I was always a science fiction nerd over fantasy. Though of course I'd read Lord of the Rings, and think its film adaptation is great. It wasn't until both the books and TV series of Game of Thrones that I found myself interested in a fantasy. And of course there's something about Martin's books (at least the first three) and the series that transcends the genre.
"This series is exciting to watch if one goes in without the background of reading the books." Well...as a non-reader of Wheel of Time I watched the first episode with no real pre-conceived notions. I could not finish it. Just compare the first episode of GoT to WoT and there just isn't the depth of characters, and even story, in the latter. And certainly the actors can't compare.
However, my ex-wife, who is a mild fan of the genre, is continuing to watch. She also finished the first season of Foundation which I thought was dreadful. She did say it picks up in the final three episodes but I just can't bring myself to watch more of it.