I want to stress that this is a personal point of view on this book. I just didn't really like it. When I read a book, I want to feel good, I want to be happy, I want to feel like there is a greater purpose in me reading the book. This was not the case with Game of Thrones.
For one- There are no happily ever afters. This book is dark and depressing. Do not even think about getting attached to someone because they are likely to die. Do not even think about showing a shred of honor because apparently Martin only likes people who are corrupt and dishonest. Those are the people that survive here.
For two- If I had to read about one person's clothing or armor or appearance I think I was going to puke. There were likely 200+ extra pages just set to describing what people wore or looked like. I could have done without it.
For three- People's reactions. Only once did we get to see how someone reacted to getting news and that was Bran when he found out his father had died. But Bran is 8, who cares? How about how Robb felt? Or Catelyn felt? They are the ones fighting a war for Ned. Why not see their reaction?
Dani- First impressions were whiny and naive. Then she grew on and then she pissed me off. She was so damn stubborn with the whole Mary Mas Dur (sp?) thing that I thought she deserved what came to her. And then giving birth to dragons and nursing them? Uh, weird?
Bran- Still do not know his purpose other than to show what is going on back at Winterfell.
Arya- I didn't really have too many thoughts about her. She seems ok in her treatment of Jon.
Sansa- Ah, one of the people I despised the most. She had no substance, no character, no personality and no brains. SHE is the reason Ned was captured. If she had kept her mouth shut and not told Cersei that Ned was sending the girls back home, so much could have been avoided. But no, everything was about Joffrey and his pretty gold hair and oh how he loves me. I cannot describe how angry even reading her parts made me. She is a child and yet I hated her. I hated how she was portrayed and the trouble she caused. Lady being killed almost made me stop reading the book but that was her own damn fault.
Tyrion- Very likable. Why was he written as likable when he is a Lannister? My feelings on Lannisters are set in stone (anytime someone wants to kill Joffery or Cersei I would be on board) but he does throw a wrench in there. I suppose we will figure out in the coming books really how much of a Lannister he is.
Catelyn- See Sansa except she is an adult. How DARE she sit at the end of the book and encourage peace when the whole reason the war was started was because she took Tyrion. HOW DARE SHE? And now I have a feeling Rob is going to continue to look to her and she is going to ruin everything.
Jon- I am not sure what the point to his character is. Or what the point to the Knight's Watch is. Maybe to show that Ned was not perfect and that he didn't have the honor that everyone proclaimed him to have. But he took Jon home and gave him a life and family. Maybe it is because Arrya seems to be on her way north and someone has to be there for her?
Ned- Ah, Ned. Well he was my favorite character. Damn him for trying to be honorable. As Cersei so wisely pointed out, "In the Game of Thrones, you either win or die".