Back to the content of this season.... They are departing from the books in major ways this season. I think a lot of it has to do with creating dynamics between characters/actors that fans will love.
Tyrion is on his way to Mereen to meet Danerys. That is a possible suggested trajectory in the books, but it hasn't happened yet.
Jaime is on his way to retrieve his daughter Marcella from Dorne, accompanied by the hired sword Bronn. That never happened in the books at all. There, they will presumably encounter Prince Doran Martell (played by Alexander Siddig - Dr. Julian Bashir on STDS9) - an encounter which hasn't been suggested in the books.
Lady Brienne and Podrick are teamed up trying to retrieve Sansa Stark from Littlefinger. Brienne and Pod were never a duo in the books.
I would imagine that trying to move a story forward on over a half dozen different simultaneously unfolding fronts in a series of 5 to 10 minute vignettes is a monumental task. It seems to me that a component of doing it successfully has to be to consider the actors and the characters they portray, and creating encounters between them that serve the story and play well with the audience. It also seems that as it gets further into the story, those decisions being less dependent upon source material would be a natural direction.
Who didn't enjoy the banter between Jaime and Bronn after Jaime's amputation? It was TV magic - a buddy-pairing for the ages. Why not expand on it, and make them a team in the new season? Who doesn't want to see interaction between under-rated acting powerhouses like Nikolaj Coster Waldau and Alexander Siddig? Make it happen! Who isn't curious about what would happen if the Imp of House Lannister were to meet the Mother of Dragons? Let's do it! Who doesn't appreciate the brooding, scowling, lawful-good noble badassery of Brienne of Tarth played against the loyal-to-a-fault naiveté of Podrick? Road-trip!
As someone who appreciates the books, I'm not having difficulty accepting the changes made to adapt to TV. They could leave out the faggot crap, but other than that, they're doing a good job of it.