Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen

‘Game of Thrones’ season 4 preview gallery

HBO’s hit series returns Sunday night for its fourth season of blood, heartache, misery, and mind-blowing television, and after all of the teasers, it’s looking like a huge season ahead, dragons and all.

’s acclaimed books have become one TV’s best shows, but you never really know what lurks around the next corner.

After the bloodbath that was the “Red Wedding” episode at the end of season three, it seems wise as a fan, however, not to get too excited for any one character. Like few other shows on television, Game of Thrones makes you love and hate many of its characters, only to kill them off in the most interesting ways possible. If you haven’t read the books, it’s a constant question of who will die next.

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Official synopsis for season 4: “After the Stark and Tully families are besieged, the Lannisters hold on to the Iron Throne but can they survive with new and ongoing threats from the north, south, and east? While an unbowed Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) continues to rebuild his army in Dragonstone, a more immediate danger comes from the south, as Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal), the Lannister-loathing “Red Viper of Dorne,” arrives at King’s Landing to attend Joffrey’s (Jack Gleeson) wedding to Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer), and perhaps act on an ulterior agenda. In the north, a depleted Night’s Watch seems overmatched against the inexorable Wall advances of Mance Rayder’s (Ciaran Hinds) army of wildlings, which in turn is being trailed by an even more formidable foe: the undead White Walkers. As if that weren’t enough, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), accompanied by her menacing trio of dragons and army of Unsullied, is poised to liberate Meereen, the largest city in Slaver’s Bay, which could ultimately provide her with enough ships to sail to Westeros and reclaim the Iron Throne.”

For season 4, returning series regulars include: Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister); Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister); Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister); Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen); Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister); Aidan Gillen (Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish); Jack Gleeson (Joffrey Baratheon); Kit Harington (Jon Snow); Diana Rigg (Lady Olenna Tyrell); Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark); Maisie Williams (Arya Stark); Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark); Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy); Jerome Flynn (Bronn); Conleth Hill (Varys); John Bradley (Samwell Tarly); Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth); Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth); Stephen Dillane (Stannis Baratheon); Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell); Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont); Kristofer Hivju (Tormund Giantsbane); Sibel Kekilli (Shae); Rose Leslie (Ygritte); Rory McCann (Sandor “The Hound” Clegane); Michael McElhatton (Roose Bolton); Iwan Rheon (Ramsay Snow); Carice van Houten (Melisandre); Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm); Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Jojen Reed); Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei); Ciaran Hinds (Mance Rayder); Finn Jones (Loras Tyrell); Ellie Kendrick (Meera Reed); Kristian Nairn (Hodor); and Gemma Whelan (Yara Greyjoy).

In addition, new cast members for the latest season include: Pedro Pascal as Oberyn Martell; Indira Varma as Ellaria Sand Oberyn’s paramour; Roger Ashton-Griffiths as Lord Mace Tyrell; Michiel Huisman as Daario Naharis, a mercenary ally to Daenerys; Yuri Kolokolnikov as Styr, a wildlings chief; and Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson as Ser Gregor Clegane, a.k.a. “The Mountain”.

Watch Game of Thrones on HBO and HBO Canada on Sunday, April 6 at 9:00 PM (ET/MT).

  • W. Andrew Powell

    W. Andrew Powell lives, sleeps, eats, and breaths movies and entertainment. Since launching The GATE in 1999 Andrew has enjoyed being a pest to any publicist who would return his calls. In his "spare time," Andrew is also an avid photographer, and writes about leisure travel and hotels around the world.

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