Yeah I’m sort of late to this party, having only just begun watching the HBO series, but I don’t have TV service and the discs finally became available from the library on Saturday.
I own all of the books, and I’ve read all but the last one. I think I have a subconscious fear of it. These books do not get any easier or lighter as they progress, and I remember being very put out at the end of A Feast of Crows and then having to wait for what feels like forever for A Dance of Dragons. Plus, I’m not sure I remember what’s happened through the end of Feast, so I thought I should at least re-read that book first. Now, having watched most of the first season of the HBO adaptation, I think I need to re-read all of them.
One of the things I especially enjoy about this series is the world-building, for which author George R. R. Martin is widely praised. Martin based the series in historical events—the first book brings to mind the Wars of the Roses, but with dragons, and dragons make everything better—and created a world that is rich and storied and magical and fun to “visit.” If you have read the Lord of the Rings and weren’t turned off by the long descriptive passages (I hear that’s a common problem, but I read that trilogy in a week, so it’s not one I experienced), I highly recommend clearing your schedule of anything mildly important and picking up A Game of Thrones.