I am now, for the first time, ahead of the Game of Thrones TV series in my reading. I don't mind the elision of characters and events - the different medium does require different story-telling techniques. What I am finding interesting is the way some characters are portrayed quite differently between the books and the series. It's hard to know if they are sometimes being written more sympathetically for the screen because the actors are popular, or if the showrunners have a plan for the character that isn't quite the same as the author's plan.
Another theory I have is that the difference in portrayal is the difference of perspective. Jaime Lannister appears much more chivalrous and heroic in the series than he does in the books. My feeling is that it is because he is a point of view character - his actions appear heroic from the outside, but some of his self-talk is decidedly not. Arya Stark appears quite confident and assured from the outside, but her self-talk is convincing herself not to be afraid. It reminds me, in a way, of the Bridget Jones books. The problem I had with that on screen was that I never really felt she was supposed to be quite as useless and pathetic as she told her diary she was, but of course that was what they had to show to convey some of the humour of the books.
I can't believe I just compared Game of Thrones to Bridget Jones. Good thing it rhymes.