What can I tell you? I only recently discovered George R. R. Martin last year and honestly I'm not sure why (and how) I missed his writings. As a huge fan of J. R. R. Tolkien, J. K. Rowling, and Terry Brooks, where in the world was Martin hiding? Well, it's possible he was there the whole time and I just didn't know what was in store by this master of the storytelling craft.
George R. R. Martin's epic fantasy series A Song Of Ice And Fire, starting with Game of Thrones, is now on its third season as an HBO TV series.
I read Game of Thrones last year and was taken aback by this rich world, one that felt like a medieval soap opera where this family was pitted against that family and so on. I loved it! At times, however, minor characters seemed to blend and I got confused as to what was happening, but in a way that's the richness the world Martin has drawn.
Then, I borrowed the first season of Game of Thrones on DVD from the library and got an even clearer vision of what the world was about--I even have plans to go back and re-read Game of Thrones. Now, I can also honestly say, I am also a fan of HBO's Game of Thrones channel on YouTube. I have gone back to the beginning and have watched nearly every single video--yeah, call me a geek if you want, I really don't care.
I am currently in the middle of reading Martin's second book in the series A Clash of Kings, which the second season in the HBO series takes place. In watching some of the previews, I don't consider them spoilers as I plan on getting the DVD series very soon even before I finish reading the book.
My take on watching the TV series and reading the books is simple: they've enhanced my knowledge of this world GRRM has created, and appreciate the complex web of plots he has set in place. (As a side note, speaking of epic fantasy series, I have not read any of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time books but I will devour them soon as well--I just want to get caught up in GRRM's world first).
If you've either not read the books but watched the movies or held back on the movies as you have read the books, my suggestion is to do both. Read the books AND watch the TV series. You will enjoy these books a whole lot better.
Way to go George and the HBO team for putting together such a fantastic series!