Yeah it took me 9 episodes to feel comfortable recommending this show for general audiences (as opposed to just uber nerds who like genre shows). In that sense, I'd compare it to Battlestar Galactica (the first two seasons at least... until it jumped the shark and turned to utter crap) ... BSG was the last genre show I felt comfortable pushing on normal folk ("no trust me... it's not typical nerdy sci fi... it's actually really good!").
The only thing I'll say about Game of Thrones is that... having not read the books I initially got slightly overwhelmed by the sheer volume of characters. I'd highly recommend sharing this "family tree" image with anyone you push the show on: http://cdn.screenrant.com/wp-content/uploads/Game-of-Thrones-Houses-infographic-Westeros-101-f.jpg
For example (without spoiling anything), I somehow was under the impression that Jamie Lannister was Cersei and King Robert's eldest son... which caused a whole mess of confusion in one of the earlier episodes. Again, without spoiling anything, I went from going "Wait... I'm pretty sure this is kinda messed up... let me check... oOooh... that's messed up too". Maybe I just wasn't paying attention... it's hard to capture all the finer plot points with so many boobies flying around.
I also have to give some love to the scene where Littlefinger "trains" his employees (i think episode 6)... I haven't watched a scene have that much fun with that content since Patrick Bateman thoughtfully paused mid Phil Collins rant to say, "Sabrina, don't just stare at it, eat it".