HBO’s adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones isn’t due to premiere for another five months, but if the latest feature is any indication, it’ll be worth the wait.

Just before the Boardwalk Empire season finale aired Sunday night,Inside Game of Thrones” gave potential fans a look into the production and backstory of the upcoming series.

The 11-minute featurette gives us the best look yet at the direction and feel of the long-planned adaptation. The video features pretty much all of the scenes from the previous Game of Thrones tralier plus some more juicy dialogue between Eddard Stark (Sean Bean, The Lord of the Rings) and members of Westeros’ power circles. Lena Headey (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) makes additional appearances. In addition to a preview of the series, there are plenty of interviews with the actors, writers and producers to savor.

Fans of the novels will appreciate the input from George R. R. Martin, who is taking on a co-executive producer role. He takes a few moments to explain the geography and political climate, giving the uninitiated a narrated primer for the various countries and houses. Dan Weiss and David Benioff (screenwriter for Troy)  are taking executive producer spots.

If the clips seen in the video are any indication, the production design, costumes and art direction are top notch, matching (or beating) big-budget film productions of the same scope. Production designer Gemma Jackson (who also worked on HBO’s well-received John Adams miniseries) takes a moment to explain the reasoning behind the sets, and how they combine physical elements with computer-generated effects to create the atmosphere of Westeros’s fictional medieval world.I just can’t say enough about the artistry that’s going into Game of Thrones. I haven’t seen this level of exacting detail and careful composition since The Lord o the Rings.

Showtime’s historical drama The Tudors – a fine period piece in its own right – looks drab in comparison. Producer Frank Doelger speaks on the influences that determined the costumes, props and architecture, of Game of Thrones, combining different historical periods and geographical regions to create a look and feel that’s recognizably medieval, without being specific to any one place or time. There’s a specific contrast between the different regions and cultures, which should allow for a good range of atmosphere throughout the series.

You can check out the 11-minute preview below:

The dedication that the cast and crew is showing to the source material is promising. The story is lengthy, complex and winding (even with three of the seven novels yet to be published) and should make excellent fodder for HBO, whose previous original series haven’t shied away from long backstory and can’t-miss-an-episode continuity arcs.

Game of Thrones premiers April, 2011 on HBO.

Source: HBO