Don't get me wrong, I'm a longtime fan of the series- loved them since I read the first book over Christmas break back in 1997. But I've steadily lost patience with the whole thing grinding out forever. Quality seems to have dropped overall, too. The first 3 books were awesome, but the last one flat out sucked. Seems to me that GRRM is taking his sweet assed time because his heart just isn't in it anymore, but the money is too much to walk away. And as for that July 17 release date; well, let's just say that I remember Amazon taking pre-sales for A Storm Of Sword and then cancelling my order. I won't believe the book is ready to publish until I'm holding the damn thing in my hands. And I fully expect Martin to die before he finishes the last book, cause at this rate, he'll be pushing 80 by then and he's a fat, unhealthy dude. As for the show, well, it might be cool. I'm not hyped about the casting on several characters, though. As previously mentioned, Dinklage is cool, but Tyrion Lannister should be a horrible disfigured little troll of a man. Addy just doesn't seem to have the ex-soldier badassed-ness he should, and while I think Sean Bean is a great actor, he is not, I repeat, not Ned Stark. I'm trying to keep an open mind despite my reservations.