Game of Thrones newbie here! I've never seen any episodes of the show, but I have been intending to start watching it for a while - or to read the book. I always thought I'd start watching the show first, especially since I have the first season available at home, but I haven't found the time to get around to it (especially with a bunch of other shows I have to finish fist). A couple of days ago I borrowed the book from the library (it was amazing luck that it happened to be available when I came over) and I've read the prologue and the next 3 and a half chapters - so far it's just setting things up. (I read relatively slowly, because I rarely read at home, unless the book gets me super-excited, and most of my reading is done on buses and trams and while waiting at the dentist etc.) I have a couple of questions for people who have both read the book and seen the show: 1) Do you think I should finish the book first and only then watch season 1, or would it better to start watching the show now? Or maybe even combine the two? 2) Does the show diverge from the books significantly, and does it include material that's not in the books? I know who plays the characters on the show, but so far I only know one big spoiler Spoiler: season 1, I think - that Sean Bean aka Ned Start does not survive season 1 - and some mild/general ones Spoiler: GOT like Jaime Lannister having a thing for his sister , so please don't spoil it any further for me.