Is Bronn overrated

Is Needle's portrayal in Game of Thrones true to the books? (And is it a short sword?)

George RR Martin made the following comment which makes it clear that the show version is not faithful to the book as it appears that he only used cross-shaped sword designs.

I remember Valyrian Steel's field comment that the hilt of the sword was cruciform, while some people have imagined that the sword of true Bravo is somehow different.I never had that impression myself, but I admit that I wondered if the swords of Bravo should have larger handles (swept handles, bell-shaped beakers and the other types seen on rapiers).

No, I have vetoed all basket handles, bell beakers, etc. These are artifacts from a much later time in the real world and would not be suitable for a blade used by a locksmith in Westeros.

westeros.org, so Martin spoke, Braavosi swords


The company Valyrian Steel is:

Your source for officially licensed replica weapons and armor from HBO®'s hit TV series Game of Thrones® and George RR Martin's book series A Song of Ice and Fire.

As such, their renditions of the weapons should be fairly accurate, especially since they appear to be working with GRRM to design them:

We make replicas of weapons and armor from the bestselling book series by George RR Martin. Each item is an individually serialized limited edition and comes with a certificate of authenticity that was personally signed by Mr. Martin. Each item has been designed in close collaboration with Mr. Martin to ensure that it fits his vision.

The book needle is shown as a short sword with a very thin blade. As described in the books:

Carefully but excitedly, Arya checked the hall. "Nymeria, here. Guard." She left the wolf outside to warn of intruders and closed the door. By then, Jon had peeled off the rags he'd wrapped her in. He held it out to her.

Arya's eyes widened. Dark eyes like his. " A sword "she said in a small, hushed breath.

The scabbard was soft gray leather, supple as sin. Jon slowly pulled the blade out so that it did the could see the deep blue sheen of the steel . "It's not a toy," he said to her. "Be careful not to cut yourself. The edges are sharp enough to shave."

...

She giggled at him. " It's so thin. "

"You are too," Jon said to her. "I let Mikken do something special. The Bravos use swords like this one in Pentos and Myr and the other Free Cities. It won't chop off a man's head, but it can poke him full of holes if you're quick enough. "

A Game of Thrones, Jon II

Also note the following about this sword:

This is the exclusive officially licensed needle, Sword of Arya Stark, from A Song of Ice and Fire. All swords come with one Certificate of Authenticity personally signed by George RR Martin supplied. Each sword is a limited edition of 2500 pieces and the back of the blade has been laser etched in very fine print with the edition number and a copyright notice so you know it's authentic.

As such, GRRM appears to agree that this is the version of the sword that matches the books.

The show needle, however, is much more of a rapier than a short sword. There is very little conversation about looks other than:

Jon Snow: Close the door. This is not a toy. Be careful not to cut yourself.

Arya Stark: It's so thin.

Jon Snow: are you too? I had the blacksmith make it especially for you. It won't chop off a man's head, but it can poke him full of holes if you're quick enough.

Game of Thrones, Season 1, Episode 2, "The Kingsroad"

As for this company, the way the needle is depicted in the shows is different from the books.


Valrian Steel appears to have obtained exclusive rights to A Song of Ice and Fire replicas in late 2006. I couldn't find the exact bookpin release date, but there is a review dated. This is before the first season began filming in July 2010 and aired in April 2011. Hence, it is very likely that it was created before the props for the show, which means that it is the true version of the sword.


Note that GRRM Maisie Williams sent the replica of the book to practice before the first season was filmed. This promotes evidence that the GRRM version of the sword is different from the show version.


Whether it's a short sword or not, I'd say the version of the book is but the version of the show isn't.