dance needle


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.


Nothing makes us so cranky as a day that drizzles without end. And yet, the feeling of being snug indoors is not possible without raw weather outdoors. It’s the contrast of warmth and chill, of light and dark, that makes rainy days extraordinary.

Sometimes I’ll crack the window open to listen to the dripping leaves. Every tree makes sweet music in wet weather. The oak is mellow and stately, its branches barely stirring in the breeze; the white pine is brisk and shimmery, needles dancing like a dulcimer in the raindrops. My favourite music is made by the cottonwood. With its slender twigs and delicate leaves, it mingles wind and wood like a flute.

anonymous asked:

"Arya Stark. Sort of. It’s a compatibility thing." Hmmm what do you mean? (Hope it's not something along the lines of "cold blooded and misogynist killer" ):)

Thanks for the question!

Well, how do I put this? 

First off, let me just begin this with a caveat: I don’t hate Arya and I certainly think she’s a good character who’s more than earned her place in ASoIaF. 

GRRM does very well at deconstructing her general character trope, giving layers and relatability to her, and she’s damn near-broken my heart a few times with some heartrending material like her chat with Thoros about a man without a head, the aftermath of the Red Wedding and her thinking about her family as she looks at Needle.

It’s more I didn’t really care for her character trope (Plucky Tomboy) on a genre note, so I was less inclined to engage on an emotional and intellectual level, her A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords chapters had some padding in them which wore on me a bit and her chapters didn’t hit me as much as, say, Sansa or Catelyn chapters, for example. 

It’s just Arya’s a more universal fan-favorite (this fandom has so few!) and I certainly like and feel for her enough, but I don’t really love her in the way that a decent chunk of the fandom does. I don’t have that kind of ardent fervor that others have, even when I recognize she’s a good character that deserves all the analyses and meta done with her.

On a last note, and I know you don’t believe this (and all the power to you) but I just want to address this: “Cold-blooded and misogynist killer” … well, that’s just nonsense.

Arya isn’t a cold-blooded killer by nature. She’s certainly traumatized and her psyche has been affected accordingly to said traumatic events, leading to being more accustomed to death and killing, both from a hands-on and observer perspective. However, that doesn’t make her cold-blooded so much as a victim of being surrounded and eye-witness to so much death, fire and horror.

In fact, her killings generally have three motives: self-defense, mercy-killing or to combat injustice, either done to her or done to others.

Hell, she’s not even really that comfortable with premeditated murder with strangers by A Dance with Dragons:

“He is an evil man,” she announced that evening when she returned to the House of Black and White. “His lips are cruel, his eyes are mean, and he has a villain’s beard.”

The kindly man chuckled. “He is a man like any other, with light in him and darkness. It is not for you to judge him.”

That gave her pause. “Have the gods judged him?”

Like, if Arya was really that comfortable with murdering strangers with no remorse or compunction, why does she feel the need to justify it as a mercy?

“He moves his hands too much,” she told them at the temple. “He must be full of fear. The gift will bring him peace.

“The gift brings all men peace.”

“When I kill him he will look in my eyes and thank me.”

And she stops trying to self-justify his death once she hears the reason (an injustice) why someone wants the man dead:

A sad smile touched his lips. “It is one thing to write such a binder, though, and another to make good on it.”

Cat understood. One of them must hate him. One of them came to the House of Black and White and prayed for the god to take him. She wondered who it had been, but the kindly man would not tell her.

She’s not misogynistic either. Yeah, she’s not a fan of the feminine-coded activities that Westeros laid out for her, but that’s because she’s not comfortable with them and isn’t good at them in a society that dictates this is the main path of womanhood in Westeros, not because she loathes or despises other women. That’s perfectly fine. Arya should be allowed to follow a path other than the strict patriarchy-mandated path to womanhood.

And she expresses as much in the first book alone:

“The Lannisters are proud,” Jon observed. “You’d think the royal sigil would be sufficient, but no. He makes his mother’s House equal in honor to the king’s.”

“The woman is important too!” Arya protested.

Nymeria nipped eagerly at her hand as Arya untied her. She had yellow eyes. When they caught the sunlight, they gleamed like two golden coins. Arya had named her after the warrior queen of the Rhoyne, who had led her people across the narrow sea.

Arya seemed puzzled at first. Then it came to her. She was that quick. They said it together:


Wanting to carve out her own space of femininity or disliking the patriarchy-mandated feminine-coded activities doesn’t make her misogynistic. It just means Westeros’ current conduct of womanhood has no space for Arya because it is oppressive to her own abilities and skills and views her as a failure for not being able to perform patriarchy’s strict type of femininity, which feeds into her self-esteem and insecurity issues.

In fact, “cold-blooded and misogynist killer” fits a ton of male characters more because Westeros sucks (thank you, toxic patriarchy), but also, in terms of female characters, it fits Cersei better than Arya. At least Cersei is consistently written with internalized misogyny and capable of ruthless cruelty. 

That is not Arya though.

The last of the Seven! But there are still more playlists/album covers on the way because there are a few characters that just can’t be left out :)

Hazel Levesque / Spotify Link

  1. The House Of The Rising Sun / The Animals
  2. Otherside / Red Hot Chili Peppers
  3. Black Magic Woman / Santana
  4. Dead Disco / Metric
  5. Here There Be Witches / Creature Feature
  6. Magic Dance / David Bowie
  7. Pens and Needles / Hawthorne Heights
  8. Just Can’t Get Enough / Depeche Mode
  9. Sweet Child O’ Mine / Guns N’ Roses
  10. Blue / the Birthday Massacre
  11. Sweet Dreams / Eurythmics
  12. Dead! / My Chemical Romance
  13. Voodoo Child / Jimi Hendrix
  14. Afterlife / Avenged Sevenfold
  15. Lake Of Fire / Nirvana
  16. I Am a Nightmare / Brand New
  17. Said the King to the River / La Dispute
  18. Doncamatic / Gorillaz
  19. I Melt With You / Modern English
  20. Like A Prayer / Madonna
  21. Dig / Incubus
  22. Guilt Within Your Head / The Gits
  23. A Favor House Atlantic / Coheed and Cambria
  24. P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) / Michael Jackson
  25. This Is Gospel / Panic! At The Disco

The drive back into town from The Oaks along the Ocean Road soon erases Roy’s grumpiness at having his lunch plans vetoed by Anita, the sun-spangled water and free-wheeling seagulls balm for his irritated soul. He has a jam-packed day ahead: he really can’t afford to take lunch anyway. He finds his favourite Joan Armatrading track on the stereo and presses his foot down, the engine sucking in air with an anticipatory hiss, propelling him faster and faster until the speedo needle is dancing past 100 MPH.  

Big woman and a short, short man
And he loves it when she beats his brains out
He’s pecked to death but he loves the pain
And he loves it when she calls him names…

His bellowing of the song’s chorus is interrupted by a call from Celine, telling him that his 10 o'clock with the family of an up-and-coming star footballer named Brandon Lillywhite has been cancelled: Celine is terribly sorry to have to tell Roy this, but Brandon’s father has decided that his son’s interests would be better served by Roy’s number one rival, Steve Cotton at Global Sports Management. Roy swerves violently to avoid a head-on collision with a couple of elderly folk in a Datsun, their panicked faces one streaky white blur.

Roy: The fuck, Celine! Why didn’t you do more to make him stay? Why couldn’t you have offered him a free blowjob or something? Fuck.
Celine: Who? The Dad? Or Brandon?
Celine: Well, this is what happens when you decide to take an impromptu three days off. Things fall apart. I couldn’t even contact you.
Roy: It was a family emergency, Celine. It wasn’t like I was sunbaking on a yacht in The Islands with a trio of supermodels, for Christ’s sake-
Celine: Well, obviously not. Because you suffer from seasickness.
Roy: Shut up. That’s a secret.
Celine: How’s your Mum, anyway?
Roy: Recovering. Thanks for asking.
Celine: We sent flowers the next day but the hospital said she had already been released. She wasn’t in hospital very long, was she?
Roy: She’s now in a different hospital.
Celine: I thought Appaloosa Plains only had one hospital?
Roy: What’s with all the questions, Celine?
Celine: Just making conversation.
Roy: I’d rather talk about other things. Like whether you’re wearing underwear today.
Celine: Goodbye, Roy.

The talk of hospitals and the fact he now has an hour free has given him an idea. An idea that elevates his mood even better than the thought of Celine bouncing into his office while not wearing a bra.

With Love

His lips skimmed along the thin and delicate skin of her wrist, his caress so very gentle and reverent as his eyes closed softly. His thumb swiped along the permanent ink that he’d placed there himself nearly two years ago, back when she’d gathered her courage to sit in his chair and allow him to grace her skin with his work.

His hands had been so steady and golden eyes warm as she’d flinched at the sensation of the needle dancing along her sensitive skin.

His voice had been so soothing as their gazes had connected, his smile as charming and flirtatious as it had been when she’d had her consultation with him three days prior, where he’d assured her that he could give her exactly what she wanted.

Gloved hands had swiped away the excess ink as she’d chewed on her lip before breaking away to stare at the ceiling, urging him to continue with a quick nod of her head. She could do this.

Her grandmother’s words written in her handwriting were permanently inscribed into her skin, always at the ending of every letter and bottom of every birthday card. The dark ink was a perfect contrast against her pale flesh as he’d stripped off the latex covering his hands and went over the instructions for how to care for her new tattoo. As she’d sat up, he’d offered her a lollipop with a wink and a smile, congratulating her on her bravery and ability to sit still with minimal flinching.

Green eyes had traced the familiar words as she’d smiled and thanked him, her heart lighter as she’d headed down the street and away from the small tattoo parlor. She’d done it; she’d actually gone through with it!

He’d caught up with her at the end of the block, a faint flush creeping along his neck as he’d rubbed at his shoulder, asking her out for a cup of coffee sometime, if she wasn’t too busy?

His arms had been sleeved with various markings and inked pictures, each with a special meaning or story, all of which he’d told to her over the course of several dates, his hands always turning over her wrist to make sure that the quality of his work had never faltered before kissing her at the end of the night.

He’d given her exactly what she’d asked for and then everything that she hadn’t realized that she’d needed.

anonymous asked:

Ok but like. The first time one of jay's kids gets sick he just. Doesnt know what to do at first. He calms down enough and knows he has to eventually go to a doctor. So then its jay toting around 3 little kids (he couldnt leave two of them at HOME) and when the doctor asks their relation all 4 of them collectively freeze up for a second before jay says hes their dad and its just cute ok i love this verse.

Jay would of course freak out. He has no idea how to handle illness, at all. Living on the streets there were sicknesses you either got over or died from. It was different at the Manor, he was loved and cuddled and given everything he could possibly need to feel better without having to lift a finger. So of course he’s gonna panic when one of his kiddies wakes up bleary eyed with a bad case of the sniffles. As far as he’s concerned, they’ve got one foot in the grave.

Hell yeah, he’d probably pick up his small child and sprint down to Leslie’s only to turn around halfway because dammit he can’t leave the others alone. Soon they’re all fastwalking back to the Tompkins clinic and Jay is about 2 minutes from a heart attack because, oh no, they’re coughing now and Jason will be damned if he loses another precious family member. The sick child squirms uncomfortably in his arms when he clings too tightly, visions of his mother and drug needles dancing in his head.

So they finally get there and Jason, like most new parents bless, is causing the biggest commotion (“No this is very serious, did you see how pale she is?? She needs immediate treatment. Oh God she has a fever!!! I’m pretty sure that means she’s dying.”) Naturally, this kind of behavior upsets the other kids and they gets progressively louder and more restless which only further upsets Jason .

Leslie, bless her, recognizes Jason and spirits the four of them away into a room. She can tell right away that the little girl is fine, just a small cold perhaps, but is more intrigued by the fearsome Red Hood losing his mind over young children apparently in his care. As she does her check-up, she’s asking Jason important medical questions such as allergies, past illnesses and injuries and is getting frusterated by Jason’s embarrassed shrugging that he didn’t know.

“Jason, I’m sure you mean well but just who are you to these children?” A long awkward pause follows as the three children and Leslie look up to him for an answer that will change all of their lives.

“I found them on the street, in bad places where they didn’t need to be, and I’ve been caring for them the best I can for the past month. I don’t know their shoe sizes or their goddamn horoscopes, but well, I know what’s it’s like to be on your own and what it means to have someone take you in and care for you. So yeah dammit, I’m their dad now.” Three kids attach to his legs and snuggle into the worn and frayed jeans of their new daddy. Jay is so busy trying to deal with them he misses Leslie wistfully wiping her eyes as she recalls how another stone-hearted vigilante learned to love through his children.

She agrees to help Jason with whatever he needs so long as he comes down to the clinic and gets the children all their necessary shots and sets down some records. She smiles and she starts their files listing one Jason Todd as the adoptive father of Samantha, Jordan and Meredith Todd. She shoos them out of her clinic with some cold medicine and a heavy handed threat to tell Bruce.

He grumbles but as soon as they get back to his apartment, he gets his sick kid settled and the other kids entertained, he think about his panic that morning and perhaps a little help would be nice. After all, it may take a village to raise a child but it takes a whole family and extended hero community to raise a bat. And no matter what anyone says, his charges, his children, are bats now. He picks up the phone before he loses his nerve, and informs his adoptive father that he’s now a grandfather and promptly regrets it because Bruce is such an overly doting and affectionate grandpa and is constantly sending toys and presents.

(well this turned into a short story whoops, but this was cathartic after a long day of studying)