"Winter is coming" is the iconic motto of House Stark in Martin's sprawling fantasy epic. It's also a catchall phrase for the ominous feeling that pervades the entire series, as kingdoms fall, families are ruthlessly torn apart, and Westeros is boxed off between dragon-fire and a bunch of freaky ice zombies. EEP! If you want to get a jump on the HBO show, then get hooked on this brutal series, but heed our warning: never, ever get attached to a George R. R. Martin character. Nobody is safe!