Just for the sake of saying, I wouldn't say they wasted a lot of time on Needle. I think it shows how close her relationship is with Jon Snow and how he's one of the few people who understand her. It's also a big catalyst for her development as a character.
We're also only two seasons in and there are 5 books. A lot of stories left to be told.
This post was edited on 11/21 at 3:28 pm