- Having the map of Westeros in the title sequence is a canny and necessary move, as the viewers will be reminded of the geography every week.
- The prospect of 'new' (albeit GRRM-approved and possibly tweaked) scenes may be distressing, but as with most of the new 'good' stuff in the Lord of the Rings movies (i.e. not Aragorn getting thrown over a cliff for no reason) these scenes flesh out the story and better establish character rather than be gratuitous additions to the plot. Getting our first glimpse of Tyrion in a brothel establishes facets of the character better than just seeing him arrive in Winterfell's courtyard.
- At this stage, no flashbacks. Whilst I'd hope we eventually see the Tower of Joy 'in the flesh' as it were (in Ned's dream sequence), the decision to have only dialogue references to the War of the Usurper and Lyanna's death seems reasonable. However, I do really want to see the Rhaegar/Robert fight as it is an iconic image from the novels, often used in artwork. Again, maybe we get to see it later on.
- The Others' full capabilities are not revealed in as much detail as in the novel, presumably to make later sequences more of a surprise.
- Condensing Dany's story into larger, but less frequent chunks may be a good idea, similar to how smaller secondary characters are handled in other HBO shows such as The Wire and Rome. Following the book slavishly would only give us 5-minute bursts of Dany every week or so, whilst this scheme means she won't be in every episode, but will have big chunks of time when she does so.
- Most encouraging is the news that both the Wall and Dany's storylines will be followed faithfully from episode one. There had been much speculation that both may have been marginalised or not even featured in the first season, but clearly the writers are playing for keeps here.