Jon Snow, the bastard son of Ned Stark, is only 16, but is depicted in most art as a much older man. The majority of Martin’s characters are very young: 8, 11, 13, 15 etc and more fully imagined than say Harry Potter and his cohorts. Potter may not seem like a fair comparison, but both series are basically geo-political machinations, with Potter being the lighter, more satirical, happier, where GOT is brutal, violent, and broad. Consider: Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Potter, and Shannara show a one sided tale. Mostly the good guys POV, the occasional Golem, Sauraman, Snape etc foray. GOT is a 360 global story that unfolds like a pair of dragon wings over a map. It covers everything. A huge motif is bastards, outsiders and unwanted, they are wild card in the business of freemen and highborn alike. Martin offers no easy resolution. Bastards are good, evil, hunted, loved, scorned, and spoiled. The perspective’s so wide Martin doesn’t have to editorialize as a writer. He shows us, he doesn’t tell us.