Okay, here is Needle. The blade will be about 30 inches, we’ve held that up to varying girls around Arya’s age and that seems to be an appropriate length.

We went through quite a few design revisions with Needle. Originally we were going to do a rapier style blade, as I’m sure many of us picture the Braavosi blades to be, however, GRRM pointed out that Mikken was not a Braavosi smith and despite the fact that eventually Arya would be trained by a Braavosi and that Jon meant for her to learn that different style is does not mean Mikken would be up to making a fancy rapier.

So what we have is a very thin bladed sword in that style, but without all the fancier hilt adornments. Mikken’ mark, as it were, is etched on the blade near the hilt.

The best part about Needle is this, it should be much quicker to get to market than Longclaw has been, we don’t need to do any tinkering with funky blade finished to get a Valyrian style, it is just a simple blade. Right now GRRM is in Europe and when he returns hopefully we will have technical drawings for his approval, at which point we’ll be able to start on the prototype for the blade and then hopefully get it released as soon as possible.

We will try to have the blade done in high carbon steel, but there are issues involved in mass production that can dictate the type of metal we use, and we’re not going to want to sacrifice quality in other areas, such as hilt construction, by using high carbon steel.

On the topic of Longclaw, we will start taking preorders by Monday. Initial preorders will be paid by check or money order, the retail price on Longclaw will be $240. Again, the edition size on all of our blades is 2500 pieces, and they all come with autographed COAs as well as edition numbers individually laser etched into the back of the blade. We estimate Longclaw arriving in the 4th quarter of this year. Then hopefully Needle can be available by the first quarter of 2009.

37 Thoughts on “Needle Pictures

  1. Sean on July 17, 2008 at 9:14 am said:

    Will Longclaw pictures go up soon considering preorders start Monday?

  2. They’ll go up when preordering starts.

  3. Sean on July 17, 2008 at 9:24 am said:

    Awesome :)

  4. Semirrage on July 17, 2008 at 12:43 pm said:

    What kind of tang will the swords have?

  5. Great! Will there be a Scabbard for the Swords?

  6. Very nice, and just how I imagined it! Although I’m surprised that Braavosi swords really do have the more elaborate, swept hilts and so on of Renaissance rapiers.

  7. Adamuz on July 18, 2008 at 8:35 am said:

    Is the upcoming Song of Ice and Fire tv series going to influence your work in any way, I mean, are they going to use your models, or diffrent ones? ‘cos if they use yours, that’ll be awesome!

  8. We’d love for them to use our models, it won’t necessarily help our sales, as I’m sure Longclaw etc will be long since sold out by the time the TV show airs. But I think it’d be nice for consistency purposes for you fans.

  9. Jason on July 18, 2008 at 9:03 am said:

    Excited for both Needle & Longclaw. Any details on shipping costs or restrictions to Canada?

  10. Check or money order… Any chance we could do preorders via Paypal?

  11. I have to second the option for alternate payment methods for preorders. I would think a faster way to access preorder money would be a desirable option here (paypal being the best example). Payments are secure and protected both ways for seller and buyer. The buyer has more options for how to pay and the seller gets access to the money much quicker and without the headaches involved in check clearance and bounced checks.

  12. PS: Considering Jalic Inc. is already a fair sized e-commerce site, I would think that there would be more options available than check or money order.
    JMH $0.02 worth.

  13. Sorry, we don’t plan to accept Paypal, they’re riddled with fraud problems. Believe me, waiting for a check to clear is no headache compared to a Paypal customer who fraudulently disputes the purchase months after it was delivered, or Paypal freezing your account and all the funds in it while they do an investigation, or the high percentage of Paypal accounts that get hacked on a regular basis, or the people who fund their accounts through fraud and illegal activity.

    We may decide to accept Paypal when Longclaw comes in if it doesn’t end up fully sold out in preorders, and even then we’ll only ship to people with verified paypal addresses.

  14. WesMan on July 18, 2008 at 11:37 am said:

    Forgive me for what I am about to ask, but I am suspicious by nature and have been burned before.

    I am very interested in placing a pre-order for Longclaw and I do not want to miss the chance to get this collectable, but I have to ask what sort of guarantee we will be getting from you when we do this. So far we have seen no actual pictures of any products at all and now you are asking us to basically send cash for an order on an item that has not even gone into production yet and that we will not see pictures of until after we have sent you the cash. Not using PayPal or a credit card (you accept them on your other sites) is also not very comforting as those services would offer us a little protection as the consumer. I have followed you this long because I found you from GRRM’s site, but please give me some assurance that this is not a scam, because sadly the internet is rife with them.

    Again no offense to you and your company’s integrity, I am sure that you are very above board and that is why you will be glad to offer these assurances.

  15. There will be pictures available before we accept preorders.

    We don’t accept paypal for obvious reasons, we will not be accepting credit cards initially because with preorders it ends up being a very complex headache and can be against card issuer regulations for merchants. When we do start accepting credit cards, once the preorder queue is full if not sooner, we will even then not accept them from certain International locations due to the extremely high risk of credit card fraud.

    As for this being a scam or not, we have the exclusive license to produce arms and armor from ASOIAF, we are the registered owners of the trademark Valyrian Steel, and of course we do all of this with GRRM’s blessing and endorsement. Taking fraud prone payment methods does not make a business legitimate. There are also a lot of minors with paypal accounts who want to pay that way without their parents knowing and that is not behavior we wish to encourage either.

    We have a 100% refund policy on preorder deposits, but those deposits will need to be made, for the time being, with checks or money orders.

  16. First quarter of 2009?!?! How am I supposed to wait that long? Here I am poised to throw money at you until you’re happy enough to send me one, and still I gotta wait. Sheesh.

    Seriously though, I love the design for Needle. I’d love to see it in high carbon steel, but if stainless is the way you go, then oh well, I guess I’ll have to suffer.

    Again, looks great!

  17. I am not quite understanding why we cannot see pictures of the sword…wouldn’t it be more fair for us customers to see pics before the preorder on monday?

  18. That one is easy enough to answer.

    1. The pictures aren’t done yet. The artist is doing touchups. He’ll be done today. See, he’s doing the box art, the sword portion of which is 40 inches at 300 dpi. To get that kind of resolution of the sword it is necessary to take multiple pictures of the blade and stitch them together, which is what he is doing right now.

    2. We want to release the photos and the preordering at the same time, for the best excitement affect.

  19. David on July 18, 2008 at 1:29 pm said:

    I’m reasonably certain that GRRM wouldn’t license his products to a fraudulent company.

    Will it be possible to request certain numbers? And will you be producing Longclaw in high-carbon at some point in the future?

  20. We cannot let people request certain numbers, no, there would be fights over the “good” ones. The people who order first though will have the best chance at getting a lower number.

    If there is enough interest in the future, maybe on the back of some HBO series inspired interest, we will try to make high carbon steel versions of all the swords, but at this point that is just conjecture.

  21. Paolo on July 18, 2008 at 1:41 pm said:

    Very good! A little question, only checks and money order? no bank trasfer? I’ll be able to send a check from italy? I’ll ask my bank, thanks anyway

  22. Yes, you can send a check from anywhere in the world usually.

    You just go into your bank and ask them to make a certified check in US funds.

    Or, you can do so at any one of numerous Western Union offices worldwide.

  23. Concerned on July 18, 2008 at 4:53 pm said:

    My biggest problem with check/money order preorders is, what do you do when you get 10,000 pre-order checks for a run of just 2,500 swords? How do you decide which pre-order requests you honor, and which ones get refunded? at least with online payment, i’d know immediately if the pre-orders were filled or not.

  24. Colin on July 18, 2008 at 5:13 pm said:

    Any word on international delivery costs? I live in northern ireland in the uk and I want to know how much it’ll cost to get a Long Claw sent over here.

  25. The way the system will work Concerned is that you’ll place your order through our online system, entering all your personal data into our computer system. Then when payment is received with simply change your order status to indicate it as such. The point being, because order management is computerized, its fairly easy for us to make sure we don’t get more than 2500 orders, in fact, we can make the system automatically disallow ordering once we reach that point, which would be a very happy problem for us to have.

    I’ll use this blog as well to keep you informed as per preorder status, if we do get to a point where there are only 100 or 500 level I’ll make a post letting people know.

    Colin, we’re still figuring shipping costs, but Northern Ireland looks to be $70 for Longclaw.

  26. Vertius on July 18, 2008 at 6:06 pm said:

    Say that you fill your 2500 reservations, if the demand is there, would it be possible to make more?

    Not saying that it’s very likely to happen, but, when GRRM posts on his blog about how you’re accepting preorders…it’d be good to know.

    Anyways, I look forward to seeing the pictures!

  27. merilynn on July 18, 2008 at 10:36 pm said:

    Yay for Needle- and possibly in high-carbon, just the way I’d like it. Whoo!

  28. gregory on August 10, 2008 at 8:38 pm said:

    i always pictured needle being more of a leaf blade as opposed to being a rapier, i mean it is described as a leaf blade in the first book.

  29. Jason W on August 21, 2008 at 2:51 pm said:

    I think you got the design for needle spot on. I look forward to when you start taking orders for this one.

  30. I love the design of Needle! It’s just as I imagined it, and Arya’s my favorite character of the series, too. I’ll definitely be getting one if you stay with this design! Please do it in high carbon steel if possible. Also, I know I’ve seen this question before but no answer to it: will you be making scabbards for the swords? A scabbard would be a very welcome addition, even if it was an optional extra. Keep up the good work!

  31. Can’t wait! Chomping at the bit. Thank you so much VS!

  32. Anonymous on March 1, 2009 at 4:39 pm said:

    I’d like to point out that when Arya re-acquired Needle from Polliver she noted his weapons, “He wore three blades on his belt, Arya saw; a longsword on his left hip, and on his right a dagger and a slimmer blade, too long to be a dirk and to short to be a sword.” Therefore, one should and must conclude that Needle is not a 30″ blade, but more along the lines of a 16″ to 17″ shortword. I truly believe you should rethink the size of your blade if you are going for book accuracy. I hope Mr. Martin would agree with me as well. On a personal opinion note, I would like to add that I feel the crossguard seems overly wide as well. I really like the look of Longclaw, as it is just as described. I simply wish to see the same in Needle. Thanks for your time.

  33. We know how tall Arya is, we know that the sword was custom made for her, as a sword. That is how we got the length, furthermore, 30 inches IS too short to be a sword, for an adult anyways (the only swords that short would be bronze ones made by Greeks and Romans (and other such classical cultures) that had to be short because bronze did not have the strength for longer blades.) The Hobbit swords from LOTR weren’t much shorter, and Hobbits are what? 3 feet at the short end and 4 at the tall end? If a dirk (a long dagger) was 20 inches, and a sword was 40-60, 30 inches seems like right between.

    As for the hilt, remember, this is NOT a Braavosi weapon. It was made with a thinner blade in that style, but apart from the blade it is standard Westeros fair. GRRM made the point during the design phase that Mikken wouldn’t know a basket hilted rapier (or other such weapon a Bravo might carry) if it hit him in the face.

    In anycase it is all moot, the design has been finalized.

  34. thank you for the pix, that’s great

  35. Awesome Post. I add this Post to my bookmarks.

  36. Thanks so much for this info. I’ve only recently joined both StumbleUpon and Digg and don’t really know what I’m doing yet (and haven’t had any traffic from there yet). This is very good advice…always nice to say thank you.

  37. Bless you Ami. I loved writing that piece, and the fact that you found it worthwhile means the world to me. I don\’t know whether The Big Pipe session is going to tackle that level or not, but US business is eventually going to have to respond to this problem. There will be no place to outsource to for a quick fix.

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