You know what's better than dragons? Crows. And don't even get us
started on how awesome ravens are. Okay, so maybe crows and ravens
aren't as powerful as dragons, but they do hold a lot of symbolic value
in A Game of Thrones.
What do these birds do? First, they
can fly, which means they can see the big picture. This is exactly what
happens with one of Bran's crow dreams, where he sees the whole world.
In fact, it's a wise three-eyed crow that tells him to fly in his
coma-dream (18 Bran 3). Crows and ravens are also important in this book
for their role as messengers. And finally, "crows" is another term that
some people use to describe the Night's Watch (61 Jon 8.87), since they
dress all in black.
So what does this all mean? Well, notice that
crows and ravens are associated with three things: (1) Bran's mystical
abilities (for instance, in a dream, Bran has a crow lead him into the
crypt to find his dead father, and that's before he knows that his
father is really dead); (2) communication (all the messages get flown
around by raven, which is cooler but messier than e-mail); and (3) the
Communication… supernatural… Night's Watch. Aha!
Perhaps these birds represent the importance of communicating with
something supernatural that's north of the wall. Is that a stretch? What
do you think?