And really, there are works of fantasy out there that have surpassed this series in scope and quality, so it's not like Martin has the monopoly on this type of fiction.
Scope maybe but, ...Please spill the beans? Hmm, I can't think of anything that has the balls to explore the themes and issues here or bring humanity to a "magical" high fantasy universe, besides for the Witcher video game series, the books were rathe squeaky clean high fantasy with a few bad words here and there. Everything pre millenial is either kids/teens or follows tolken to closely. The way to babylon ...maybe but that is one book, not near the scope of ASOIAF which is as much about the complex relationships, character development and the dialouge between them than the larger arch of Dragons and Ice beings. No other fantasty does it this well moment to moment while implying and working of such rich lore and then binds it all together in a grand high fantasy setting and story arch.