Here's a question for folks who enjoy both the books and the show. How do you feel about the changes the show has made in specific characters? I find that my opinions on the show's treatment of the story's characters don't divide at all neatly into either "they did a great job" or "they butchered them" -- it varies a lot from character to character.
So I was thinking: Can you name at least one character who falls into each of the following categories, in your opinion? I'll start.
1) Better in the show than in the books (where "better" doesn't mean "nicer", but rather "More developed" or "More interesting" or "Even more like themselves than I imagined")
My choice: Margaery Tyrell. I love how she is in the show. In the books she's mostly a non-character.
2) Worse in the show than in the books (where "worse" is "flatter", "less interesting", and so on, not "meaner")
My choice: Littlefinger. In the books I still don't think I know what he's ultimately up to or what his end goals are besides "power". In the show he comes off entirely as evil and lacking only a mustache to twirl.
3) Basically unchanged between the show and the books
My choice: Ned Stark. Aside from being a bit older due to the actor's age, that was Ned, spot-on.
4) A mix of good and bad changes, hard to separate out
My choice: Tyrion. I really like a lot of how show-Tyrion is written and I love Dinklage's portrayal, but the way he's been prettied up and whitewashed still tends to irritate me.
5) Completely different in the show and in the books
My choice: Shae. Aside from the name and the fact that she's sexing up Tyrion, she's just not the same character at all.
You can reuse characters other people have chosen and you don't have to pick a character for all five categories (the last one only suits a couple of characters, after all). If there's a strong consensus that develops I'll put together a summary post every now and then of which characters fit in which category.