I never read the books but heard some collapse under their own weight and it seems like Martin was having a hard time wrapping it up. I think some of the criticisms here about time passing too fast would have been fixed by a little banner that says 2 nights later or 3 months later, but that would have looked cheesey. Also didn't the sun go down when they were on the island indicating time had passed? The battle scenes are cool and insanely tense because anyone can die at anytime in this show. I also like it when they just sit around and talk. I wish there were two 12 episode seasons because this show deserves it but somehow they cannot seem to come up with a happy medium between telling their detailed story and getting to the point and ending it. Looking forward to the spinoffs.