Book 1 vs. Season 1: Jon Snow’s Skull Pudding
I don’t know about the rest of you, but personally I find AGoT-era Jon Snow to be virtually insufferable. (I like him a lot better later, and I wouldn’t like him so much in book five if I hadn’t disliked him in book one, if anyone knows what I mean.) In book one he’s fourteen and acting it – self-absorbed and shamefully unaware of how comparatively easy his life has been to this point, requiring many an adult to try and shake him out of it. Kudos to the show for capturing it, and for a relatively smooth adjustment given the age-up!
What the show does not do so well with is depicting the occasions where Jon Snow demonstrates that, even at this early stage, there’s a bit more going on in his head than emo and angst. This is an ongoing problem throughout the show’s run thus far, culminating in season five, where Jon Snow is A Hero™ rather than a radical intent not only on bringing wildlings south of the Wall but also on changing the class structure that is devastating the effectiveness of the Night’s Watch and engaging with the world beyond the Wall and its surrounds.
For all I believe that season one did the best overall job of depicting Jon Snow vis-à-vis his book portrayal, long-running problems start somewhere.