Action Girl: Brienne of Tarth and Asha Greyjoy can't earn anyone's respect because they are women. Asha rose through the ranks but lost it all now that her father's gone; Brienne has proven time and again that she's a competent fighter and men still mock her.
Khal Drogo's people only obey him because of his strength so they abandon him when he loses it.
Victarion Greyjoy is an honorable and straightforward man, but he's done some terrible things (such as, after his brother Euron rapes his wife, Victarion was bound by ironmen custom to kill her). In A Dance With Dragons, he accepts some sorcerous help from a priest of R'hllor, Moqorro, in contrast to the typical Barbarian Hero who usually has little use or respect for magic users.
Bling of War: Ghiscari mercenary companies, who have gone so overboard with their peacock displays that they're barely able to fight.
Blood Knight: Sandor Clegane. Professes to love killing, but it's really just his way of lashing out at the world for rewarding his actual Blood Knight brother (who burnt half his face off for playing with his toys).
Boisterous Bruiser: Robert Baratheon's drinking, eating and whoring is symptomatic of depression cased by the loss of the woman he loved.
Children Are Innocent: Rickon Stark is relatively overlooked by his parents, and has something of a savage streak. He's currently staying with a wildling who has no qualms with killing people on an island full of cannibals.
The Chosen Many: The Night's Watch disillusions Jon because they aren't the elite ancient order that they once were (at least theoretically). When he becomes Lord Commander, his attempts to shake them up into an effective force and form a peace with the wildlings cause distrust and hatred. Just when it seems that they will finally be in a position to save the realm, they turn against him because they want to stay True Neutral.
The Chosen One: Stannis Baratheon "The Warrior of Light" and Aegon VI "The Prince who was Promised" believe its their destiny to rule and will do anything to get what they want even if it means doing things that are against their nature.
Courtly Love: Seen as absurd and everyone who tries to pursue their love despite their differences in class pay for it. The only ones who play this relatively straight are the incestuous Jaime and Cersei Lannister.
Lyanna Stark is often talked about as such but the real story is implied to be very different.
Sansa never gets saved by her family and is instead banished from court and taken under Littlefinger's wing who grooms her and molests her because she looks like her semi-dead mother. So not so much of a rescue.
Depraved Dwarf: Tyrion is, if anything, the White Sheep of the Lannister clan, but that doesn't stop everyone from his father downwards seeing him as this. It creates aspects of Self-Fulfilling Prophecy — his inability to trust women leads him to visit prostitutes all the time, which gives him a reputation as a lech; his Black Sheep treatment forces him to struggle with his own family for the power any other man would be afforded by birthright, which gives him a reputation as disloyal; his having to fall back on Every Man Has His Price gives him a reputation as profligate. When he serves as Hand of the King to Cersei and Joffrey, he single-handedly keeps the city from collapsing into chaos, but the populace target him as a Scapegoat for all the regime's injustices. He's also the number one suspect in the attacks on both Bran and Joffrey, despite having nothing to do with either, and his reaction to the latter is to further ruin his reputation by killing his father.
Evil Chancellor: Tyrion honestly tries to do a decent job as the King's Hand. Unfortunately he ends up getting blamed for the policies of others, him disposing of the corrupt Janos Slynt was interpreted as him getting rid of Slynt because he wasn't corrupt enough, and it was rumored that he was even plotting to overthrow Joffrey and install himself as king. All things considered, Tyrion after being informed of his reputation did not take it well.
Evil Overlord: Tywin Lannister's atrocities are the result of Pragmatic Villainy and being haunted by the memory of his father nearly ruining House Lannister through ineffectual leadership. Additionally, when he served as Hand of the King, his Pragmatic Villainy helped counterbalance a mad king and gave the realm twenty years of peace. It made him, at least in relative terms, The Good Chancellor. He also treated his deformed son Tyrion as The Renfieldand paid for it with his life.
Viserys Targaryen, "allies" get sick of his nasty attitude and kill him. In spite of that, his sister Daenerys still admits that even though he was bitter and cruel, he did keep them alive while they were living on the run in the streets of the Free Cities.
Joffrey Baratheon acts vicious to compensate for the fact that he isn't as strong as his father Robert. He is always on the lookout for enemies but he is killed by his "friends" the Tyrells.
Fish out of Water: Some characters' can't adapt to their new environments and it gets them in trouble. Usually their qualities would rub off on people and it makes them better. Examples are Eddard Stark (Northman who goes south) and Janos Slynt (Southron who is exiled north).
Four Star Badass: Robb Stark is a great tactician, but a poor strategist. He does not create alliances (all his troops were simply Ned Stark's bannermen), he wins battles but has no grand vision on winning the war and his Honor Before Reason philosophy costs him allies.
Freudian Trio: The Baratheon brothers, Robert (id), Stannis (superego), and Renly (ego), fit very neatly into one. However, rather than balancing out each others' weaknesses and maximizing their strengths, this is why they can't get along with each other.
The Good Chancellor: For all the good they tried to do for the realm, Jon Arryn and Eddard Stark couldn't control King Robert. Ned's effort to transfer power to the rightful heir caused his own death and sparked a civil war.
Heel Faith Turn: Although played straight in a few cases (i.e. The Elder Brother and Septon Meribald), characters "finding religion" generally does not come with an overall improvement in personality and behavior:
Following a grievous injury at the Blackwater, Lancel Lannister becomes fervently religious, but no more likable, and his newly found asceticism furthers the damage to his health and looks wrought by his injury.
Ser Bonifer Hasty known as "Bonifer the Good" is renowned as a Knight in Shining Armor turned champion of the Faith who embodies the virtues of the Seven. However, at least in Jaime's POV, he largely comes across as a humorless, self-righteous prig.
Formerly a lovable Boisterous Bruiser, Aeron Greyjoy's embrace of religion turned him into a stern, humorless fanatic. More importantly, both his earlier recklessness and current fervor are implied to stem from deep-seeded emotional issues tied to implied sexual abuse by his brother Euron as a child.
Thoros of Myr went from a skirt-chasing Boisterous Bruiser who was nominally a Red Priest into a true believer in Rh'llor after his religious observances suddenly came with magical powers. In this new state, Thoros belongs to a band of righteous outlaws, who over time, go from somewhat ruthless defenders of justice to outright knight templars. While Thoros isn't happy about this shift, the effect is that he is involved with much worse behavior following his religious conversion than before it.
Hero with Bad Publicity: Jaime and Tyrion's attitudes cause people to hate them even though they want what's best for the realm.
Jon Snow is pushed to go against every tradition of the Night's Watch to protect the Realm, and is betrayed by his own men.
The qualities that would make Stannis Baratheon the right man to be king also make him the one man no one wants to be king.
Jaime Lannister scoffs at the idea that a hero should be a good person as well and it makes him bitter that no one likes him for slaying the Mad king. He is getting better, though.
Hot Blooded: Ned's older brother, Brandon, unwisely threatened Mad King Aerys and got himself and his father killed. Ned also blames the "wolf blood" for the death of his sister Lyanna but the reason is still unknown.
Hypercompetent Sidekick: Tywin Lannister did such a good job of being Hand that King Aerys grew jealous of him, which drove a wedge into an otherwise effective regime.
Arya and Bran Stark are now without guidance and resort to things they never thought they'd do to survive. The powers they gain along the way are actually harmful to others.
Robb Stark proves a capable leader and dangerous enemy, in part due to his lack of experience resulting him taking risks that more experience leaders know better than to take. Eventually, his recklessness and all of forethought cause him to break a marriage vow, leading to his eventual betrayal and death.
Knight Errant: The wandering warrior stereotype is shown to be very rare and the ones who take this choice do so for selfish reasons.
Robert Baratheon considered abdicating to be the "Sellsword King".
Knight in Shining Armor: Most knights buy their title. The most shining knight in the series, Brienne, isn't a knight at all because she's a woman. The Kingsguard, which is supposed to be made up of only the shiniest of knights, is a shadow of its former self. A number of knights who play this trope straight end up paying for it, due to putting Honor Before Reason or facing off against a Combat Pragmatist and assuming they'll stick to the unwritten rules of battle. We're also constantly reminded that, one way or another, knights exist to kill, and the people they kill are notAlways Chaotic Evil.
The Lost Lenore: Robert and Tywin's undying love for Lyanna and Joanna, respectively, cause them to treat other people around them horribly. (Robert is so cruel to his wife partially because she's not Lyanna and Tywin treats his youngest son cruelly partially because Joanna died birthing him).
Some of the Brotherhood Without Banners, especially Tom O'Sevens and Lem Lemoncloak. Their justice while serving in Beric Dondarrion's outlaw band is swift and brutal, and that's before Beric dies and the much more ruthless Lady Stoneheart takes over the group.
The Magic Comes Back: Most fantasy portrays the return of magic as heralding the return of a golden age. Here, its making an already bad situation worse. No wonder the Maesters of the Citadel are trying to replace it with science.
Hoster Tully forced Lysa into having an abortion, as having a baby out of wedlock would make her ineligible for marriage to a nobleman (not to mention it would cause a scandal).
Lysa Tully-Arryn murdered her husband.
Cersei Lannister has her husband and almost all of his bastards murdered and frames three innocent girls for adultery.
Tywin Lannister orders the pillaging of the Riverlands and later organizes a massacre that kills thousands, because the lord of those lands held his favorite son hostage.
Rickard Karstark murders two young hostages, as vengeance for his own sons' deaths.
Walder Frey participates in a massacre that violates the rules of Sacred Hospitality, to avenge a slight against his family.
Sybell Spicer-Westerling helps arrange the murder of her son-in-law, Robb Stark.
Olenna Redwyne-Tyrell participates in a plot to assassinate Joffrey and frames Tyrion for it.
Lady Stoneheart has hanged at least three men, so far and shows no sign of stopping.
Wyman Manderly kills three men and probably feeds them to their kinsmen.
Messianic Archetype: Baelor Targaryen's fervor may have been motivated by the Targaryen mental instability. His idealism also bankrupted the realm.
Moses in the Bullrushes: Aegon the VI Targaryean, believed to have been killed as a baby, is alive and was raised abroad by allies of his family. In an attempt to invoke how this trope usually plays out, Aegon is given a broad range of education and experiences so that he will be ideally suited for ultimately reclaiming the throne a la The Once And Future King. There are hints that Aegon may not be the perfect hidden prince his protectors hoped for, and he may not even be the real Aegon at all (even if he himself doesn't know that).
Viserys and Daenerys are both on the run from Robert Baratheon's assassins. Viserys dreams of one day reclaiming the throne, but the constant running and living in fear and poverty turn him bitter and hateful. The life of a fugitive destroys whatever kindness he had to start with and leaves him less than noble. Daenerys, on the other hand, cares nothing for the throne (until her fortunes change later) and only wants to go "home" to Braavos, to the house where they stayed with Ser Willem Darry until he succumbed to illness.
Arya Stark doesn't even have the Targaryen advantage of having allies and she resorts to stealing and killing to survive.
Tyrion tries to pull this and reach Daenerys. Instead, he ends up a maltreated slave.
Old Maid: Cersei is still considered a valuable hand in marriage despite her age and previous marriage; less so than she was, but still the daughter of a wealthy and powerful Lord who is widely known to hate his only inheritable son, not to mention the mother of the King. However, she adamantly refuses to remarry, having hated being forced into an Arranged Marriage ten years ago and now finally having the power to refuse.
Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Tyrion's status as a human with dwarfism seems a clear jab at the ubiquitous Tolkienian dwarves in the Epic Fantasy genre. Even his use of an axe in combat is explained because of his physical limitations making him unable to swing a sword properly. When Tyrion is deprived of his wealth and noble status, he gets much Angst from a Crapsack World that only sees him as a circus freak.
Precursor Heroes: Ned Stark, Robert Baratheon and Jon Arryn are always praised for defeating the Mad King but Stannis Baratheon is frequently left out. This makes him bitter and is now motivating him to be better at getting the Iron Throne no matter the cost.
Rhaegar Targaryen, supposedly a wise and thoughtful young man, kidnaps Lyanna Stark, who is betrothed to Robert Baratheon (and in contrast to a lot of arranged marriages in this universe, Robert is deeply in love with Lyanna, though she doesn't return his feelings). This sets off a chain of events that leads to Robert's Rebellion.
Quentyn Martell: Believed himself to be this and got dragon roasted for his trouble.
Joffrey is taught to act like a prince just like Sansa is taught to act like a princess. He's actually a sadistic idiot. The idiot part isn't an exaggeration, he can't count past 6. And the sadistic part is an understatement; he orders the Kingsguard to beat and strip Sansa whenever she displeases him, or just when he's generally pissed off.
The Dothraki only care about strength so its easy for them to bounce from one Khal to another. The Khal's Bloodriders are his only truly loyal troops and they are expected to die when he does, whether they want to or not.
The Ironborn believe in doing things the hard way ("pay the iron price"). Things like alliances and fealty are considered cowardly, despite being the rational choice. Hence why they never really got a piece of the political action on the mainland and have to eke out a living on islands that are barely more than rocks.
The Northmen, ostensibly the "good guys" as they are the vassals of one group of protagonists, the Starks, do some less than honorable things (the Umbers supposedly still practice Droit du Seigneur, and the Boltons' ancient rivalry with the Starks is one reason why Roose betrays Robb Stark).
The Baratheons are a family of warriors who never compromise (even with each other) if they believe something belongs to them.
The Quest: Prince Quentyn Martell sets off with his loyal band of friends to find and woo the World's Most Beautiful Woman. Half of them get killed in a minor skirmish before we even get to their story. By the time Quentyn reaches his beautiful princess, Dany is already set up for an Arranged Marriage, while sleeping with a lowborn sellsword who's much more handsome and dangerously exciting than Quentyn. Believing that The Hero can't be killed, Quentyn then tries to steal a dragon to prove himself worthy of her, only to be roasted alive for his trouble.
A couple of lowborns who rise to prominence through their business acumen would be inspiring in a modern setting. But in the deeply class-ridden society of Westeros, Littlefinger and the previous Lord Frey (Lord Walder's father) are seen as upstarts who made their fortune through dishonorable means (prostitution and toll-raising, respectively). Walder Frey is still seen as a Nouveau Riche despite being the nonagenarian son of the first bearer of the title, and as a result a lot of his actions are driven by his desire to make prestigious marriage matches for his children.
Ser Bronn of the Blackwater, Lord Protector of Stokeworth (formerly: Bronn), is also viewed with suspicion, partially justified in that his wife inherited her title when he killed her brother-in-law (in a duel the other man demanded) and expelled her elder sister from the castle.
Ramsay Bolton is the son of a noble father and despite being raised by peasants, shares the traits of his father. Through his skills, Ramsay improves upon his situation and is ultimately recognized as the son and heir of his noble father. Ramsay is also one of the most vile and evil character in the series (which is saying something), and he is like his father in being sadistically evil (although Roose is a lot better at hiding it), and got himself into the position of heir by murdering his trueborn brother. Interesting, Ramsay himself is apparently somewhat Wrong Genre Savvy in that according to Roose, Ramsay thinks Roose and his mother had a great romance that transcended their classes, whereas in actuality, Roose raped her.
Sansa's friend Jeyne Poole is told she can never marry a Lord because she is a commoner. Be Careful What You Wish Forshe is sold to Ramsay Bolton and is passed off as Arya Stark as part of his plan to marry her and legitimize himself as Lord of Winterfell.
Eddard Stark and Jon Arryn are killed when they underestimate the self-serving nature of the people around them.
Kevan Lannister is killed specifically because he might have actually succeeded in keeping the peace.
Tywin Lannister's father Tytos was so generous that he almost bankrupted the House and his kindness was repaid with a revolt among his bannermen.
Rebellious Princess: Many female characters in this series come to regret their decision to break free of the the constraints their noble births put on them.
Arya Stark gets her wish to be normal but only because she becomes a fugitive forced to live in the street and consort with the wrong people.
Sansa attempts to resist the Lannister's ploys and tries to help Margaery, who is set to marry Joffrey. Instead, she ends up married to Tyrion, who molests her, and has to run away from King's Landing with Littlefinger to escape the blame for Joffrey's death.
Arianna Martell believes her brother will be ruler of Dorne so she hatches a scheme that gets her imprisoned.
If the Targaryen version of the story is true then Lyanna Stark's defiance of her arranged marriage sparks Robert's Rebellion which gets her and countless others killed.
Sibling Yin-Yang: Daeron II and his half-brother Daemon Blackfyre's difference in personality caused everyone to believe that they have different fathers and sparked the Blackfyre rebellion.
Theon Greyjoy feels a prisoner amongst the Starks and he is not accepted in the Iron Islands so he is driven to drastic actions to prove his worthiness. Too late does he realize the Starks treated him much better than his blood relatives.
Tyrion Lannister is blamed for the death of his mother, something he has no control over. His father and sister do all they can to alienate him without any thought that he is the best they have. Eventually, he kills his father and runs for it. With those two out of the picture, the Lannister regime collapses.
“Well Done Son” Guy: Robb Stark, Tyrion Lannister, Joffrey Baratheon, Theon Greyjoy and Ramsay Bolton's need to live up to the reputations of their fathers have terrible consequences for themselves.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Varys is forced to kill people he likes who oppose his plan to put a Targaryen on the Iron Throne. His "prince" Aegon may not be any better than the other pretenders to the throne.
Robert Baratheon was a great warrior in his youth and got the Standard Hero Reward but the woman he loves is dead and he is forced to marry a Lannister woman he hates, while the job of actually ruling doesn't suit him nearly so well as warfare. He soon becomes an Adipose Rex puppet of the Lannisters..
Robb Stark is never beaten in battle but sucks at diplomacy (witness his breaking of an important marriage pact) and is a Horrible Judge of Character. Has parallels with his namesake Robert, as he ignores cooler counsel and allows himself to be surrounded by moles and traitors in league with the Lannisters.
Daeron the Young Dragon almost conquered Dorne as a teenager but caused thousands of deaths to do it and his conquest ultimately failed.