Hi I just found the forums recently. I've always been a voracious reader of almost anything, but my fantasy reading was pretty much limited to Tolkien and CS Lewis. Most others disappointed me - either limited character development, weak plots, blatantly pirating LoTR, etc. Apparently I hadn't been reading the right fantasy authors. I discovered the HBO series by chance about a month before the premiere. It looked interesting, so I set up the DVR and decided to read the books before the series started. I've just finished AFFC. I've been really impressed by GRRM's writing. Loved all the books, and I'm finding a lot of interesting stuff on the forums; I'm looking forward to reading more. The forum name Alais is Alais Capet (sometimes spelled Alys). Daughter of Louis VII of France, betrothed to Richard the Lionhearted, sent to England when she was 7. Richard didn't marry her - when she was 12 or 13 she became his father's (Henry II) mistress and may or may not have borne him a child. Her story has always interested me, and reminds me a bit of some of the female characters in ASoIaF.