole life in hiding dying his hair blue... and then somehow tried to make a connection using... identity crisis? 

The idea that Bloodraven is just a confused old dude who doesn’t remember who he is anymore is funny, except he clearly remembers the name his mom gave him, and, oh ya, there is no basis to all in the text.

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Things can be both different and alike. They can be separate and linked. Speaking of things used in every book, here's a great example: ice and fire (also see R+L=J).

Crows and Ravens can be linked without being the same, sure, like a wolf with a fish in its mouth... ice can burn and fire freeze, that doesn’t mean ice is fire... what the hell are you saying? 

Crows aren’t ravens, I’ve provided quotes, the author invented an expression, and I’m over having to explain it to you... if you still think they are the same please provide more evidence and less random thought association.

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They don't have to be exactly the same to be related and similar enough that crow vs raven is not necessarily as big a deal as you think it is in identifying the 3EC, nor are they so dissimilar that a character can't be identified as both. Leaving out the disagreement I have with you and Brynden himself about whether he is a crow now or not, he certainly was one in the past but that didn't change the fact that he was also a raven--he was both at the same time.

This is dumb... Arya has been a mouse and a cat but she’s still a wolf... is that a hard concept?

Especially since we never see Bloodraven as a crow... just him saying he’s been a lot of stuff over time, but now he’s just as they see him.

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Cousins are a closer relationship than a guy and his half-brother's grandson. :D

But still different...

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Again, the text leads us to 3EC being Bloodraven.

It’s lead many people to believe that, but that’s the whole point... it isn’t the case.

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3EC seems to be a good guy.

The three eyed crow seems to be a woman.

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

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So if Bloodraven is in fact 3EC then ipso facto Bloodraven is a good guy.

Round and round you go!

circular logic starting to show!

Unless you want to dig into the reason behind these assumptions you are making please go circle somewhere else.

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I wouldn't call him a sparkling white saint with no blemishes. More of a guy who's made questionable decisions to follow what he thought was best, but whatever his past sins will end his life on the right side of things.

So many people point to the grim and forbidding set decoration and automatically think it means bad guy, but we know GRRM doesn't do things like that. He likes to play with shades of grey, and turn characters we think are black around to at least less black. He kills off good guys, and makes villains like Cersei entertaining. He keeps us guessing and makes our favorites do things that make us want to reach in the books and smack them. It's not going to be as simple as it as looks. He said he wanted to write a book where the good guys wear black. And then he populated the "good guys" organization with rapists, thieves, murderers, and who knows what else. Anybody in this series has the potential to be a good guy or a hero if they live long enough,

This cuts both ways though, the guy claiming to be looking out for the greater good can’t always be trusted...

it not a horrible point but it also adds nothing to the discussion... not it’s not the setting that makes me question Bloodraven’s motives, I never even suggested he’s a bad guy because he’s literally a dark corpse lord presiding over a bone filled lair filled with creepy squirrel people and blood drinking trees, besides as the similarities to Bran’s vision of the Heart of Winter...

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A lot of people take the speech about darkness as an indication of evil, but I take it as pragmatic. There's a reason the Night's Watch (which was formed during the Long Night) wears black. And when the Long Night comes again, the only safe place may be underground where it's...wait for it...dark.

The big problem with the speech is that he tells Bran not to be afraid, the opposite of his father’s advise from his first chapter... who’s voice he hears making this same quote over again, that’s a massive red flag to me.

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And as I've said, I disagree with him.

If the characters in this series were better at knowing what they are and aren't, then I'd take him at his word. 

Ok

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If you believe everything Old Nan says about the Long Night then you must agree that the battle back then was men vs Others, not men vs men. If she's correct about that, then there is no reason to expect the next one to be different.

What battle? Where does Nan talk about a battle with the Others?

Again, pay attention to who says what.

I doubt Men ever won a war against the Others... crows are all liars.

Nan says the last hero set out hoping the magic of the Children could help him reclaim what the armies of men had lost...

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You've already cast Bloodraven as Sauron, or at last as Saruman. Makes me wonder who you think Gandalf is.

I’m not casting anyone, GRRM has stated how Tolkien was such an influence... but also what he saw as to simple or lacking about the tale... a big critique being that the bad guys aren’t human but supernatural embodiments of evil.

Fly you fools?

How could it not be the three eyed crow?

lol

This is already long, and it doesn’t seem like you really want to contribute so much as argue so I’ll move along. But I enjoy a good debate if you decide to address the underlying assumptions you are making and address the OP.

Edited by LiveFirstDieLater

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14 minutes ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Oh I agree, which is why I use things like BR saying he’s not a crow, not understanding when Bran asks if he’s a crow, having the wrong number and color of eyes as Bran points out, having a differently described voice than the crow...

Agreed.  I wrote up a long post on this yesterday, but the editor ate it. 

Bran asks Bloodraven "are you the 3-eyed crow?"  Bloodraven says "a. . .crow. Once aye."

If I asked somebody "are you the 3-eyed-human?"  and they replied "a . . . human? Once aye."  They either did not understand the question, had no idea what you were talking about or they are dodging it.  But whichever it is, his response clearly indicates that he is NOT the 3ec and doesn't know what a 3ec is.  If Bran was an adult I would expect him to follow up Bloodraven's response with "you did not answer the question--are you the 3ec that visited me in dreams in the form of a crow when I was in a coma, and pecked open my third eye? Yes or no?" 

Add to that everytime one of their party asks either Coldhands, Leaf, or Bloodraven about 3ec they are not familiar with that name, assume they mean Bloodraven and say "oh, you mean the last greenseer"

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"Come now. It is warmer down deep, and no one will hurt you there. He is waiting for you." "The three-eyed crow?" asked Meera. "The greenseer."

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"Who sent you? Who is this three-eyed crow?" "A friend. Dreamer, wizard, call him what you will. The last greenseer."

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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. . . . "A … crow?" . . . "Once, aye. . . .  "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.

Watching in dreams is the only thing Bloodraven can do.  I don't think he can interact.

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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.

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"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,

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A wooden face, corpse white. Was this the enemy? A thousand red eyes floated in the rising flames. He sees me. Beside him, a boy with a wolf's face threw back his head and howled

Bloodraven appears to Bran as a tree, and to Melisandre as a tree.  Bran has dreams were the tree and the 3ec are both there, indicating they are different entities. 

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22 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

Agreed.  I wrote up a long post on this yesterday, but the editor ate it. 

Rough...

22 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

Bran asks Bloodraven "are you the 3-eyed crow?"  Bloodraven says "a. . .crow. Once aye."

If I asked somebody "are you the 3-eyed-human?"  and they replied "a . . . human? Once aye."  They either did not understand the question, had no idea what you were talking about or they are dodging it.  But whichever it is, his response clearly indicates that he is NOT the 3ec and doesn't know what a 3ec is.  If Bran was an adult I would expect him to follow up Bloodraven's response with "you did not answer the question--are you the 3ec that visited me in dreams in the form of a crow when I was in a coma, and pecked open my third eye? Yes or no?" 

Add to that everytime one of their party asks either Coldhands, Leaf, or Bloodraven about 3ec they are not familiar with that name, assume they mean Bloodraven and say "oh, you mean the last greenseer"

Watching in dreams is the only thing Bloodraven can do.  I don't think he can interact.

I would agree with you...

22 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

Bloodraven appears to Bran as a tree, and to Melisandre as a tree.  Bran has dreams were the tree and the 3ec are both there, indicating they are different entities. 

I tried to point this out in the op as well... how they are clearly distinct. And the language used once Bran is in Bloodraven’s hollow hill is over the top suspicious...

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The sight of him still frightened Bran—the weirwood roots snaking in and out of his withered flesh, the mushrooms sprouting from his cheeks, the white wooden worm that grew from the socket where one eye had been. He liked it better when the torches were put out. In the dark he could pretend that it was the three-eyed crow who whispered to him and not some grisly talking corpse.

 

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1 hour ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

I tried to point this out in the op as well... how they are clearly distinct. And the language used once Bran is in Bloodraven’s hollow hill is over the top suspicious...

Also, he continues to have 3ec dreams even after he has arrived at the cave. 

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The last greenseer, the singers called him, but in Bran's dreams he was still a three-eyed crow. When Meera Reed had asked him his true name, he made a ghastly sound that might have been a chuckle. "I wore many names when I was quick, but even I once had a mother, and the name she gave me at her breast was Brynden."

I wish we knew what those dreams were.  But to me this seems like the "Never the Obvious Suspect" trope--which is one of those cliches from a murder-mystery where they think they got the killer, but then more bodies turn up, therefore it could not be the guy they caught.  Bran's dreams of crows, Bran is a crow, and a friend of crows.  Bloodraven, ravens in the cave, Coldhands' ravens, Raven's Teeth 

The Raven's Teeth reminds of the binding of Fenrir, in which the gods have the dwarves make Gleipnir out of "impossible things"

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To create a chain to achieve the impossible, the dwarves fashioned the chain out of six supposedly impossible things:

The sound of a cat's footfall, The beard of a woman, The roots of a mountain, The sinews of a bear, The breath of a fish, The spittle of a bird

Raven's Teeth don't exist, birds don't have teeth.  I think it is a nod to gleipnir, as Bloodraven is attempting to bind Bran to the trees.

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5 hours ago, By Odin's Beard said:

Bloodraven's bodily processes have ceased, he is described as being dead 10 different ways.  Part of his face has rotted away, his skull shows through, and he has mushrooms and branches growing out of his head.  The weirwood is not sustaining him, it was robbing him--using him up, it is a vampiric parasite bleeding him dry.  (Just like the Undying wanted to do to Dany.)  Now the only thing keeping him "alive" is the weirwood roots running through him, and it supplies the bare minimum for any sort of functioning. "the last coal in a dead fire" "Most of him has gone into the tree."  Most, as in >50%, almost all, the majority of.  Only a small fraction of Brynden remains.  How long after Bran and company arrive at the cave is it until Bloodraven introduces himself as Brynden?  His personal identity almost gone.  He is more like a talking hand-puppet of the weirwood at this point, like the weirwood is doing an impersonation of Bloodraven.  He is a desiccated husk.

"Lord Brynden drew his life from the tree, Leaf told them. He did not eat, he did not drink. He slept, he dreamed, he watched."

And you conveniently avoided the text that suggests that just the mere fact of being in the network as long as he has been would have caused him to lose his identity to it. 

When Stoneheart and Beric get resurrected, what gets reanimated is not the same person that died, its vital processes have stopped, it is changed.  It is a zombie that has some of the memories of the host, but it is not the living person anymore.

 

For sure Brynden Rivers has seen better days and he'll never be his old self again but I still hold the view that he is still alive.  I'm not trying to assert anything beyond that.  I got into this conversations with you because you expressed that Lord Brynden is dead and has been for a number of years, that his life force was drained by the weirwood and that he is now a corpse animated by the weirwood.  But he's not dead.  Death is final.  His conscience lingers even as much of his physical body had begun to decay.  To quote Miracle Max in the Princess Bride:

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There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Now, mostly dead is slightly alive.

and to quote Leaf:

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Most of him has gone into the tree ... He has lived beyond his mortal span, and yet he lingers. For us, for you, for the realms of men. Only a little strength remains in his flesh. He has a thousand eyes and one, but there is much to watch. One day you will know.

He lingers.  Much of his flesh is gone and returned to earth but enough remains for his consciousness to remain so that he can continue to observe the world through the weirwoods. He`s about 125 years old.  I`m not sure how directly we can compare his plight with that of Beric Dondarrion and Lady Stoneheart.  They both died and were re-animated.  Beric describes being further diminished every time he is resurrected but I put that down to a little bit more of his self slipping away every time his life essence leaves his body.  Lady Stoneheart was dead for days before Beric passed his life force on to her and resurrected her that one time he kissed her corpse.  Brynden Rivers sat down below the ground surrounded by tree roots and was slowly integrated into the tree but there are no descriptions of him ever being dead.  

 

 

 

Edited by White Ravens

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32 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

Also, he continues to have 3ec dreams even after he has arrived at the cave. 

Yep! I didn’t want to include that too early because the people who still think BRis the 3EC try and use those quotes as proof  sometimes, I find it unconvincing to say the least, but it starts to muddy the waters.

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I wish we knew what those dreams were.  But to me this seems like the "Never the Obvious Suspect" trope--which is one of those cliches from a murder-mystery where they think they got the killer, but then more bodies turn up, therefore it could not be the guy they caught.  Bran's dreams of crows, Bran is a crow, and a friend of crows.  Bloodraven, ravens in the cave, Coldhands' ravens, Raven's Teeth 

I would also relate this to the children’s book, “are you my mother?” (Same guy as  “Go dog go”)

A bird leaves her egg at home thinking it safe and immobile. It hatches and the little bird lacks the ability to fly, so he wanders around asking other animals if they are his mother... are you my mother? Are you my mother? Are you my mother?

Needless to say they are not, he finally comes to a monstrous giant work machine, and realizes it’s not his mother, just as he’s about to give up it drops him back in his nest as his mother returns home. He tells her his story and there is much rejoicing.

Are you the Three Eyed Crow?

Its one of those, if you have to ask that many times, it won’t be an ambiguous answer when it’s finally the right person, you’ll know.

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The Raven's Teeth reminds of the binding of Fenrir, in which the gods have the dwarves make Gleipnir out of "impossible things"

I completely agree! 

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Raven's Teeth don't exist, birds don't have teeth.  I think it is a nod to gleipnir, as Bloodraven is attempting to bind Bran to the trees.

Especially because they tried other chains first on Fenrir which failed (winged wolf in stone chains?), although like any parallel of this sort it only stretches so far.

I also suspect there is an inversion going on, where in Norse mythology Odin and his pantheon represented something like order and Loki and his children/giants something like chaos... In ASoIaF I believe the status quo is out of whack, seasons lasting years, and the Odin/Norse Pantheon parallels we find in it will represent maintaining this flawed status quo, where Loki will be the opposite, trying to bring about the end of an age... Fenrir of course is Loki’s child.

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Her voice and her needles fell silent, and she glanced up at Bran with pale, filmy eyes and asked, "So, child. This is the sort of story you like?"

 

Edited by LiveFirstDieLater

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35 minutes ago, White Ravens said:

 

For sure Brynden Rivers has seen better days and he'll never be his old self again but I still hold the view that he is still alive.  I'm not trying to assert anything beyond that.  I got into this conversations with you because you expressed that Lord Brynden is dead and has been for a number of years, that his life force is was drained by the weirwood and that he is now a corpse animated by the weirwood.  But he's not dead.  Death is final.  His conscience lingers even as much of his physical body had begun to decay.  To quote Miracle Max in the Princess Bride:

and to quote Leaf:

He lingers.  Much of his flesh is gone and returned to earth but enough remains for his consciousness to remain so that he can continue to observe the world through the weirwoods. He`s about 125 years old.  I`m not sure how directly we can compare his plight with that of Beric Dondarrion and Lady Stoneheart.  They both died and were re-animated.  Beric describes being further diminished every time he is resurrected but I put that down to a little bit more of his self slipping away every time his life essence leaves his body.  Lady Stoneheart was dead for days before Beric passed his life force on to her and resurrected her that one time he kissed her corpse.  Brynden Rivers sat down below the ground surrounded by tree roots and was slowly integrated into the tree but there are no descriptions of him ever being dead. 

This conversation has officially turned into the Monty Python dead parrot sketch.  "Bloodraven is not dead, he is merely resting." 

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Uniform Determination of Death Act. It states that: "An individual who has sustained either (1) irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions, or (2) irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem is dead.

Medically, Bloodraven is dead.  There is a force animating the dead body that used to be Brynden, but it is not Brynden as he does not have the power to raise the dead.

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Still disagree.  Walking away.  Still believe that Bloodraven is alive as he sits his weirwood throne beneath the ground with roots growing through his flesh and skin sloughs away in places.  He is still self aware and watching the realm through the weirwoods. 

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11 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

This conversation has officially turned into the Monty Python dead parrot sketch.  "Bloodraven is not dead, he is merely resting." 

Medically, Bloodraven is dead.  There is a force animating the dead body that used to be Brynden, but it is not Brynden as he does not have the power to raise the dead.

Lol, I do still think he’s not quite dead yet... but his body is sustained by the Tree. Thus the no eating/drinking... like how Mel doesn’t sleep... in fact, there might be something to the fire consuming and ice preserving there.

Also, we’re gonna need some new definitions for death given all the varieties of dead but not really dead we have in the series so far!

Edited by LiveFirstDieLater

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18 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

Medically, Bloodraven is dead.  There is a force animating the dead body that used to be Brynden, but it is not Brynden as he does not have the power to raise the dead.

Erhm. What. BR is "medically dead"? What's the cod? Who has called it? I mean, we can speculate all we want on this, but same as I can't state w/ certainty he is alive, you can't claim he is "medically dead". 

The second part is doing my head in... Brynden can't raise the dead, therefore he hasn't raised himself and thus we conclude he is someone else? 

As a side note, no, this convo is not at all like the dead parrot skit. It's actually kind of a silly and patronising thing to say, since the dead parrot is very obviously dead, and the claim that BR is dead is only speculation at this point. 

10 minutes ago, White Ravens said:

Still disagree.  Walking away.  Still believe that Bloodraven is alive as he sits his weirwood throne beneath the ground with roots growing through his flesh and skin sloughs away in places.  He is still self aware and watching the realm through the weirwoods. 

My take on it as well. His lifespan has been extended by being physically joined w/ the heart tree.

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22 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

Erhm. What. BR is "medically dead"? What's the cod? Who has called it? I mean, we can speculate all we want on this, but same as I can't state w/ certainty he is alive, you can't claim he is "medically dead".

Cause of death was blood loss--"desiccated flesh"  Bran called it: Brynden is a "grisly talking corpse."  His blood circulation has ceased, decomposition has started, neither of which are conducive to life.  Medically dead.  He has become one with the weirwood.  The memories and personality of Brynden do remain in the hive-mind, so in a sense he is still "alive"

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A little skin remained, stretched across his face, tight and hard as white leather, but even that was fraying, and here and there the brown and yellow bone beneath was poking through.

If you found a body in a cave in this condition you would say "Yep, he's good, he's still alive"?  "A little skin remained" means "most of the skin is gone."  If a mostly-exposed-skull guy can be considered "alive" at what point would he be considered dead?

Notice also that Bran says

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The only thing that looked alive in the pale ruin that was his face was his one red eye

He did not say "the only thing that was alive" it only "looked alive" as in "it was not really alive."

 

1 hour ago, kissdbyfire said:

It's actually kind of a silly and patronising thing to say,

Concern trolling.  I love that skit, and being compared to it is a great honor.

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2 hours ago, By Odin's Beard said:

Medically, Bloodraven is dead.  There is a force animating the dead body that used to be Brynden, but it is not Brynden as he does not have the power to raise the dead.

"Most of him has gone into the tree," explained the singer Meera called Leaf. "He has lived beyond his mortal span, and yet he lingers. For us, for you, for the realms of men. Only a little strength remains in his flesh. He has a thousand eyes and one, but there is much to watch. One day you will know."  [Bran III, ADWD]

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11 minutes ago, Wizz-The-Smith said:

"Most of him has gone into the tree," explained the singer Meera called Leaf. "He has lived beyond his mortal span, and yet he lingers. For us, for you, for the realms of men. Only a little strength remains in his flesh. He has a thousand eyes and one, but there is much to watch. One day you will know."  [Bran III, ADWD]

Well, I have lived... for a few decades - no need to be too specific here, I'm sure you get my drift. :lol:

 

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4 hours ago, By Odin's Beard said:

Also, he continues to have 3ec dreams even after he has arrived at the cave. 

I wish we knew what those dreams were.  But to me this seems like the "Never the Obvious Suspect" trope--which is one of those cliches from a murder-mystery where they think they got the killer, but then more bodies turn up, therefore it could not be the guy they caught.  Bran's dreams of crows, Bran is a crow, and a friend of crows.  Bloodraven, ravens in the cave, Coldhands' ravens, Raven's Teeth 

The Raven's Teeth reminds of the binding of Fenrir, in which the gods have the dwarves make Gleipnir out of "impossible things"

Raven's Teeth don't exist, birds don't have teeth.  I think it is a nod to gleipnir, as Bloodraven is attempting to bind Bran to the trees.

I am not sure how literal you were being with the "ravens don't have teeth" idea, so if you already know what I am about to say, then just skip this post. Brynden Bloodraven Rivers' commands a group of loyal (weirwood) bowmen called the Raven's Teeth. The idea that the arrowheads are the play on words is what the teeth are.

Also, birds all have an "egg tooth" to help them crack out of their shells, revealing the dragonlette withi.... ugh, never mind. You see where this is going, including the constant in-world euphemism of hatching "dragons" from Eggs.

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