Well, it isn't a Soap Opera, or I wouldn't really qualify it as one.
You define a Soap Opera by how the characters interact. The story is driven by their lives and the drama and story which happens within their life, the interactions and relationships between the characters. If you watch, or more specifically read the series (A Song of Ice and Fire, or A Game of Thrones, you'd understand why characters death is so prevalent, and why it's a necessary competent of storytelling for the writers.
We're not following characters lives, we're living through their perception to experience the larger story at hand. If their perception no longer has an important detail to contribute to the overall story, they either die, or we don't revisit. Sometimes we even lose a perception to insinuate a change of being. False narration also plays a large roll in the show and books, which is always an interesting story element.
Regardless, I could go into more detail about said story elements which are given via the point of views, but that kinda defeats the point of the series. I suggest watching/reading it, and learning for yourself. I find the article in question to simply be ignorant - which is a fair assumption, because he watched one episode.
Edit: Not that there are anything wrong with Soap Opera's, but this series on a fundamental level, isn't one. "It's a Soap Opera with swords, tits and dragons!" is an ignorant thing to assume, specially if you analyze the writing and storytelling.
Last edited by Moot; 04-24-2016 at 11:38 AM..