Would you like me to tell you what happens in the books with all those things you just mentioned?:P
How closely does the book and the show follow each other so far?
Guess I could wiki it if curiosity became too much, but I should probably just read the books then.
You will get disappointed with the books as well. The 3rd is absolutely great (they going to base 3rd and 4th season off that book) but 4th book gets a bit rambly and the plot doesn't move forward as it should. I've heard that the 5th (Dance of Dragons) gets even more so, which is pity.
My guess is that GRR Martin tries to extent it on purpose to cash in more. I don't blame him for that, but it hurts the quality of the book. Otherwise I would be happy as well to have this great huge story, with great writing and characters that you feel like they are real people that you can like, love or loath.
The TV series is my absolute favorite show and it manages to hold to a high standard mostly because follows the books closely. Whenever the writers decided to improvise and add new scenes almost always they are weaker than the rest of the story.
Authors tend to run out of steam by the 4th or 5fth book.
It's not necessarily that the material gets worse per say (well ok, maybe it does when they start pulling half-baked ideas out of their sleeve), they just run out of ideas.
I think it's better if they keep short and sweet (a triology at most) or at least take at least 5-6 years between books, but I'm not sure if he can afford it.
He's already 66 (ok, 63 actually), looks very round (coronaries and a host of other possibilities there) and he has what? 3-4 books left to write?
Hate to be a bummer, but odds are not negligible that he might pull a Jordan on us (not that I care in the case of Jordan, I lost interest after the 5th book).
Hope he has a manuscript somewhere outlining where he wants the storyline to go.
Got to give props to Stephen King there... he made sure that he wrapped up his Magnum Opus before he was too old.
About 2) lots of people support this theory. I usually don't try to guess where the writer is heading with plot twists and knowing Martin I would expect something more unexpected. Few writers manage to pull so dramatic and unforeseen twists as him.
Can't help myself. I have an overactive imagination and I don't have an off switch :P.