One of the questions I get often is if you should read the GoT books. Some people are surprised to know that the Game of Thrones TV show is based off a book series, but the name of the book series isn't Game of Thrones, it's a Song of Ice and Fire. And then you have the name of each individual book.
The first in the series of Song of Ice and Fire is Game of Thrones and Clash of Kings, and so on, but what to answer to the question "If I'm just a show watcher should I read the books if the show basically sums up the entirety of them in 10 episodes?". Well, the answer to that is that maybe the books are doing an enormous amount of storytelling, they give you more information on one topic that you could hope for.
Remember that one guy in that one scene? Well, it turns out he has a name, a background story. His aunt was related to one of the main characters, and one time he sat next to Ned Stark and they shared a dirty joke, and so on and so forth. Get what I'm saying? Better example is during The Red Wedding. During a, you know, Robb, Catelyn and his wife are getting destroyed.
George makes you feel almost as though you're there with how detailed everything is, right down to the food in the show, you just know that Rob and his homies are there and they all get f*cked up.
I started reading the books because a buddy of mine let me borrow it, and shortly after he died so I was kind of compelled to read it in his memory. Then it came to certain things you know you like, and you're so into it that you want to know more about it, you go into it more.
Anyways, back to the original question. Sorry, the Game of Thrones television show, in my opinion, is an alternate universe to what happens in the books, and it's an abridged version basically.
If you're a casual fan who just wants to keep your experience to just watching the show, that is completely fine. But if you're also curious and you want to dive into more about the world, feel free to pick up the books. I'm sure you can find them at a discount price on eBay or Amazon. But do be warned: if you do go into it, George Martin doesn't write it as fast as you'd think. So you'd finish the fifth book but be prepared to wait like a few more years for the six book.
I also highly recommend starting with the first book, because even though it follows the first season almost the letter, there are several plot points they leave out that you would be confused about later if you start off on the fourth book. So, yeah, if you do decide to read the books let me know in the comment section. If you're already reading them, let me know where you are.
I will be covering all the books in the series in this blog, so stay tuned!