I have a love hate relationship with these books. In fact I started the first book multiple times and finally at some point I stuck it out and became hooked. There is much in GRRM's writing style I loathe (over much detail on clothing and food, the entire Daneyrs plot) and much that I really enjoy (political plots in Westeros, handling of the super natural elements, character building)that keeps me coming back.
I doubt very much he will ever finish the series. Much like Stephen King's random writing schedule on the gunslinger/ dark tower series, it may take a near fatal event to motivate him to focus and finish the damn series. GRRM is seemingly easily distracted into strange side roads or editing collections and what not, rather than finishing the Westeros tale he started. He has a lot of talent and is clearly a motivated writer, but for whatever reason the success of A Song of Ice and Fire series has become something of an unpleasant burden. For a fellow who writes so much, the books have to be split up into various releases, it would seem he could crank out 400 page books yearly instead of delivering 1000+ page tomes every 5 years. Regardless, I think much like Alice down the rabbit hole, he has discovered something quite strange and quite intimidating in size, and now isn't quite sure what to do with it or how to handle it.. Not sure the HBO series will help that or harm the series ever seeing a textual end, but its a gritty dark fantasy world and I look forward to it being brought to life on screen.
In the not that matters to anyone but me PS to this post: One of my favorite actors (Sean Bean) plays Eddard Stark in the HBO adaptation of his GRRM series. For whatever cosmic coincidence, Bean's played nearly every one of my all time favorite literary characters: Richard Sharpe, Boromir, Odysseus, and now Eddard Stark. Outside of the possibility of his playing Beowulf, or a movie adaptation of the Odyssey where he can show more of his take on Odysseus than he did in TROY, he has pretty, much defined on film some of my all time favorite characters...what are the odds of that happening?? PSS Sean Bean, or Hollywood if you are reading-A real adaptation (true to the story) of the Odyssey would be huge especially following The Clash of the Titans relaunch this summer....OH and while you are finishing that, adapt "Eagle in the Snow" by Wallace Breem and put Sean in as General Maximus. I only want 5 % of the gross door revenue for giving away such genius easy money ideas, you can thank me later.