The line between cinema and television is becoming more and more difficult to plot. With Neil Gaiman’s Sandman being downsized to the small screen amid claims that is was impossible to bring to the big screen, and Lost fans today ending their marathon at Leicester Square’s Prince Charles cinema, it is a distinction with dwindling validity in our modern world.

The release of a trailer for HBO’s Game of Thrones (via /Film) does little to help matters, the first word that jumps to mind being simply ‘cinematic’.

Based on George R.R. Martin’s bestselling fantasy saga A Song of Fire and Ice, and named after the series’ first installment, Game of Thrones is planned to run over seven seasons – one for every book in the ongoing saga.

According to the official synopsis:

Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens. Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.

While high fantasy – complete with dragons, magic and sword fights – may be relatively new to TV, it is a genre which has experienced a box office boom in recent years, kick started by Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films. Television budgets and effects have thrived in the last decade, promising a Game of Thrones worthy of its source material and considerable fan base – a series which is more Rome than Xena: Warrior Princess.

The pilot, directed from a David Beniof (Troy) script by Thomas McCarthy (The Visitor) and D. B. Weiss (the upcoming I Am Legend prequel), stars Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage, Iain Glen, Lena Headey to name but a few. The director had this to say:

“High fantasy has never been done on TV before and if anybody can do it, it’s HBO. They’ve taken tired genres and reinvented them — mobsters in The Sopranos and Westerns with Deadwood.”

The series is teased below.

Game of Thrones will reach TV screens during Spring, 2011.