So I finally decided to read the game of thrones books. Before doing so, I had finished all of the television episodes. I wasn't keen on essentially starting over, but I did want to know about the parts that the tv show leaves out (lady stone heart, brotherhood without banners, etc). To my surprise, aside from the very opening, the first book is essentially spot on with the tv show. I cannot think of a single other scene that differs. So... Question for those that have read the books and seen the tv shows: When, if ever, and to what extent do the story lines begin to differ? Not looking for spoilers, more like magnitude/scale of what to expect. In the first book, I could've just skipped it, it seems.