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Of all the shows returning this year, Game of Thrones is the most anticipated of them all. Even other shows have come to admit it – as stated in Parks and Recreation (another show everyone in the world should be watching), “They would never cancel Game of Thrones; it’s a crossover hit […] They’re telling human stories, in a fantasy world.”

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And it has never been truer. After coming back from the most shocking event of the show, known simply as ‘The Red Wedding’, what had become a phenomenon before the premier of its third season reached new levels of cultural penetration and worldwide renown. The creators D. B. Weiss and David Benioff themselves stated they started the show with the intention of reaching the infamous scene. Nevertheless, with the pressure on and the public’s expectations higher than ever, the cast and crew insist the show will continue to get bigger and better, and this upcoming season is no exception.

In the featurette released on the show’s official YouTube channel, Peter Dinklage, who portrays the fan favourite Tyrion Lannister says, “I know how important the Red Wedding is to so many fans of the show and the books, but we pick up the pieces and we top it in many ways.” With the plethora of characters in this immense world, it certainly isn’t hard to believe it. The video contains little to no spoilers, featuring mostly sneak-peaks of scenes that die-hard fans of the books will no doubt recognize. In an interview Gwendoline Christie, who plays the role of Brienne, giggles, “It gets worse!” We can easily believe that as well.

The fourth season is based largely on the second half of the third book, A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold. We find the characters we’ve grown to love and hate are once again intertwined in the perilous world of Westeros. Tyrion in particular, faces a dark hour this season that even he can’t seem to talk his way out of. At the same time, Daenerys, who’s travelling through the harsh, unwelcoming cities across the Narrow Sea, is also confronted with danger as she begins to lose control of her ever-growing dragons.

We meet some new characters this season too. Though the name Daario Naharis should be familiar to viewers by now, the face certainly is not. Ed Skrein, who played the role last season, abandoned it in favour of a part in the latest Transformers film. The role now belongs to Nashville star Michiel Huisman; though it must be noted that Daario still doesn’t look how he is described in the books… perhaps for the best.

An actual new and highly awaited character is the mysterious and enigmatic Oberyn Martell. The trailer features him enough to ensure that those exclusively familiar with the show will remember him by the time the series returns. He utters one single, ominous line to Tyrion in the promotional material: “Tell your father the Lannisters aren’t the only ones who pay their debts.” And with that, our excitement just reached another level.

Catch the new series on Sky Atlantic on the 7th of April, 9pm. 

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