Cave of the three-eyed crow
The cave of the three-eyed crow is a cave found beyond the Wall and named after its occupant, the three-eyed crow, who is attended to by the remaining children of the forest. The precise location is not specified in A Dance with Dragons, but The Lands of Ice and Fire places it within the haunted forest, east of the Fist of the First Men and southwest of the Antler River.
The entrance is a cleft in a wooded hillside, halfway up, between some weirwood trees. It is warded so that dead men, such as wights, cannot enter. Another way in is a back door three leagues north, down a sinkhole.
Under the hill is a vast, silent cave system extending far below and home to more than three score living singers, the children of the forest, and the bones of thousands dead. Its cramped and branching tunnels are full of weirwood roots. One echoing cavern is as large as the great hall of Winterfell and contains stalagmites and stalactites. Further on, the passage is littered with bones of birds and beasts, children of the forest, and giants. Skulls of various creatures are placed in stone niches in the walls. The cave has chambers full of bones, shafts that plunge deep into the earth, and a place where the skeletons of gigantic bats hang upside down from the ceiling. Murders of ravens live within the cave.
The route steeply descends to a great cavern opening on a black abyss, with a swift river six hundred feet below. Near a natural bridge across the abyss is the three-eyed crow, the last greenseer, sitting on a throne of woven weirwood roots.
No sunlight, moonlight, or starlight reaches the caves beneath the hill. Its inhabitants eat a hundred kinds of mushrooms, as well as blind white fish swimming in the black river. Cheese and milk is made from goats sharing the caves with the singers, and oats, barleycorn, and dried fruit are also available.
A Dance with Dragons
After a perilous journey, Bran Stark and his companions—Hodor, Meera and Jojen Reed, and Summer—are attacked by wights near the entrance to the cave. After being rescued by Leaf, one the children of the forest, they gain entry through the cleft. Coldhands remains outside because of the magic wards. Snows later bury most of the wights, but they are still there, waiting.
Bran is introduced to the three-eyed crow, Lord Brynden, who becomes the boy's teacher. Under the hill Bran sits on a weirwood throne of his own, made by the children of the forest. The children place it in the great cavern by the abyss, next to Brynden's throne. The singers make his seat of soft grey moss; once he has been lowered into place they cover him in warm furs. Almost everyday they eat a blood stew, thickened with barley and onions and chunks of meat. Bran and his friends sleep in a small chamber off the big cavern where the singers make beds for them to sleep.
Summer digs his way through the snowdrifts at the entrance to the cave whenever he goes outside to join his pack to hunt. Bran explores the cave by skinchanging into Hodor. One room contains singers, enthroned like Brynden, in nests of weirwood roots. Most look dead to Bran, but as he nears their eyes open and follow his torch, and one of them appears to try to speak. Jojen, who also explores, grows increasingly sullen and often looks out the entrance of the cave toward the haunted forest.
- thoughts of Bran Stark
The roots were everywhere, twisting through earth and stone, closing off some passages and holding up the roofs of others. All the color is gone, Bran realized suddenly. The world was black soil and white wood. The heart tree at Winterfell had roots as thick around as a giant's legs, but these were even thicker. And Bran had never seen so many of them. There must be a whole grove of weirwoods growing up above us.
- Leaf to Bran Stark
Men should not go wandering in this place. The river you hear is swift and black, and flows down and down to a sunless sea. And there are passages that go even deeper, bottomless pits and sudden shafts, forgotten ways that lead to the very center of the earth. Even my people have not explored them all, and we have lived here for a thousand thousand of your man-years.
Chapters that take place at the cave of the three-eyed crow