This is not mediocre television. This is epic fantasy storytelling on a scale that has never been seen before in this medium. .... the writing is so far above par that it competes with the best scripted television that I have ever seen.
I respectfully disagree and apologize in advance for not exactly tackling the topic of Catelyn's motivation being gutted in comparison to the book (which I agree it has been, somewhat). So far we have seen very little by way of "scale." If you really look at it, how are the battle scenes (for example) any bigger than certain other miniseries or series that have been produced for television (including network television). We're getting a lot of tight shots, off-screen action, greatly reduced numbers of combatants, synthetic environments (i.e., CGI that is, admittedly, better than network fare), way more dialogue about battle and killing one's foes than actual battle and hand-to-hand combat. And for all of the great banter and point-counterpoint between and among Varys, Littlefinger, and Tyrion there's still a little too much treacly writing and cliche conceptualization as far as the whoring is concerned and the romance, and certain people's backstories, like what Talisa revealed last week. blecch. They've got a better budget for travel and set construction/dressing than something like 'Camelot' on Starz, but the show is not free of demerits in my book. The Tudors had great writing and luxurious mise en scene and lots of randy sex and bloody homicide, but I would critique a lot about that one as well.
I think I support the production as much as anyone else (in principle, anyway), but that doesn't mean it's immune from critique. *Mayhaps* I feel they've put their money into some aspects that I wouldn't have prioritized over other aspects.