A Game of Thrones
by George R. R. Martin
Strength and Skill Quotes in A Game of Thrones
How we cite our quotes: (Absolute Chapter, Character Name, Chapter.Paragraph)
"Listen to me," Jon said into the quiet, and he told them how it was going to be. Pyp backed him, as he'd known he would, but when Halder spoke up, it was a pleasant surprise. Grenn was anxious at the first, but Jon knew the words to move him. One by one the rest fell in line. Jon persuaded some, cajoled some, shamed the others, made threats where threats were required. At the end they had all agreed... all but Rast. (27 Jon 4.101)
Jon is able to convince most of the other recruits not to hurt Samwell Tarly. (And he'll eventually convince Rast, too, by scaring him badly. Oh, where can we get an albino direwolf? So useful for these negotiations.) Most of our understanding of Jon's time in the Night's Watch has been about how he's more skilled with a weapon than the other recruits. This may be the first time that we really see him applying his other skills.
Ser Loras was the youngest son of Mace Tyrell, the Lord of Highgarden and Warden of the south. At sixteen, he was the youngest rider on the field, yet he had unhorsed three knights of the Kingsguard that morning in his first three jousts. Sansa had never seen anyone so beautiful. (30 Sansa 2.15)
Of course, Sansa equates skill with beauty, which is a very romantic idea. (And one that we see isn't so true; for instance, um, everything Sandor does.) While we often associate skill with experience and age, it's interesting to note that Loras (and later Robb) turn out to be as skillful as their older opponents.
It was queer how sometimes a child's innocent eyes can see things that grown men are blind to. (46 Eddard 12.13)
Experience can actually get in the way sometimes. In this case, Eddard has made a very adult assumption (that is, that Cersei and Robert have kids together). Only a chance remark by Sansa is able to get him to realize the truth.