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  • Broken Base: There are the those who are excited for some new information on the world and history of A Song of Ice and Fire, and then there are those who wish Martin stopped wasting time he should be spending on The Winds of Winter. Others appreciate the worldbuilding aspect but disparage the quality of writing, particularly as it's often painfully obvious which parts were written by his co-authors.
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  • Complete Monster: See here.
  • Crazy Awesome: Some of the historical Starks, especially King Theon Stark and Lord Cregan Stark.
  • Designated Hero: House Blackwood. Where the main series criticized Feuding Families with good and bad elements on either side and where a memorable moment in A Dance with Dragons has one of the Blackwoods accompanying Jaime as a hostage to the crown mention how Blackwood and Bracken have a long history castigating one or the other. The series lore is clearly favorable to the Blackwoods, since every named Blackwood mentioned in more than a few sentences and paragraphs is shown as an infallible, morally upright badass, while every Bracken is unpleasant, cowardly or traitorous, or some combination of the three. This extends to the Great Bastards. Bloodraven, the son of Melissa Blackwood, is fanatically loyal to the Targaryens, ushers in a time of peace in the Seven Kingdoms, and is good at everything he does, whether he is Master of Spies or Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. Bittersteel, the son of Barba Bracken, is a skilled knight, but a Jerkass who fails again and again and again, and dies in exile with nothing to leave behind except the Golden Company. Maester Yandel makes it really obvious which family is the more heroic one. One can argue that this is an invoked trope since as an in-universe academic recordnote , except as per the Meta Origin (written during the reign of Tommen Baratheon), the Brackens bent the knee to the Lannister Regime, while House Blackwood was still resisting until late in A Dance with Dragons.
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  • Hilarious in Hindsight: This book introduced a Tully ancestor named Lord Grover Tully. Along with his grandson Elmo and great-grandson Kermit, he's an obvious Shout-Out to The Muppets. Later Sesame Street did a Game of Thrones parody titled "Game of Chairs" with Grover as the main character. He ends up winning the Iron Throne.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "And there are no children in Asshai."
    • Oily Black Stone shows up everywhere, which has spawned an entire Epileptic Forest.
  • Name's the Same:
    • The Targaryens like to recycle or only slightly modify names, which can make reading the Targaryen chapters a little difficult. To make matters worse, only kings get numbers appended to their names, so, for example, you'd better pay attention to make sure you're thinking of the right Rhaenys. There's also the chapter chronicling the rivalry between brothers Daemon and Daeron.
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    • Happens rather often with the Starks, especially with the names Brandon, Rickard and Jon and is hardly exclusive to just those two families.
    • This is of course an Invoked Trope, since real history is not only full of numbered kings named Richard, Henry, Louis, and Edward, but also princes and other royal relatives in the line of succession who never made it to the Throne. Many of them were even named specifically to memorialize someone who had previously held the name.
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