If the third book is being split into two seasons, then you people have two more seasons of the good stuff before dealing with "The adventures of characters no one likes and Tyrion gets a scene every once in a while to remind you that you used to like these books". I'm interested in actually watching this series one day, if only to see how they portray certain events (especially certain events that will happen this and next season), but after that I'm wondering how the TV series will adapt to the noticeable drop in quality that accompanies the 4th and 5th books. If I wanted to be cynical, I could say that they could both be abridged into one season, considering the absurd amount of pointless filler present in both of them.
Either way, I know what's going to happen, and thus am dealing with the far worse fate of having to anticipate book 6, which will come out who knows when.
There was no drop in quality in the 4th and 5th books. The 4th book was dealing with smaller scale stuff, but the story was still interesting. The 5th book, I seriously do not understand what people are talking about when they say "nothing happened". Did they even read the book? So many crazy reveals. One of the craziest I've ever read having to do with that one character who you thought was this, but he was really... you know (don't forget your name). Also, a lot of the pieces on the chess board were making their moves. You had new and viable players showing their competency. Also, you find out who the players behind the chess game really are and what their goals are. That book does more than enough to keep the series moving towards the end while staying intense and interesting.
Also, GRRM has said the 4th and 5th book will probably be fused for TV since they have overlapping timelines, but I'm guessing it'll be split in two as well.
The excerpts I've read from Winds of Winter have been great as well.
Felt like GRRM overextended himself w/ books 4 and 5. The Pyke Island and Dorne stuff did not grab me, and the unnamed character POV chapters felt burdensome at times, like "Ah shit, another one of these." Books 4 and 5 are good, but a drop in quality from the brilliant first 3 books of the series. I hope Winds of Winter has a tighter focus.