It's always interesting what does and doesn't strike particular readers as filler and/or uninteresting. I just finished rereading A Clash of Kings
, and as usual I was more than a little bored by all of the Jon chapters, in which he does nothing but wander around beyond the wall learning surprising little about the wildlings. I liked the Dany chapters better, just because Qarth is a neat milieu, but she accomplishes absolutely nothing there. (Burning down the House of the Undying nets her nothing but prophecies that foreshadow future books.)
On the other hand, I like Arya's chapters in Clash
, and I think they do a good job of setting up her transition from a tomboy to an assassin-in training, as well as showing how war affects ordinary people, something most epic fantasy blithely ignores. The problem is that Martin's laudable commitment to that realism then goes a bit overboard in Storm
, and he spends too much time showing us the same characters leading miserable lives in the riverlands. That's my impression from the last time I read those books, anyway; I may change my mind as I come back to them in the next few weeks.