As Theon shrugged out of his wet cloak, the girl said, "You must be so happy to see your home again, milord. How many years have you been away?"
Ten, or close as makes no matter, he told her. "I was a boy of ten when I was taken to Winterfell, as a ward of Eddard Stark." A ward in name, a hostage in truth. Half his days a hostage... but no longer. His life was his own again, and nowhere a Stark to be seen. He drew the captain's daughter close and kissed her on her ear. "Take off your cloak."
She dropped her eyes, suddenly shy, but did as he bid her. When the heavy garment, sodden with spray, fell from her shoulders to the deck, she gave him a little bow and smiled anxiously. She looked rather stupid when she smiled, but he had never required a woman to be clever. "Come here," he told her.
She did. "I have never seen the Iron Islands."
Count yourself fortunate. Theon stroked her hair. It was fine and dark, though the wind had made a tangle of it. "The islands are stern and stony places, scant of comfort and bleak of prospect. Death is never far here, and life is mean and meager. Men spend their nights drinking ale and arguing over whose lot is worse, the fisherfolk who fight the sea or the farmers who try and scratch a crop from the poor thin soil.