Jon is about to leave for the Wall to take on the Black and says his last farewell to his half-sister Arya. This dialogue both in the book and in the TV series gives us a glimpse of how close the relationship between them is. Arya is closest to her bastard brother Jon among the Stark siblings and with Jon taking on the Black would be the first time they would be separated for a long time. This part was nicely written and very bittersweet and I’m partially shipping them (they are so fcking cute together), after all since … /endsspoiler
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Arya was in her room, packing a polished ironwood chest that was bigger than she was. Nymeria was helping. Arya would only have to point, and the wolf would bound across the room, snatch up some wisp of silk in her jaws, and fetch it back. But when she smelled Ghost, she sat down on her haunches and yelped at them.
Arya glanced behind her, saw Jon, and jumped to her feet. She threw her skinny arms right around his neck. “I was afraid you were gone,” she said, her breath catching in her throat. “They wouldn’t let me out to say good-bye.”
“What did you do now?” Jon was amused.
Arya disentangled herself from him and made a face. “Nothing. I was all packed and everything.” She gestured at the huge chest, no more than a third full, and at the clothes that were scattered all over the room. “Septa Mordane says I have to do it all over. My things weren’t properly folded, she says. A proper southron lady doesn’t just throw her clothes inside her chest like old rags, she says.”
“Is that what you did little sister?”
“Well, they were all going to get messed up anyway” she said. “Who cares how they’re folded?”
“Septa Mordane,” Jon told her. “I don’t think she’d like Nymeria helping, either.” The she-wolf regarded him silently with her dark golden eyes. “It’s just as well. I have something for you to take with you, and it has to be packed very carefully.”
Her face lit up. “A present?”
“You could call it that. Close the door.”
Wary but excited, Arya checked the hall. “Nymeria, here. Guard.” She left the wolf out there to warn of the intruders and closed the door. By then Jon had puled off the rags he’d wrapped it in. He held it out to her.
Arya’s eyes went wide. Dark eyes like his. “A sword,” she said in a small, hushed breath.
The scabbard was soft grey leather, supple as sin. Jon drew out the blade slowly, so she could see the deep blue sheen of the steel. “This is no toy,” he told her. “Be careful you do not cut yourself. The edges are sharp enough to shave with”
“Girls don’t shave,” Arya said.
“Maybe they should. Have you ever seen the septa’s legs?”
She giggled at him. “It’s so skinny.”
“So are you,” Jon told her. “I had Mikken make this special. The bravos use swords like this in Pentos and Myr and the other Free Cities. It won’t hack a man’s head off but it can poke him full of holes if you’re fast enough.”
“I can be fast,” Arya said.
“You’ll have to work at it every day.” He put the sword in her hands, showed her how to hold it, and stepped back. “How does it feel? Do you like the balance?”
“I think so,” Arya said.
“First lesson,” Jon said. “Stick them with the pointy end.”
Arya gave him a whap on the arm with the flat of her blade. The blow stung, but Jon found himself grinning like an idiot. “I know which end to use,” Arya said. A doubtful look cross her face. “Septa Mordane will take it away from me.”
“Not if she doesn’t know you have it,” Jon said.
“Who will I practice with?”
“You’ll find someone.” Jon promised her. “King’s Landing is a true city, a thousand times the size of Winterfell. Until you find a partner, watch how they fight in the yard. Run, and ride, make yourself strong. And whatever you do…”
Arya knew what was coming next. They said it together.
Jon messed up her hair. “I will miss you, little sister.”
Suddenly she looked like she was going to cry. “I wish you were coming with us.”
“Different roads sometimes lead to the same castle. Who knows?” He was feeling better now. He was not going to let himself be sad. “I better go. I’ll spend my first year on the Wall emptying chamber pots if I keep Uncle Ben waiting any longer.”
Arya ran to him for one last hug. “Put down the sword first.” Jon warned her, laughing. She set it aside almost shyly and showered him with kisses.
When he turned back at the door, she was holding it again, trying it for balance. “I almost forgot,” he told her. “All the best swords have names.”
“Like Ice,” she said. She looked at the blade in her and. “Does this have a name? Oh, tell me.”
“Can’t you guess?” Jon teased. “Your very favorite thing.”
Arya seemed puzzled at first. Then it came to her. She was that quick. They said it together:
The memory of her laughter warmed him on the long ride north.