Not only Ned Stark, but all of the highborn involved in the game, IIRC. I think it was genius on HBO's part to enable people to see into Littlefinger's head. TV's doesn't have the luxury of using small details, like books do, therefore they have to show people what's going on in detail. I was one of the people who watched the show before I discovered the books, so Ros' interactions with Greyjoy, Baelish and Pycell gave me in depth information on those characters and personalities needed to understand the game. I don't have anything against the sex scene, he was training the women who are to service the more wealthy clientele who patron his businesses. He runs an upscale business, therefore, his workers must live up to that requirement.
little finger goes into detail about the story about how he wanted some girl (it's already been established that LF loves cat), and that she was basically stolen from her by someone from the north. who could that be? then he says what he learned from that, was that he wouldn't fight them, he'd fuck them. slightly later in that episode, we learn that ned desperately need LF's help. i mean come on, how much more obvious could they have made LF's betrayel? if they had left that last line out it would be a completely different story.
you have more information about theon, and pycelle by the end of season 1 than people who read the complete first book. let me be clear, i like the show, i think they do a good job in general. but quite frankly it strikes me that, because the producers of the series have access to all this information about future events, they don't seem able to sit on it until it has the most impact. they pluck the fruit before it has fully ripened.
let me give you another example. one of the most loved non-book scenes. the scene where robert and cercei are taling about danaryis. the scene itself, i think is fine, and i don't have a problem with anything they say. but the very fact that this scene exists undermines the tension of a later scene. in the book, ned resigns as the hand and robert is furious, ned gets attacked by jaime in the streets, and the next time we see robert, he's with cersei at neds bedside. in the book, we have no idea where roberts head is. we don't know if robert is still about ready to put neds head on a spike or what. on the tv show, between the time when ned resigns, and jaime attacks ned, we get this lovely scene with robert and cercei interacting. we see robert has calmed down, we see he is rational and by the end, we even see he's quite saddened after discussing his love for neds sister.
and now, how shocking is it going to be