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In S6 Eps9 at the Second Battle of Winterfell

Little Finger arrives with the Knights of the Vale to save the day and crush the remains of the Bolton army. They arrive, we assume, because Sansa somehow contacted Little Finger asking for his help. She had last seen him at Mole's Town where he told her that the Knights of the Vale are encamped at Moat Cailin.

But how could she contact him? By raven? But ravens are trained to fly from one castle to another castle (or one place to another place). She was in the area outside of Winterfell. If not by raven then how?

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Ravens were carried with armies during campaigns.

We clearly see this is the case with Sansa. Starting at about 1:40 in the video below, we see her spot the ravens and then writing her letter.

Although I do not know much about the real world application of birds being used as messengers, in-universe ravens are able to arrive at a destination from any starting point.


Another direct example came when Jeor Mormont led the Night's Watch ranging party to the Fist of the First Men. After the encounter with the White Walkers he asks Sam, "Did you send the Ravens?"

In this related question and answers it also seems that raven post is not quite the same as in real life. The ravens appear to even more intelligent and once had magical properties. Although, the magic seems to have been lost with time.

  • That's a bit misleading. The Castle Black ravens being released during the march were being sent home. Ravens maintaining a sense of direction to their home location is not the same as an example of Ravens being able to go to a different location entirely. The only way that example would hold would be if Lyanna Mormont somehow conveniently had her hands on Moat Cailin ravens and brought them to a battle at Winterfell (while the Stark forces did not hold Moat Cailin). – DariM Jul 7 '16 at 22:29
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    @Darim Why wouldn't Castle Black have ravens for the major northern houses? – kuhl Jul 7 '16 at 22:31
  • Castle Black might, but Castle Black is not part of the Winterfell army - and still need their ravens. Arguably the two people they had trained to work with ravens (Aemon, Sam) are also gone at this point anyway. – DariM Jul 7 '16 at 22:32
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    This answer may be helped by adding the contents of the letter to show it went to Littlefinger. bustle.com/articles/… – kuhl Jul 7 '16 at 22:33
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    I think Lyanna would have Moat Cailyn ravens as they are both Northern Houses. – Skooba Jul 8 '16 at 1:04
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I don't think it's established that they only fly between castles. Yes, they are usually sent from one to another, but I believe they are using the analog of a homing pigeon. They sense where "home" is and can fly there from just about anywhere.

Also, here is a similar question where the answerer references the books - How does raven post work?

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