Anyway, I very much disagree your dislike of Theon's character. While I dont like them showing him walking in circles this season, Alfie Allen is doing an amazing job with this character.
Well, I hate how whiny he makes Theon look. Theon is a proud, cocky guy, not a whiny brat. At least until he gets into real trouble. To me Alfie Allen's depiction of Theon just makes him look really weak and ridiculous.
Plus as you said, we see way too much of him doing nothing worthy of so much screen time.
Littlefinger-In the books he doesnt walk around with the villainous look and the creepy voice that screams "dont thrust me" out loud to everyone, everyone just sees him as a finance guy who is pretty much in the background, his scheming comes to a shock to the reader when they are revealed.
I did not have the same impression at all while reading the book... In my opinion, people in the book are very much aware that Littlefinger is a dangerous, politically astute guy. For one, his reputation as a "magician" with money is mysterious enough to make him an intriguing person.
Sure, the actor may be overdoing it in the show, but pretty much everything is overacted or over-explicit in the show compared to the books.
Shae-The only character that has been radically changed from the book. I cant stand her, it is the actress fault who really just fails at acting her role. In the book she was not this upstand, proud and feisty character so it makes me wonder how this will go down in future important events that you must know about. Tyrion's passion for Shae in the book certanly shows a limitation to his personality, basically falling in love with a pretty little thing who is faking a show to him. In the series it is something else that just doesnt work, she is supposed to be proud and honest but something doesnt add up.
I had the exact same impression from the book Shae... I hated her just as much. She struck me as a superficial idiot. The actress is annoying, that's true, so maybe it's even worse, but I don't feel that she has been changed that much.
For me the character that was changed the most was Renly. They might just have changed his name as well because there was very little left of the Renly from the books in this character.
In a show with such a large cast always some wont live up to expectations, for every character that fails to live up I think there are 2 who outshine the bookmaterial. You have:
Show Varys who is much more interesting than the book Varys.
Show Tywin that has an even greater presence than book Tywin. Charles Dance is just incredible.
Show JEoffrey is just 10 times more hatable than book Jeoffrey.
Show Robb I think is more kingly and charismatic than book Robb (mostly because of age differense)
Show Jorah is more galant and charismatic than book Jorah who was much less noble so to speak.
Show Pycelle has been added some dimensions.
Show Margeary is just on a whole different level than her book counterpart, ofcourse we never see her point of view like we do in the show.
Maybe you are just more sensitive to the show that to the books, because, for me, apart from Tywin (I'll grant you this one, book Tywin is a bit boring but show Tywin really steals the show ^^) I thought they were all pretty awesome in the book as well, and I see no added dimensions in the show, apart from of course the fact that you see actual people moving and talking... I think they are very faithfully depicted but it was the same in the books.
Of course, they add scenes like Margaery with the children, etc... But this is just another way of making obvious a number of things that we already know in the book. Book Margaery is also clever, charming, politically astute, popular with the people, etc, it's just that the show has to be more visual than the books to show it, but I don't feel they're really adding anything new to her character.
can't believe you defend jaime that much
Well, maybe because I have read the books, and unless I'm mistaken, you haven't, so I know quite a bit more about Jaime's later character development than you do now. We are really just starting to see more into the character of Jaime Lannister in the show. Normally, this should be enough to realise that the "Lannisters are villains" interpretation is shaky. But there are 5 books and the show is only at season 3, so books readers are considerably ahead of those who have only seen the shows in terms of character development.
As I said, I'm not trying to "defend" Jaime, I'm just trying to show you that one of the main points of this series is to show that the idea of people being "villains" or "honourable" or not is mostly a matter of perspective.
I like the Starks as much as the next person, but you just have to admit that their notion of "honour" does other people (and themselves) more harm than good. Had Ned been a little less "honorable" (or you could say, had he not been stubborn and blind), he might have followed Renly's advice and the War of the Five Kings would not have happened. Ned is likeable because of his attachment to his principles, but in the end, I'm not sure he's a better lord than a cold, ruthless bastard like Tywin.
The very concept of "honour" and "loyalty" are quite difficult to define, as well. What are you loyal to? A person? An institution? Your family? Principles? Gods? Laws? Whose laws? What is the most important, your own actions, or their result?
Had Ned Stark been in Jaime's place with King Aerys, would he have let the whole city burn with its people just because he had to be "loyal" to his oath to the King? Would he just have stuck to the law blindly, just as he does by executing this boy from the Night's Watch just because "it's the law" and he believes he has no choice?
Just for the record, if anyone sees the Starks as perfectly good and honourable, have you noticed the very nice guys we saw in the last episode? You know, those who wanted to **** Brienne and who cut Jaime's hand off? The "Brave Companions" also known as the "Bloody Mummers" have finally been introduced (in the book they are shown much earlier). They are fighting for the Starks if I'm not mistaken, and they are probably the most disgusting bunch of bastards in the entire series. Them, and the Boltons (especially the Bastard of Bolton), who, by the way, have also been fighting as Stark bannermen in the present war.
If I remember correctly, civilians suffer just as much at the hands of Stark bannermen as they do at the hands of Lannister bannermen. And I don't remember the Starks trying to do anything to restrain these people who do awful things to the civilian population in their name. So, one way of seeing things is that the Starks mostly remain "honourable" by having other people do the bad stuff for them, while the Lannisters just do it themselves and take responsibility for it.
Another episode that implies a certain ruthlessness from the Starks is the story of the war with the Iron Islands. We don't see this in the series because it happened before the story starts, but it is often heavily implied that the repression was fierce and that the Islands are still trying to recover from whatever the Starks did to punish them. Of course, if you are a Stark advocate, you can see this as a just punishment for a rebellion. Once again, it's mostly a matter of perspective.