In so many ways (including not having the damned thing finished) GoT is about the reader-writer relationship, in the peculiar form dictated by the generic constraints and opportunities of fantasy. Martin spends a lot of time messing with us, in obvious ways (the execution of Ned Stark) and not-so-obvious (Danys transformation from scared girl to liberator to petty tyrant to dragon rider returning to her Dothraki roots). Jamie Lannister almost unwillingly takes on the code of honor that he mocked in Ned Stark; Catelyn Stark becomes a sadistic tyrant of a ghoul; Dondarrion goes from meting out justice to some strange form of warlord-ship; the Hound may have joined a monastery, although his helm has been taken up.
The ‘things are never as they’re seen’ meme is an old one, but in my mind Martin takes this meme to levels that threaten his relationship with his readers in ways that fantasy writers rarely approach. I hope to write more on this as I keep thinking about the books.