To me, a lot of the actions that the characters did felt horribly contrived. When I try to write them down, I sound like an arrogant sociopath, but I thought that a lot of the characters did stupid action x because there was no other way for cool plot point y to come about in a convenient way. For instance:
Ned: Hmmm, I have found out a dark secret about Cersei, aka the most powerful woman in the kingdom. The last person who knew this secret ended up dead. I think I'll warn her that I know the secret right now, and then I won't tell anyone else other than Littlefinger, aka the least trustworthy guy I know (I mean, my brother nearly killed him in a duel and I took the love of his life from him and then cheated on her and everyone knows that but I bet we're still bros)(and I mean he literally told me not to trust him). I mean, Cersei's clearly a manipulative monster and I'm pretty sure she pushed my son out of a tower, but I bet I can trust her to do the honorable thing.
Also, all of these guys with important secrets that I want to know keep dying. It's rather unfortunate.
yes, I get that he's supposed to be the only morally stable guy in the series, but this was just pushing it. There is a line between morally stable and having no sense of self-protection, and when the best character ever aka Eddard Stark crossed it, I was unamused
Sansa: Wow, Prince/King Joffrey is such an amazing guy omg I'm going to trust him and the queen all the time because clearly they don't have any sort of grudge against my family.
Yes, she gets over it, and yes, she's a kid. Okay, fine.
Dany: Wow, so there's this hedge-witch that I found being brutally assaulted by the soldiers of my beloved husband. It's okay, I rescued her after she was violated for only a little while, so I bet she likes me. In fact, let's dismiss all of my other doctors and midwifes and such and let her be the sole caretaker of my husband and child, because clearly she can't bear a grudge against me or Drogo after we razed her town.
Okay, yes, also a kid, but Dany was so much better than this everywhere else D:
Catelyn: Wow, the assassin who tried to kill my son was holding a dagger that apparently belonged to Tyrion. I'm going to start a war.
Viserys: I'm feeling a bit impatient right now, so I'm going to go threaten the army of warrior rapists in their sacred city.
yes, I get that he's supposed to be unstable, but... I mean... ugh. Okay.
Robert: None of my children look like me. Clearly they are still mine. Hurray. Time to go hunt a boar.
I mean. I loved the book. I really did. One of the coolest things ever was how the prose could alter so drastically between viewpoint characters to the point that it was obvious who we were following when, and I really did love all of the evil-kineevily plots that were doing in on top of each other and being all confusing and such.
...sometimes, though, it felt like all of the evil-kineevily plots got stacked up so high that George couldn't think of a way to make them all work out, so he resorted to having his characters do particularly cringe-worthy things?