Another update on the state of play of the TV series.
Filming is currently scheduled to begin in Belfast in late June. A location management website has confirmed that the production will return to Morocco, presumably for the Daenerys sequences on the eastern continent. Casting for the other roles from the first book/season is now ongoing in the UK and Ireland (I suspect there will be lots of announcements on this front in May).
At a convention in Chicago, George RR Martin has said that the faithfulness of the adaptation will be around the level of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. It will be faithful overall to the story, but some lower-profile characters will be missing, or be relegated to background detail. Some favourite dialogue from the books may also be missing. HBO do not have a problem with the three-way split of the storyline between King's Landing, the Wall and the eastern continent. There is a possibility that the one-season-per-book structure will change in the future due to the increased length of the second, third and fifth novels in the series, but at the moment A Game of Thrones will definitely make up the first season and A Clash of Kings probably the second.
From the same link, Martin also gave some brief information on A Dance with Dragons (possible spoilers through the link, so exercise caution), confirming recent updates that the book is now 20% longer than A Feast for Crows. He is currently writing the book's epilogue (making it only the second novel in the series to have an epilogue, after A Storm of Swords) and after that has to take another swing at the famed 'Meereenese Knot' to finish the book off, after confirming earlier this year that two of the four troublesome chapters in this area had been brought to a successful conclusion. As usual, no timescale for the completion of this process was given.