The only thing I'm really not liking so far that's different from the book is the removal of characters like the Reed siblings, I can't help but wonder if there's going to be a point where the tv series MASSIVELY goes in a different direction to the books simply because there are some characters that have been left out which (in the books) appeared to be rather important.
My overall fear there is that Martin is somewhat providing spoilers, maybe the characters that have been left out just don't turn out to be important in any way, and they'll just die off in the books.
It also leaves me wondering how they'll handle Bran's story now, he was meant to go north with the Reeds while the wildling went south with Rickon (and we haven't read any of his story yet after they split), how are they going to do that now?
I was also looking forward to Howland Reed fleshing out some backsory when he finally appeared
, does the crannogmen's removal mean that the tower of joy and the events with Lyanna were just a **** red herring? Because with Eddard dead and Howland removed there's nobody left to tell of what happened inside, at the end there was only Arthur Dayne, Stark and Reed and Howland is assumed to have killed Dayne ("Arthur Dayne was the greatest swordsman I ever saw, he would have killed me if not for Howland Reed") that means the story can never be fleshed out in the tv series and it was shaping up to be one of the lynchpins of the whole series.