Yes, there's a difference: say, if a 45-year old is lusting after a 16-year old, it may be legal (in UK and some other countries) but it's definitely creepy. But if a 17-year old or 18-year old is lusting after a 16-year old, it's really not creepy (even if it's technically illegal - as in some US states). Back on topic: I've read the first 150 pages or so already, and I finally got around today to watching the first episode, which covers the first 60 pages or so. I'm really liking the book, and it's made me even more interested in seeing how it got translated to the screen. It's a very faithful adaptation so far, with very minor differences - with one exception, the ages of the child characters. I was already aware what many of the actors in GoT looked like before I started reading the book (like the actors who play Robb and Jon, who are clearly adults and, even with a Dawson casting, don't look like they are trying to pass as 14-year old boys!), so when I learned the ages of the characters in the first couple of chapters, I wondered if there's some time jump in the story shortly after, or if they aged them up for the show. It looks like everyone has been aged up 3 years - even little Bran is said to be 10 in the show, instead of 7. (Warnings to any other newbies who may come to this thread: SPOILERS to follow) It certainly makes it easier to film, without so many child actors, but it also makes things different and less creepy for the viewers. Things like a 13-year old girl marrying and having sex with an adult male. But I'm kind of sad that they had to change it - the book really confronts you with the reality of what did happen for real in the Middle Ages (the culture that the GoT world is obviously modelled on). Thirteen year old girls did sleep with and marry adult males and have kids. It was even considered normal (e.g. Juliet's mom in Romeo and Juliet). Though in GoT it doesn't seem to be a common practice at least (Viserys the Shithead muses on whether Khal Drago likes his women that young and concludes that barbarians have their weird tastes), though it seems more common to have arranged marriages between a kid and a kid. Then there's also a 14-year old boy joining the Night Watch, another thing the modern audiences would be creeped out. Generally, kids in Middle Ages were forced to grow up too fast, including sex and/or violence, something that makes us really uncomfortable now. Although child soldiers or child brides are things that are still happening in some parts of the world and in some cultures. They've also cast some of the adult characters with older actors, though that's perhaps justified, since they live in the world with no face creams or sunscreen or cosmetic treatments and much worse medical and hygienic conditions, so it makes sense that people in their mid-30s are played by actors 10 or 15 years older. And Ned was specifically said to look older than his real age of 35. Still, I thought it was weird when Catelyn and Cersei were sitting next to each other, since they aren't supposed to be that apart in age, probably just a few years, but Michelle Fairley looked much older than Lena Headey. Speaking of which, I have to say that Fairley doesn't match the physical description of Catelyn that well - Jennifer Ehle, who was originally cast as Catelyn, matches it much better. I wonder why they replaced her; she's a good actress. Maybe she was asking for too much money? Nicolaj Coster-Waldau is a really good match for what Jaime is supposed to look like. He looks a bit like a mix of Josh Holloway and Alexander Saarsgaard. It's funny, while I was reading the book, I couldn't help imagining Robert as Brian Blessed in Black Adder, even though I already knew Mark Addy played the role. I bet that if the book had been written and adapted in the 1980s, Blessed would've played the role. About the sex: I've only seen one episode, but so far, it seems to me that the sex scenes in book are less explicit, but more erotic/sexier than in the show. Also, it's ironic that the show, which is supposed to be known for having lots od sex and nudity, actually cut out one instance of sex and nudity early on. The first time we see Ned and Catelyn in their chambers, they've just been passionately making love and they're both naked. Catelyn even walks out of the bed in front of the old counselor whose name I just can't remember, because she's got more important things on her mind and says "Master what'shisname delivered all my children, it's no time for modesty". In the show, they just lie innocently in each other's arms fully dressed. Since there's a lot of sex between other characters in the episode, it looks like someone decided: "There's going to be no nudity in this show from any character played by a cast member who's over 45!" There's one thing that worked better in the episode than in the book: the book made little Bran look incredibly stupid in the scene where he sees Cersei and Jaime - he first overhears them talking and can't figure out who they are so he has to come closer, even though he's heard things like the woman saying that the king doesn't love her and may decide to replace her with a younger woman, and the guy address her "sweet sister"?! Geez, Bran, how hard was it to guess who they were? In the show, he just heard someone having sex, so he couldn't have known.