Originally Posted by Hawk
The books are fun because of the rich detail of interconnecting info and the subtle style of GRRM who likes to hint and imply instead of just stating things, leaving the reader to figure it out.
For example in the first book, one of the major questions is who are Jon Snow's parents, but the show has never tried to address it because it can't be done through subtle hints and vague scenes like in the book.
Or on the show they just come right out and show Renly as gay and having an affair with Loras, but in the book it never explicitly says Renly is gay, it just implies it with hints here and comments there, very easy to miss if you're not pyaing attention. That's what makes the books fascinating, but also why it takes him years to write them.
I still say its better to read first because reading gives you a broader experience. Plus the show was more willing to stray from the books in season 2, so it is still entertaining to watch despite having read the books already. Just a matter of personal perference I guess.
Precisely. That rich detail and incredibly honed interconnection is what makes these books so great. Without those, ASOIAF is just another story.
Also, the emotional impact of the events is way, way stronger when reading the books because the character development is just magnitudes beyond what you get on the show.
"That's the reason my FFL team name is TrentGreenLeadBlock. When you see this mother****er coming around the corner on a block, put your children to bed and batten down the hatch on your girl's snatch, because the same power that destroys defenders can scar the minds of the youth and simultaneously impregnate any woman within sight, live or on television."