The absence of every major character from books (except Jeor Mormont, Cersei, Chataya, and Lord Varys) isn't a hefty distress, bearing in mind the well-crafted tale and fleshed-out focal characters. Unfortunately, trudging through Game of Thrones requires the same amount of fortitude as waiting for the latest entry in Martin's much-delayed series of novels. Throughout your Westeros adventure, you are beset on all sides by muddy, last-generation textures, characters that phase through doors, marionette facial animations, elongated loading times, archaic RPG menus, and a slapdash battle system.
The latter aspect is particularly egregious. The real-time melee system is a less refined version of the one from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Combat is as swift as a Dothraki warrior, but the constant need to pause and input bleeding, stunning, and takedown attacks into a three-slot radial menu makes for a shuddering experience. Once you've earned enough experience to level up, you can apportion points to your heroes' skills, fighting stances, attributes, and strengths and weaknesses. There are three stances for Alester and Mors and you unlock three more at level seven.