Her swordbelt went into the canal. Her cloak, tunic, breeches, smallclothes, all of it. All but Needle. She stood on the end of the dock, pale and goosefleshed and shivering in the fog. In her hand, Needle seemed to whisper to her. Stick them with the pointy end, it said, and, don’t tell Sansa! Mikken’s
mark was on the blade. […] She’d been a stupid little girl
when Jon had it made for her. “It’s just a sword,” she said, aloud this
time…but it wasn’t.
Needle was Robb and Bran and Rickon, her mother and her father,
even Sansa. Needle was Winterfell’s grey walls, and the laughter of its
people. Needle was the summer snows, Old Nan’s stories, the heart tree
with its red leaves and scary face, the warm earthy smell of the glass
gardens, the sound of the north wind rattling the shutters of her room.
Needle was Jon Snow’s smile. He used to mess my hair and call me “little
sister,” she remembered, and suddenly there were tears in her eyes.


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