I'm interested in the first impressions of any new readers who happen to be reading the book for the first time (perhaps in preparation for the HBO series), or maybe anyone doing a re-read. I first read the book ten years ago, but I've seen blogs out there that chronicle similar impressions by new readers, and it's always fun to read their thoughts as they discover these awesome books. So let's try to keep this spoiler free, or at least use spoiler tags. Although it's already been a decade(!), my first impressions are still clear in my mind. At the time, I was a big fan of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time. It was the best and most epic series I had found, after Lord of the Rings. But I was up to Book 8 or so, and things were starting to go downhill. Then someone recommended A Game of Thrones to me. Surprisingly, I hadn't heard of it (it was about a year before I joined this forum). I remember thinking the prologue was creepy/cool, but it didn't blow me away. The moment that first really grabbed me me was finding the direwolf puppies. I love anything with wolves, plus I loved the eerie omen aspect of it all (the wolf being the sigil of House Stark, and the number of pups matching the number of Stark children). And the moment I was fully hooked came soon afterwards, with the simple words: Spoiler "the things I do for love".