Still working on this book. It's a lot to chew on. But here are my thoughts so far on Game of Thrones in general.
I hate the Lannisters. Okay, Tyrion is awesome. Jaime is okay in small doses. But the rest of the adults in that family? They can go straight to the white walkers. Especially Cersei.
She's paranoid. She's selfish. She's obnoxious and hateful. She hasn't got a kind word to say about anybody, including her own family and friends.
And this is a world where there are tons of likeable characters.
I love the grand majority of Tyrells. Margaery is very bright and sweeter than a cupcake. I mean, yeah, she's playing politics, but that's the whole plot of the book. Everybody's playing politics, at least she does so in a way that's kind and not terribly bloody. Then you've got Margaery's grandmother who is so incredibly sharp and witty. A truly kicking older female character is always a welcome surprise in this media climate. And of course there's Loras who's a cool knight and who had this really interesting romantic storyline.
Then there's the Starks, who are to the last man understandable if not likeable. You've got Ned Stark, who was a man of principle. I give him a little bit more credit than most people because I believe I know who Jon Snow's mother is. You've got Catelyn Stark, a tough but flawed woman. And there's Sansa, the brave prisoner who struggles to stay afloat politically. There's even Arya, the child with a warrior's spirit. If you count Jon Snow as a Stark, then the Starks have one of the coolest characters in the game.
My favorite house is House Targaryen, which has more evil in its history than most of the rest of its competitors, and yet somehow they still manage to have some of the best characters as well. The famous and acclaimed one for fans of the show is Danaerys Stormborn (the Khalessi), but there are plenty in the books as well. Can't tell you who they are without spoiling things for you, but they are seriously very cool.
The Lannisters? They have Tyrion, who is clever and who champions the weak and the maltreated. They've got Jaime, who is a flawed man who made some bad choices, but who has also done some heroic things. And that's basically all there is nice to say about them. Tywin Lannister was a cruel, cold father to his children. Cersei craves power and manipulates and isn't afraid to have people assassinated to reach her goals. Joffrey is easily the most warped character in the whole lot, killing and torturing people for fun. And they form alliances with all these petty lords and knights like The Hound and The Mountain.
The Greyjoys, the Martells, practically every house I've witnessed in this book series has more good in it than the Lannisters.
Practically all my favorite characters are in one way or the other working against the Lannisters, most of all Cersei. I know I'm only on the third book. I know there's a whole additional book to go before I'll have read the series. I've been told they get better. But I really, really hate those Lannisters.
There was a moment on the show where I started to feel some empathy for Cersei, as she was sitting on the iron throne with Tommen (her young son), preparing to poison her own son to spare him from dying a more painful death. In that moment, I feared for Cersei Lannister, which is a testament to the quality of the show.
Is it possible that Cersei will become a more sympathetic character? I highly doubt it.