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Posted (edited)

Something is up with the Blackwoods. Something is special about the Blackwoods. Once, long ago, the Blackwoods were first men kings.

Their seat, Raventree Hall, is built around a colossal ancient weirwood tree, thought dead, petrified and turned to stone (aesthetically, one could even compare it to the stone dragons of Dragonstone). Every evening a conspiracy of ravens settle upon the branches of this tree, as they have for a thousand years.

Sorcerer, Hand of the King, Master of Whispers, slayer of Blackfyres, commander of the Nights Watch, the Three Eyed Crow, Bloodraven, the son of Aegon the Unworthy, the Great Bastard, Brynden Rivers. A son of Targaryen and Blackwood and the most powerful man in Westeros of his day. How many eyes does Bloodraven have? A Thousand Eyes and One. A Targaryen with the abilities of a Warg. The Pale White Dragon.

There was a king named Aegon, born the fourth son of a forth son, he was given the nickname "The Unlikely," and like his "Unworthy" predecessor, this king bore children with a Blackwood. So far back was Aegon, fifth of his name, in the line of succession, none thought much of his marriage to Betha Blackwood, and so we have our unlikely queen. Of their union was Duncan, prince of dragonflies, who abdicated to be with is love, Jenny of Oldstone (rumored to be a descendent of house Mudd). But Jenny was not of noble birth, and so Duncan Abdicated. Taking Duncans place in line for king was Jaehaerys, the second of his name. Jaehaerys married his sister and had genetically half Targaryen half Blackwoods children, a son named Aerys and a daughter named Rhaella. Under the forbearance of prophecy, these sibling also married and genetically still the same mixture of Targaryen and Blackwoods. One of these children was named Daenerys Targaryen. She is the mother of Dragons.

Another child of Mad Aerys and Rhaella was a melancholy youth named Rhaegar. He was bookish in his youth, but one day he stumbled upon a piece of writing and decided that he must become a warrior. In the fashion of wildings, this prince stole a maid, a Stark of Winterfell, Lyanna Stark. Lyanna Stark Daughter of the blood of the old northern kings. Though Stark is not the only Kings blood mixed in there. Lyanna's mother was half stark. Her grandmother from her father was a Locke, who were once first men kings. Her great grandmother though his was another Blackwood, married around the time Aegon the unlikely wed Bertha Blackwood. So Lyanna is a little Blackwoods and heaps of kings blood. If R+L=J is true then Jon is a Blackwoods, Targaryen, Stark (and other kings and first men houses).

The Blackwoods appear often throughout asoiaf, with Lucas Blackwood escorting Cat, Tytos leading the defense of the Riverlands both when Edmure is initially captured by Jamie, and as the last house in defiance of the crown in the Riverlands after Jamie has subdued Riverrun - again. 

Famously this house has a long standing feud with another house called the Brackens. there have been a hundred peaces and they always break as long as people remember the wrongs done to them and there ancestors (or so Holster Blackwoods tells Jamie Lannister). The heraldry of these houses are a Weirwood tree for the Blackwoods and a flaming red stallion for the Brackens. Both houses can field more men than their liege lord.

These are the simple facts surrounding this house and its presence in the world of ASOIAF. I believe the blood of Blackwoods is important. the Tullys are just a misdirect for the Riverlands chapters, or at the very least, they are not the most important Riverlands house.

ASOIAF is a song of ice and fire. two elements in duality. A cold god in the north of Westeros. A fiery god from the south of Essos. (the same cardinal positioning Raventree and Stone Hedge, the houses of Blackwoods and Bracken respectively lie of one another.

Even if there is no special future for the Blackwoods (which I doubt given how precarious the existence of male Tully's are), they serve as an important microcosm of the larger battle being played by the gods of ice and fire. if they are the old god or ice, then the brackens are suitably fire, the lord of light, (two beings that ostensibly have very similar powers: revive the dead/visions/dreams ect.) If that is the case, then there is a simple horrible reality of this world. like Hoister Blackwoods said, as long as people remember, then people will fight one another. Well, centuries are nothing to a wierwood, it remembers. there have been peaces before, but eventually something comes to break the peace. the peace is broken, it seems and old grudges are not easily forgotten.

Edited by Targaryeninkingslanding
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Posted (edited)

Just a few things,

A crow is not a raven. Brynden Rivers, Bloodraven, is not the three eyed crow from Bran's dreams.

The Sigil of house Bracken is a red stallion. The sigil of Aegor Rivers, Bittersteel, was a winged red horse breathing flames.

The Brakens and the Blackwoods are each others brothers and each others bane, much like the children and the giants. Their feud goes back to before the Andal invasion, and there is blood of both families in all of their veins.

Quote

"So you are fighting over a crown that one of you took from the other back when the Casterlys still held Casterly Rock, is that the root of it? The crown of a kingdom that has not existed for thousands of years?" He chuckled. "So many years, so many wars, so many kings … you'd think someone would have made a peace."
"Someone did, my lord. Many someones. We've had a hundred peaces with the Brackens, many sealed with marriages. There's Blackwood blood in every Bracken, and Bracken blood in every Blackwood. The Old King's Peace lasted half a century. But then some fresh quarrel broke out, and the old wounds opened and began to bleed again. That's how it always happens, my father says. So long as men remember the wrongs done to their forebears, no peace will ever last. So we go on century after century, with us hating the Brackens and them hating us. My father says there will never be an end to it."

A Dance with Dragons - Jaime I

I think a song of Ice and fire is more about the two together than a duality of opposites... also not sure what you mean about the relation of the physical locations of Raventree Hall and Stonehenge... I think Raventree Hall is Southeast of Stonehenge?

It would seem to me that the Blackwoods were chased out of the North by the Starks, and now the Targaryens have been chased out of King's Landing by the "Usurper" and his dogs... These ancient grievances may yet play a roll in explaining Bloodraven's motivations (or at least justifications), as I expect he will try to take Bran's body and is likely responsible for the return of the Others.

Edited by Mourning Star

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52 minutes ago, Mourning Star said:

A crow is not a raven. Brynden Rivers, Bloodraven, is not the three eyed crow from Bran's dreams.

A raven is not a crow, but Bloodraven is the three eyed crow (a crow from being in the nights watch). he's the last greenseer stuck in the weirwood roots. 

56 minutes ago, Mourning Star said:

The Sigil of house Bracken is a red stallion. The sigil of Aegor Rivers, Bittersteel, was a winged red horse breathing flames.

Fair. but it is red with gold which still fits the aesthetic. horses could also be symbolic of the andels who came from the south of essos.

57 minutes ago, Mourning Star said:

The Brakens and the Blackwoods are each others brothers and each others bane, much like the children and the giants. Their feud goes back to before the Andal invasion, and there is blood of both families in all of their veins.

thats a good comparison. I would just as well put the first men and the children though. The others may be their own thing, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were just a type of children of the forrest, but still combative. 

1 hour ago, Mourning Star said:

It would seem to me that the Blackwoods were chased out of the North by the Starks, and now the Targaryens have been chased out of King's Landing by the "Usurper" and his dogs... These ancient grievances may yet play a roll in explaining Bloodraven's motivations (or at least justifications), as I expect he will try to take Bran's body and is likely responsible for the return of the Others.

yeah their is unity is opposites alright. Raventree is north-west of Stone Hedge. I checked. it was just an aesthetic observation meant to support the claim of these houses being symbolic of the larger battle, but it could also be purely coincidental.

1 hour ago, Mourning Star said:

It would seem to me that the Blackwoods were chased out of the North by the Starks, and now the Targaryens have been chased out of King's Landing by the "Usurper" and his dogs... These ancient grievances may yet play a roll in explaining Bloodraven's motivations (or at least justifications), as I expect he will try to take Bran's body and is likely responsible for the return of the Others.

seems plausible, though they may have just been splayed as ruled by the Andels. But yeah it does sort of seem like bran won't be himself soon. maybe they will more just fuse like Varamyr and Orell.

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Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, Targaryeninkingslanding said:

A raven is not a crow, but Bloodraven is the three eyed crow (a crow from being in the nights watch). he's the last greenseer stuck in the weirwood roots. 

I really don't think so... he is not the three eyed crow, nor is he a crow of the Night's Watch.

"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."

Bloodraven doesn't even understand what Bran is talking about... and "once" implies no longer, and he isn't dead, so he has forsaken his vows.

The monsters cannot pass so long as the Wall stands and the men of the Night's Watch stay true, that's what Old Nan used to say.

And, I don't think it's a mistake that this is in the first chapter:

"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.

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Fair. but it is red with gold which still fits the aesthetic. horses could also be symbolic of the andels who came from the south of essos.

The First Men had horses, and the Brackens were First Men, predating the Andal Invasion.

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yeah their is unity is opposites alright. Raventree is north-west of Stone Hedge. I checked. it was just an aesthetic observation meant to support the claim of these houses being symbolic of the larger battle, but it could also be purely coincidental.

Raventree Hall is South East of Stonhenge on the map I'm looking at... but as you say, small detail.

Quote

seems plausible, though they may have just been splayed as ruled by the Andels. But yeah it does sort of seem like bran won't be himself soon. maybe they will more just fuse like Varamyr and Orell.

To be clear, I don't think Bloodraven will succeed in body snatching Bran, I suspect Bran will make his escape, possibly via the underground river.

Edited by Mourning Star

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On 6/2/2021 at 1:01 PM, Mourning Star said:

I really don't think so... he is not the three eyed crow, nor is he a crow of the Night's Watch.

"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."

Bloodraven doesn't even understand what Bran is talking about... and "once" implies no longer, and he isn't dead, so he has forsaken his vows.

The monsters cannot pass so long as the Wall stands and the men of the Night's Watch stay true, that's what Old Nan used to say.

And, I don't think it's a mistake that this is in the first chapter:

"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.

I honestly cant imagine who else the three eyed crow could be. Jojen reed also had dreams of the crow and led bran north in search of the crow. Brynden rivers is who they found and the man is certainly a greenseer. the three eyed crow is called the last greenseer, but the ability transcends time a bit so who knows. maybe it is future bran or a guy from the past. Realisticlly there is no other candid I can think of that has bee mentioned or introduced.

as for the rest, yeah bloodraven is like that. he's done plenty of things considered dishonorable but he sure does get results. just goes to show how dangerous that blackwood blood is in the world of asoiaf.

On 6/2/2021 at 1:01 PM, Mourning Star said:

The First Men had horses, and the Brackens were First Men, predating the Andal Invasion.

yeah, you're right, no ain't arguing that. it suppose that was more just an observation that knights use horses and so did the first men against the children. possible symbolism but not necessarily so, probably just an aesthetical reaching

On 6/2/2021 at 1:01 PM, Mourning Star said:

Raventree Hall is South East of Stonhenge on the map I'm looking at... but as you say, small detail.

Yeah I'm seeing a couple variation on that actually. This topographic map by tear has them positioned like you said: https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/File:Map_of_westeros.jpg

While the wiki description of the hall location being sourced by "A world of Ice and Fire" and "A land of Ice and Fire" state:  "Raventree is located north of Riverrun (so north of the red fork), southwest of Oldstones, and west of Fairmarket. Ironman's Bay is to the northwest"

https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Raventree_Hall#cite_note-Rawoiafmap_of_westeros.7B.7B.7B3.7D.7D.7D-2

"Stone Hedge is located south of the Red Fork and the Inn of the Kneeling Man, north of High Heart and Acorn Hall, and east of Riverrun.[1] Blackwood Vale, home to the Brackens' rivals from House Blackwood, is located across the Red Fork to the north."

https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Stone_Hedge

Which is putting them where I claimed.

On 6/2/2021 at 1:01 PM, Mourning Star said:

To be clear, I don't think Bloodraven will succeed in body snatching Bran, I suspect Bran will make his escape, possibly via the underground river.

I mean, he might. with the varamyr prologue being a thing, i can't image that george won't show us that ability again in some soul snatching or fusing way, but i don't think bloodraven is the enemy he seems. if he just wanted brans body, he could have done that any time, and if he can steal a body, well i doubt being crippled is such a big advantage, but who knows, maybe he's just trying to train bran before he tricks him out of his body... well yeah lets hope he gets away 

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On 6/2/2021 at 11:04 AM, Mourning Star said:

Brynden Rivers, Bloodraven, is not the three eyed crow from Bran's dreams.

I think you're wrong about this. I think the greenseers take on appearances when entering someone's dream without really being aware of what they look like. 

When Jon and Bran connect in ACoK, Bran appears to Jon as a three-eyed weirwood. 

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1 hour ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

I think you're wrong about this. I think the greenseers take on appearances when entering someone's dream without really being aware of what they look like. 

When Jon and Bran connect in ACoK, Bran appears to Jon as a three-eyed weirwood. 

Jojen and Coldhands take Bran to the three eyed crow:

He said he'd go and deal with them," said Bran.
"He said, aye. He said he would take us to this three-eyed crow."
 
"The ranger saved Sam and the girl from the wights," Bran said, hesitantly, "and he's taking me to the three-eyed crow."
 
Then when they get to the cave:
 
"Are you the three-eyed crow?" Bran heard himself say.
"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."
 
"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."
 
He follows that up with:
 
I have my own ghosts, Bran. A brother (Daeron) that I loved, a brother (Bittersteel) that I hated, a woman (Shiera) I desired.
 
If he's not Bloodraven, then he's bloodraven from the mirror universe.
 

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14 hours ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

I think you're wrong about this. I think the greenseers take on appearances when entering someone's dream without really being aware of what they look like. 

When Jon and Bran connect in ACoK, Bran appears to Jon as a three-eyed weirwood. 

And I believe that Bloodraven appeared as the brooding Weirwood in Bran's dream.

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.

And the Crow (the crow and tree dreams are explicitly distinct) talks to Bran about having wings during the falling dream, so it doesn't really make any sense at all to suggest it doesn't know how it appears.

"You have wings," Bran pointed out.
Maybe you do too.
Bran felt along his shoulders, groping for feathers.
There are different kinds of wings, the crow said.

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13 hours ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

Jojen and Coldhands take Bran to the three eyed crow:

He said he'd go and deal with them," said Bran.
"He said, aye. He said he would take us to this three-eyed crow."
 
"The ranger saved Sam and the girl from the wights," Bran said, hesitantly, "and he's taking me to the three-eyed crow."
 
Then when they get to the cave:
 
"Are you the three-eyed crow?" Bran heard himself say.
"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."
 
"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."
 
He follows that up with:
 
I have my own ghosts, Bran. A brother (Daeron) that I loved, a brother (Bittersteel) that I hated, a woman (Shiera) I desired.
 
If he's not Bloodraven, then he's bloodraven from the mirror universe.
 

Actually a lot to unpack here...

First, at no point does Coldhands say he is taking Bran to the three eyed crow, in fact it's never explicit why any of them think the three eyed crow is beyond the Wall, that is just something Jojen says (and Jojen pretty clearly is not the best at interpreting visions, not to mention his state at the end of Dance sure seems like he is realizing he messed up).

Coldhands says this:

Meera's gloved hand tightened around the shaft of her frog spear. "Who sent you? Who is this three-eyed crow?"
"A friend. Dreamer, wizard, call him what you will. The last greenseer." The longhall's wooden door banged open. Outside, the night wind howled, bleak and black. The trees were full of ravens, screaming. Coldhands did not move.
"A monster," Bran said.
The ranger looked at Bran as if the rest of them did not exist. "Your monster, Brandon Stark."

Two questions and two answers:

Who sent you? The Last Greenseer.

Wo is the three eyed crow? Your monster, Brandon Stark.

As confusing as the dialogue may be, the author goes to great lengths to not explicitly conflate Bloodraven with the three eyed crow.

It isn't just Coldhands either:

"No. They killed him long ago. 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."

In fact, once they reach Bloodraven's cave, Bran only mentions the three eyed crow once the lights are out and he is in the dark

In the dark he could pretend that it was the three-eyed crow who whispered to him and not some grisly talking corpse.

And when Bran asks Bloodraven straight up if he is the three eyed crow, Bloodraven has no idea what he is talking about. This isn't the first time Bran asks this question only to receive an unsatisfactory answer... it parallels the interaction with Sam at the Nightfort, conflating "crow" with the Nights Watch and then giving his born name.

Bloodraven doesn't even claim to be the three eyed crow:

"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."

If one appears with an extra eye in other people's dreams, then the two eyed weirwood fits for Bloodraven.

Not only that, you will notice Bloodraven doesn't ever mention talking to Bran, only watching and listening, like the Brooding Weirwood not the three eyed crow.

I would suggest that the hour is late for Bloodraven, and that is why he cares so much about finding Bran, a body with greenseer and skinshifting powers (as we learned from Varamyr the powers stay with the body, and are lost if one possesses a body without those powers).

It's not even clear Bloodraven is capable of speaking through dreams at all:

"He heard a whisper on the wind, a rustling amongst the leaves. You cannot speak to him, try as you might. I know. I have my own ghosts, Bran. A brother that I loved, a brother that I hated, a woman I desired. Through the trees, I see them still, but no word of mine has ever reached them. The past remains the past. We can learn from it, but we cannot change it."

I would suggest that the brother he loved was Daemon Blackfyre, but that's kind of a tangent here...

Bloodraven says he can't talk through dreams. We see the Weirwood struggle to speak in Bran's dreams, but not the three eyed crow.

And finally, I would argue that the real three eyed crow spoke to Bran in the cave:

Leaf touched his hand. "The trees will teach you. The trees remember." He raised a hand, and the other singers began to move about the cavern, extinguishing the torches one by one. The darkness thickened and crept toward them.
"Close your eyes," said the three-eyed crow. "Slip your skin, as you do when you join with Summer. But this time, go into the roots instead. Follow them up through the earth, to the trees upon the hill, and tell me what you see."
Bran closed his eyes and slipped free of his skin. Into the roots, he thought. Into the weirwood. Become the tree. For an instant he could see the cavern in its black mantle, could hear the river rushing by below.
Then all at once he was back home again.

You will notice the lights are out, and Leaf says it will be the trees teaching Bran.

Then the three eyed crow tells Bran to look out of the trees above the cave, in the grove of frozen Weirwoods, which as I'll try to show below is what Bran saw in his original falling dream. Instead, Bran sees what he wants to see, home, Winterfell. Bloodraven appears ignorant of the three eyed crows instructions here, and the Weirwood in Winterfell is exactly how Bloodraven appeared to Bran in his original falling dream.

Something about the way the raven screamed sent a shiver running up Bran's spine. I am almost a man grown, he had to remind himself. I have to be brave now.
But the air was sharp and cold and full of fear. Even Summer was afraid. The fur on his neck was bristling. Shadows stretched against the hillside, black and hungry. All the trees were bowed and twisted by the weight of ice they carried. Some hardly looked like trees at all. Buried from root to crown in frozen snow, they huddled on the hill like giants, monstrous and misshapen creatures hunched against the icy wind.

Those trees up above Bloodraven's Lair are the spires of Ice Bran was plummeting towards in his falling dream:

Because winter is coming.
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 ice waited 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.

You will also notice all the fear/bravery language from Ned's lesson in Bran's first chapter surrounding both passages, but more to the point, in Bloodraven's cave, impaled on the roots (points) of the Weirwoods above, are the bones of a thousand other dreamers:

"Bones," said Bran. "It's bones." The floor of the passage was littered with the bones of birds and beasts. But there were other bones as well, big ones that must have come from giants and small ones that could have been from children. On either side of them, in niches carved from the stone, skulls looked down on them. Bran saw a bear skull and a wolf skull, half a dozen human skulls and near as many giants. All the rest were small, queerly formed. Children of the forest. The roots had grown in and around and through them, every one. A few had ravens perched atop them, watching them pass with bright black eyes.

A raven is not a crow, and Bloodraven is a white raven, the heralds of the changing season, and winter is coming.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/2/2021 at 10:04 AM, Mourning Star said:

A crow is not a raven

 

On 6/2/2021 at 11:16 AM, Targaryeninkingslanding said:

A raven is not a crow,

As an aside, GRRM makes two very unusual “mistakes” in his series:

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The carrion crows wheeled about the gatehouse in raucous unkindness and quarreled upon the ramparts over every eye, screaming and cawing at each other and taking to the air whenever a sentry passed along the battlements. Sometimes the maester’s ravens joined the feast as well, flapping down from the rookery on wide black wings. When the ravens came the crows would scatter, only to return the moment the larger birds were gone.

Quote

The moon was a black hole in the sky. Wolves howled in the wood, sniffing through the snowdrifts after dead things. A murder of ravens erupted from the hillside, screaming their sharp cries, black wings beating above a white world. A red sun rose and set and rose again, painting the snows in shades of rose and pink.

The problem with these sentences is that GRRM got the terms reversed.  A group of crows is referred to as a murder.  A group of ravens is referred to as an unkindness.

It seems an unusual mistake for GRRM to make, especially twice like this.  So I do wonder if he is intentionally transposing the terms.  And if so why.

Having said that, I tend to agree that the “voice” of the three eyed crow seems different than Bloodraven’s voice.  

Edited by Frey family reunion

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17 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

Having said that, I tend to agree that the “voice” of the three eyed crow seems different than Bloodraven’s voice.

If BR is not the 3EC; then who has a vested interest in making sure he survives the coma dream?  When Bran takes the wiernut drug; first Bloodraven is speaking to him; then Leaf and when the cave darkens and he is being affected by the drug; he hears the voice of the 3EC.  The only time the crow speaks to him in his mind; is when Bran's mental state is altered. 
 

Quote

 

Dance with Dragons - Bran III

"For the next step. For you to go beyond skinchanging and learn what it means to be a greenseer."

"The trees will teach him," said Leaf. She beckoned, and another of the singers padded forward, the white-haired one that Meera had named Snowylocks. She had a weirwood bowl in her hands, carved with a dozen faces, like the ones the heart trees wore. Inside was a white paste, thick and heavy, with dark red veins running through it. "You must eat of this," said Leaf. She handed Bran a wooden spoon.

The boy looked at the bowl uncertainly. "What is it?"

"A paste of weirwood seeds."

Something about the look of it made Bran feel ill. The red veins were only weirwood sap, he supposed, but in the torchlight they looked remarkably like blood. He dipped the spoon into the paste, then hesitated. "Will this make me a greenseer?"

"Your blood makes you a greenseer," said Lord Brynden. "This will help awaken your gifts and wed you to the trees."

Bran did want to be married to a tree … but who else would wed a broken boy like him? A thousand eyes, a hundred skins, wisdom deep as the roots of ancient trees. A greenseer.

He ate.

It had a bitter taste, though not so bitter as acorn paste. The first spoonful was the hardest to get down. He almost retched it right back up. The second tasted better. The third was almost sweet. The rest he spooned up eagerly. Why had he thought that it was bitter? It tasted of honey, of new-fallen snow, of pepper and cinnamon and the last kiss his mother ever gave him. The empty bowl slipped from his fingers and clattered on the cavern floor. "I don't feel any different. What happens next?"

Leaf touched his hand. "The trees will teach you. The trees remember." He raised a hand, and the other singers began to move about the cavern, extinguishing the torches one by one. The darkness thickened and crept toward them.

"Close your eyes," said the three-eyed crow. "Slip your skin, as you do when you join with Summer. But this time, go into the roots instead. Follow them up through the earth, to the trees upon the hill, and tell me what you see."

 

 

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, Targaryeninkingslanding said:

I honestly cant imagine who else the three eyed crow could be.

Well you could argue that Coldhands may have actually identified the three-eyed crow from his conversation with Bran:

He id's him as "the last greenseer".  Then further down in the conversation he id's him again: "your monster, Brandon Stark".  Techinically, you could argue that Brandon Stark is the further qualifier for the term "your monster" in this sentence.  So techinically speaking, one can argue that the three-eyed crow is 1.  The last greenseer.  2.  Brandon Stark's monster, and 3.  Brandon Stark.  

Being that the werinet's tendrils stretch through time, it may be possible that if Brandon Stark enters the weirnet in the future, he then reaches back to contact his younger self while in the coma.  As paradoxical as it is.

Edited by Frey family reunion

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

 

As an aside, GRRM makes two very unusual “mistakes” in his series:

The problem with these sentences is that GRRM got the terms reversed.  A group of crows is referred to as a murder.  A group of ravens are referred to as an unkindness.

It seems an unusual mistake for GRRM to make, especially twice like this.  So I do wonder if he is intentionally transposing the terms.  And if so why.

Having said that, I tend to agree that the “voice” of the three eyed crow seems different than Bloodraven’s voice.  

It's a conspiracy!

If we look at the context however, perhaps there are clues for why it was written this way, although I'm not claiming to be able to make sense of it all:

The heads had been dipped in tar to slow the rot. Every morning when Arya went to the well to draw fresh water for Roose Bolton's basin, she had to pass beneath them. They faced outward, so she never saw their faces, but she liked to pretend that one of them was Joffrey's. She tried to picture how his pretty face would look dipped in tar. If I was a crow I could fly down and peck off his stupid fat pouty lips.
The heads never lacked for attendants. The carrion crows wheeled about the gatehouse in raucous unkindness and quarreled upon the ramparts over every eye, screaming and cawing at each other and taking to the air whenever a sentry passed along the battlements. Sometimes the maester's ravens joined the feast as well, flapping down from the rookery on wide black wings. When the ravens came the crows would scatter, only to return the moment the larger birds were gone.
Do the ravens remember Maester Tothmure? Arya wondered. Are they sad for him? When they quork at him, do they wonder why he doesn't answer? Perhaps the dead could speak to them in some secret tongue the living could not hear.

I think it's worth noting that it isn't just "unkindess" that is out of place here, but a "quarrel" is the term for a group of sparrows. Obviously, both crows and sparrows are terms used to refer to groups of men in the series.

And we see highlighted here that ravens and crows are distinct.

Arya is imagining herself as a crow, and perhaps it could be said she is imagining murdering Jof here... I can only speculate, but it does seem like there is something there... perhaps it is part of a larger metaphor using birds in the series.

However, a flock of ravens is referred to as a murder repeatedly, and when I tried to look this up it seems like it might not just be Martin who uses the term this way. He also uses "murder" for crows...

"Tommen, when you say your prayers before bed, tell the Mother and the Father that you are thankful you are still a child. Being king is hard work. I promise you, you will not like it. They peck at you like a murder of crows. Every one wants a piece of your flesh."

So I honestly don't know how much to try and read into this... clearly the only reasonable answer is more and too much!

Edited by Mourning Star

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

Well you could technically argue that Coldhands may have actually identified the three-eyed crow from his conversation with Bran:

He id's him as "the last greenseer".  Then further down in the conversation he id's him again: "your monster, Brandon Stark".  Techinically, you could argue that Brandon Stark is the further qualifier for the term "your monster" in this sentence.  So techinically speaking, one can argue that the three-eyed crow is 1.  The last greenseer.  2.  Brandon Stark's monster, and 3.  Brandon Stark.  

Being that the werinet's tendrils stretch through time, it may be possible that if Brandon Stark enters the weirnet in the future, and then reaches back to contact his younger self while in the coma.  As paradoxical as it is.

I've certainly seen a lot of ways one can interpret this conversation!

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."
She was a very ugly old woman, Bran thought spitefully; shrunken and wrinkled, almost blind, too weak to climb stairs, with only a few wisps of white hair left to cover a mottled pink scalp. No one really knew how old she was, but his father said she'd been called Old Nan even when he was a boy. She was the oldest person in Winterfell for certain, maybe the oldest person in the Seven Kingdoms. Nan had come to the castle as a wet nurse for a Brandon Stark whose mother had died birthing him. He had been an older brother of Lord Rickard, Bran's grandfather, or perhaps a younger brother, or a brother to Lord Rickard's father. Sometimes Old Nan told it one way and sometimes another. In all the stories the little boy died at three of a summer chill, but Old Nan stayed on at Winterfell with her own children. She had lost both her sons to the war when King Robert won the throne, and her grandson was killed on the walls of Pyke during Balon Greyjoy's rebellion. Her daughters had long ago married and moved away and died. All that was left of her own blood was Hodor, the simpleminded giant who worked in the stables, but Old Nan just lived on and on, doing her needlework and telling her stories.

I tend to think it points to Nan being the Three Eyed Crow.

And I love the toothless smile, needles (with their eyes) going click click click as the crow speaks in a voice a sharp as swords.

I do think it may be worth noting that Nan doesn't say the stories are "after" Bran though.

Edited by Mourning Star

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3 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

I tend to think it points to Nan being the Three Eyed Crow

Here’s my two cents on the issue.  If Bran’s psyche/consciousness became a part of the weirnet, and perhaps a very influential part of the weirnet, then everything that comprises his psych/consciousness becomes a part off it as well.  And this would include all of the stories that Old Nan told Bran, especially those stories that resonated with Bran and helped shape him.  

(Maybe, just maybe, this is why the White Walkers appear in armor and carry long swords.  They are an amalgram of his favorite stories, stories dealing with the white knights of the kingsguards, and stories dealing with the North’s most infamous boogeymen, the Others/White Walkers.  The Weirwoods/weirnet may be creating these beings and their creation may be shaped from Bran’s imagination.)

But getting back to Nan.  This would be a way that Nan would live on in the weirnet for all time.  Through the stories that she told Bran.  So if Bran does enter the weirnet in the future and his reach and influence stretch back through time, than perhaps that’s Nan’s contribution the three eyed crow, if indeed the three eyed crow is some aspect of the weirnet.

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On 6/2/2021 at 11:04 AM, Mourning Star said:

Just a few things,

A crow is not a raven. Brynden Rivers, Bloodraven, is not the three eyed crow from Bran's dreams.

The Sigil of house Bracken is a red stallion. The sigil of Aegor Rivers, Bittersteel, was a winged red horse breathing flames.

The Brakens and the Blackwoods are each others brothers and each others bane, much like the children and the giants. Their feud goes back to before the Andal invasion, and there is blood of both families in all of their veins.

I think a song of Ice and fire is more about the two together than a duality of opposites... also not sure what you mean about the relation of the physical locations of Raventree Hall and Stonehenge... I think Raventree Hall is Southeast of Stonehenge?

It would seem to me that the Blackwoods were chased out of the North by the Starks, and now the Targaryens have been chased out of King's Landing by the "Usurper" and his dogs... These ancient grievances may yet play a roll in explaining Bloodraven's motivations (or at least justifications), as I expect he will try to take Bran's body and is likely responsible for the return of the Others.

He doesn't seem vindictive to me.  Bloodraven.  It's the Starks who are the vindictive kind.  The Brackens and the Blackwoods are just one of the many examples of two families locked in a feud.  There also existed a cold war between the Starks and the Boltons.  Bring the scale up and you have the recent feud between the Targaryens and the Baratheons.  

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There's a ton of magic/weirwood speculation going on here, but I'd like to add, on a practical level, that Tytos Blackwood is a dick. Jonos Bracken was legitimately aggrieved for the loss of his natural son, and when Jaime brought it up, Blackwood talked shit and said the kid wasn't even Bracken's son.

Not cool, homie. Dude's only son dies in war, and some other dickbag comes along and says "You are not the father!"

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13 hours ago, LindsayLohan said:

There's a ton of magic/weirwood speculation going on here, but I'd like to add, on a practical level, that Tytos Blackwood is a dick. Jonos Bracken was legitimately aggrieved for the loss of his natural son, and when Jaime brought it up, Blackwood talked shit and said the kid wasn't even Bracken's son.

Not cool, homie. Dude's only son dies in war, and some other dickbag comes along and says "You are not the father!"

Sorry to disagree, but I think you're judging Lord Tytos too harshly; and some of what you wrote is just plain incorrect. Tytos made the comment about Bracken's bastard when he was speaking to Jamie, not to Bracken himself.

The bastard has no physical resemblance to his alleged father. Bracken had sired no other sons, only daughters. Given those facts, it seems likely that the identity of the true father was the subject of much speculation and gossip all over the realm.

Besides, this conversation took place at the end of a long siege. Hunger makes people cranky; we should forgive Lord Tytos for this remark. Everything else that  he said and did seems honorable.

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Posted (edited)

@Frey family reunion I just want to point out that this whole theory about Bran bringing the long night, Brynden Rivers being bad and all that other stuff is contrary to Occams Razor. So here let me spell it out for you. Here's a crippled boy from the good family in the series. He names his wolf Summer, and is a greenseer. He is helped by the children of the forest, who love the green and living places. He is defended from the others, and his arc tends toward knowing the secrets of this universe and helping to make things right somehow. You know what, hahaha all thats bullshit, here's some barely supported evidence about brynden rivers not being the three eyed crow, and clearly being in league with the others. Whats my evidence for this?  theres a weir wood in a dream, why is this brynden rivers? cause I feel like it. Where is the three eyed crow? somewhere else not wanting bran hes being duped. I buy into fantasy tropes and Brynden rivers is rotting and looks gross. This implies hes bad. 

 

ah yes also, what do the weir woods want, who are clearly living things who depend on the cycle of life and death. it to stop. Because ice does not give the dead back, and neither do the others.  

edit: also where is the three eyed crow? continuing a conversation Brynden Rivers was just having with bran while simultaneously not being Brynden Rivers

 

Secondly @Mourning Star the same applies. Here is a man who is a greenseer, whom jojen believes to be the three eyed crow, whom is teaching bran the things the three eyed crow promised to teach bran. He is a character who has been previously introduced, and fleshed out. He is supported by the children of the forest, and warded from the others. the explanation for all this? clearly that he is bad and wants to posses bran. why, idk, im one of those people who got into this series for the realpolitik and doesnt understand that realpolitik is at best a device to illustrate the real themes. 

 

 

Edited by Orion2

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16 hours ago, Orion2 said:

Secondly @Mourning Star the same applies.

No, Occam's Razor literally does not apply to fiction, let alone fantasy. In addition, it only refers to competing hypothesis about the same prediction, So doubly is irrelevant to this discussion.

It is no surprise that someone who doesn't understand their own arguments is so rude about being wrong.

16 hours ago, Orion2 said:

Here is a man who is a greenseer, whom jojen believes to be the three eyed crow, whom is teaching bran the things the three eyed crow promised to teach bran.

What did the three eyed crow ever promise to teach bran? please supply a quote.

16 hours ago, Orion2 said:

He is a character who has been previously introduced, and fleshed out. He is supported by the children of the forest, and warded from the others. the explanation for all this?

He is responsible for the return of the Others.

16 hours ago, Orion2 said:

clearly that he is bad and wants to posses bran. why, idk, im one of those people who got into this series for the realpolitik and doesnt understand that realpolitik is at best a device to illustrate the real themes. 

Yes, clearly he is bad, but not because he is talking corpse. Bloodraven ruled Westeros as king in all but name during a reign of terror, he violated every law of gods and men, he abandoned his post, and tries to tell Bran to disregard the very first lesson of the entire series: Ned's famous, you can only be brave when you are afraid. Instead, Bloodraven tells Bran not to fear the dark, and The Night's King was a man who knew no fear, that was the fault in him, and the night was his too rule.

Plot is fantastic and keeps one turning pages, but it isn't a reason to tell a story. You do have to think a little harder to understand themes, and this series is packed with them.

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