I must admit I feel the 1st series was writtien/directed better than this 2nd one.
I do not mind subtle differences if it helps to reduce complexity of the book while conveying the intent, especially considering how many episodes they have per season.
And maybe that is the issue, they should had put more detail into the episodes and just accept a book will be spread over multiple seasons, although as it stands even doing 1 series per book they are going to be doing a high number of series and this becomes risky in terms of TV networks taking it on.
So maybe they are doing the best they can due to such considerations, would be nice if they could do an extra 5 episodes per series as it would make it easier to write and direct IMO.
Seems to be the same writers and directors for both series, and George R Martin is involved.