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)
"You wear your honor like a suit of armor, Stark. You think it keeps you safe, but all it does is weigh you down and make it hard for you to move. Look at you now. You know why you summoned me here. You know what you want to ask me to do. You know it has to be done... but it's not honorable, so the words stick in your throat." (48 Eddard 13.129)
Littlefinger's great skills are probably cheating and lying. And actually, these are pretty useful skills to have in this world.
"Just so. Opening your eyes is all that is needing. The heart lies and the head plays tricks with us, but the eyes see true. Look with your eyes. Hear with your ears. Taste with your mouth. Smell with your nose. Feel with your skin. Then comes the thinking, afterward, and in that way knowing the truth." (51 Arya 4.23)
There you have it: Syrio Forel's recipe for getting through deceit and betrayal. By teaching Arya (both swordfighting and the ways of the world), Syrio is ensuring that the skills and strength of his generation are not lost over time.
A green boy, Tyrion remembered, more like to be brave than wise. He would have laughed, if he hadn't hurt so much. (63 Tyrion 8.141)
Tywin Lannister planned to crush Robb Stark's army because he thought a young kid would be easy to out-think and out-fight. Oops. Once again we see that strength and skill aren't directly related to age and experience. (But let's also keep in mind that part of Robb's skill is in knowing what older advisers to listen to, as when he follows Catelyn's advice and appoints Roose Bolton to head this attack.)