Crow is a talking bird of an unknown species, who befriends April Ryan and becomes her sidekick along her journey. He is something of a womaniser, partial to fleeting visits with birds replete with many kisses. He can speak both Na'ven and the language of birds, but prefers a decent conversation with people as bird twitter can be somewhat limited. He is usually summoned when April plays her flute.
The Longest Journey[edit | edit source]
Crow recalls that by the time he was two weeks old he understood that his full name was "That Damn Bird", given to him by Umber Ianos, his previous owner. Ianos tells April that he first met Crow (whom he calls "Bird") 50 years ago in Monterba, however unlikely this seems. Crow himself suggests he is only 20 - which is still a considerable age by bird standards.
Crow was mistreated by the old man, being locked most of the time in a chest. This seems to have been Crow's lot for the past 20 years, although there was the one time he became drunk on a thimbleful of wine, and surprised some ladies - who were told that he could talk - by demonstrating his encyclopedic knowledge of Dolmari obscenities. Exactly where he may have picked up this vocabulary is never intimated, although this is knowledge the old man might possess.
Recently, Ianos lost him in a bet to the Cups Handler who subsequently offered him as a prize, and fed him Elgwan dung. When April needs passage to Alais she discovers that Captain Nebevay owes Ianos a favour. She manages to convince him to transfer this favour to her when she wins back Crow for him, although not before renaming him "Crow" after Crowboy, her favourite cartoon character.
Ianos celebrates by getting drunk on Androgan Stone-liquor, and returns to bet Crow on a cups game. He manages to escape and follows April into Riverwood, where he signs up as April's comic sidekick and helper through the rest of the game. The player is able to call on Crow's aid with puzzles in the game, resulting in some varied gameplay. A sly self-reference to this creeps in when Crow complains to April that she only calls him when she needs him.
After April travels to Stark for the last time Crow becomes lonely and even returns to the old man, although he finds his spot on the jetty in the Marcurian harbour empty. He has a cup of whiskey with Brian Westhouse, and sees Abnaxus apparently returning to his home in the north.
Crow really proves his worth in the Guardian's Realm. Although somehow he has discovered the infamy of crows in Stark, he is appeased when April explains the 'Crowboy' connection. He wants to be a hero like Crowboy and so, despite his reservations regarding magic, carries water in his beak from the Well of Making for April so she can pass the Trial of Matter. He disappears for a short time afterwards, making April fret over what had happened to him, but soon reappears frantically following April so he doesn't end up stranded in the Guardian's Realm.
Lastly, he appears in the House of All Worlds with Lady Alvane in the Epilogue to TLJ, aged and with grey feathers. Many fans have concluded from that, given his friendship in the past with April, this proves the identification of April with Lady Alvane.
Dreamfall[edit | edit source]
Crow returns in Dreamfall, as quirky and cheerful as ever. He and April went their separate ways 8 years ago, because April was having trouble re-adjusting to life after heroism. According to Crow she just abandoned him on their journey through the Border Mountains, leaving him lonely and bewildered. He had gained a small amount of fame through his association with April, however, and was inducted into the Guild of Sidekicks, who declared him Sidekick of the Month.
In the following years Crow somehow ended up with a fiancee, but the prospect of getting married and settling down was just too much for him. He left her for a "voyage of self discovery", but as he had learned this phrase from April during a dark period of her life he understood this to mean acting selfishly, and becoming miserable and unhappy. At some point he lost his bilinguality of Na'ven and bird twitter, specialising in speaking with people ("Most birdbrains can't hold both, so I've specialised. The world's a lot less annoying now that I don't understand what all these birds are going on about all the time"). After a couple of wrong turns, he ended up at the Dark People's Library, where he spent his time reading, and finally met up with April again when she came to meet the White Dragon. Crow tried to remain angry with April given her abandonment of him, but was too pleased to see her to keep it up for very long.
The White Dragon had apparently taken a shine to Crow, calling him 'funny bird', and told him that he was special and had a purpose. According to her Crow was somehow able to help April Shift to the Guardian's Realm, and remained at her side when she returned to Marcuria. Back as April's sidekick Crow ferried supplies to help break Zoë Castillo out of Friar's Keep, and offered his moral support. This return to his old role made for a rude awakening when April refused to help Zoë in her quest. Appalled, Crow accused April of being selfish and went with Zoë on his own.
Deciding to become Zoë's sidekick, Crow introduced her to Brian Westhouse, who arranged travel via Cloudship back to the Library to meet the White Dragon. Crow was able to guide them back to the moving city by his memory of its smell on the wind, although he mistrusts the artifice of the Cloudship. When the White helped Zoë travel back to Stark, Crow was surprised to see her disappear but not that surprised, commenting that in his experience all human girls seemed to have special powers and a destiny. Besides, though he didn't mention it, girls had vanished on him before.
This is the last time Crow is seen in Dreamfall. However, in the scene near the end where the White Dragon is attacked by an unseen enemy, some have claimed to hear the sound of flapping wings, leading to speculation about Crow's involvement.
Dreamfall Chapters[edit | edit source]
The next part of Crow’s story begins during the murder of the White Dragon. A witness to the attack, he was himself struck, and subsequently lost his memory of those events. When he awoke, he was on a ship to Sadir.
Crow and Zoë[edit | edit source]
One night, Crow’s consciousness crossed the Divide, as he shared a dream with Zoë Castillo. This dream, orchestrated by and featuring Abnaxus, is interrupted when Zoë is awoken back in Stark. Not long after, Crow reunites with Zoë for real when she dreams herself into Arcadia.
After proper reintroductions, Crow agrees to help Zoë search for the Oular in the Purple Mountains. After briefly losing her to the rebels, Crow makes his way to the Enclave, where he finds Zoë and learns of April Ryan’s death.
After taking a moment to mourn, Crow returns to the city with Zoë and assists her with her quest, helping her distract Onor Hileriss and enter Abnaxus’ abode, leading her in the direction of Roper Klacks for clues, serving as her accomplice in the theft of an Elgwan, traveling with her to the Riverwood, and eventually arriving with her to the Purple Mountains and the Oular city, where the two reunite with Abnaxus and find Lux, the first dreamer. It is then that Zoë absorbs Lux into herself and vanishes, leaving Crow alone once again. He resolves to return to Marcuria and find Kian, so that he may become his sidekick.
Crow and Kian[edit | edit source]
Soon after returning to Marcuria, Crow is captured by Onor Hileriss. Just as he is about to be the victim of a public burning, he is rescued by Kian, who is searching for a way into the Azadi Tower. Crow offers to assist.
Leading Kian through the Underground Caverns, Crow and the former Apostle eventually arrive at the Dream Chamber, which has become the site of the central core of the Azadi Calculating Engine. He observes as Kian punches out Roper Clacks, encounters Mother Utana, and is stabbed by her after Crow divulges Utana’s relationship to the genocidal Office of Scientific Research. Crow is then seen by the arriving Prophet, who recognizes the bird, grabs hold of him, and snaps his neck.
Crow and April[edit | edit source]
Crow’s consciousness enters the Storytime, where he once again meets Zoë. Infused with the Prophet’s—Brian Westfield’s—blood from their struggle, he is able to guide Zoë through the Rolling Man’s memories—including those of killing the reborn White Dragon and attacking Crow at the Dark People's library— and thus, determine how to stop him. Their walk across the Storytime ends when the two encounter the spirit of familiar figure, an artist working on a painting—April Ryan.
After a brief conversation, Zoë awakens, leaving Crow and April behind. The two spirits, now reunited, embark on their next long journey, together.
Crow and Saga[edit | edit source]
While Crow’s spirit moves on with April’s, his body is left behind the bottom of the Dream Chamber. After the Calculating Engine is shut down, the body is found by Saga, who retrieves it and shifts away.
Five years after Crow’s death, Saga is seen in Azadir, alongside Kian, the new Bloodless King. On her shoulder is a familiar-looking bird, albeit much smaller than Crow. Many years later, that bird flies into the House of All Worlds and greets a much older Saga. It is Crow, as seen in The Longest Journey’s epilogue, who has evidently been with Lady Alvane all those years.
During Crow and Zoë’s reunion with Abnaxus on the Purple Mountains, the Venar had noted that Crow, who was necessary in order for him to contact Zoë via dreams, “connects bridges and souls”. He continued on to say that Crow “has a bond with the Dragon of Spring” and that “at the end of its life, the bird will be bonded with The Girl Who Walked Between Worlds.” He further elaborates that “she”, presumably April, “will be dead. She was reborn. There are two now, entwined but apart.” The same appears to have happened to Crow, after his death at Westhouse’s hands. He is with April. He is with Saga.
Very little information is provided about the reborn Crow, or his existence in relation to his original incarnation. While both incarnations are superficially quite similar—both look and sound identical, in ways April and Saga, or the White Dragon and her reborn self, do not—how deeply these similarities go cannot be determined. It is also unknown to what extent Crow is aware of his past life, if at all. Even more impossible to determine are the factors that led to Crow’s new life, whether it is entirely because of his bond to April or his magical nature, or because of additional circumstances. One thing can be concluded, however: he is content.
Quotes[edit | edit source]
The Longest Journey[edit | edit source]
- Lady, you have no idea how limited bird twitter can be. It's all "hi" this and "here I am" that, all damn day long. I haven't had a decent conversation in days.
- Okay, so lemme go already all right? Enough with the I'm-human-so-I-can-boss-the-bird-around schtick. We're all impressed.
Dreamfall[edit | edit source]
- I was actually inducted into the Guild of Sidekicks after April and I saved the world. They gave me a badge and everything. 'Sidekick of the Month'. If only my poor, old Mom could've seen that. Come to think of it...all she ever saw of me was an egg. Of course, the very next month, that annoying man-child with the hairy feet and the chubby face got the badge. What did he do? Carry someone up a hill? He didn't even crack a single joke to lighten the mood! No sense of humour whatsoever.
- It's brilliant! You desert everyone, abandon your responsibilities and relationships, and focus completely on your own, personal misery. It's a douche for the soul.
- Yes, yes! It's called 'therapy'. I read about it somewhere! Well, not 'read'. More like 'heard'. In a seedy tavern near the docks. After eleven thimbles of the Merry Minstrum's Yellow Fire. Just before dawn. On a Monday. But I remember the fella who told me! Big lad. Arms as thick as oak trees. A stunning collection of scars. Nice eyepatch. A real therapist, he was. Or wait, maybe it was 'rapist'...
Dreamfall Chapters[edit | edit source]
- Geronimo! Except in reverse... ominoreg!
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Ragnar has mentioned that some of the inspiration for Crow came from the wise-cracking Crow T. Robot, a character from Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988-1999). He was also undoubtedly influenced by Matthew the talking raven from Neil Gaiman's Sandman comics.
- The quote about being replaced as the 'Sidekick of the Month' by 'that annoying man-child with the hairy feet and the chubby face' is a reference to Samwise Gamgee from the Lord of the Rings. 'What did he do? Carry someone up a hill?' refers to when he carried Frodo up Mount Doom after the latter was badly injured.
Further information[edit | edit source]
Shortly before the release of Dreamfall Ragnar wrote a post about Crow, including the following information:
Like all the characters in Dreamfall, Crow has embarked on a journey that - one hopes - will make him a better pers– uh, bird. Will he regain the faith in friends and family that he lost so long ago? Or is he doomed, like others, to remain adrift?
This implies that the Faith Model was applied even to supporting characters such as Crow.