For "Game of Thrones" fans, April 6 — the date the swords-and-dragons series returns to HBO for its fourth season — can't come soon enough. Fortunately, there's a new, nearly 15-minute behind-the-scenes short that features new footage, outtakes and interviews with key cast members and show creators that may take the edge off — at least for now. Hodor!
"Some of the most shocking and mind-blowing scenes of the entire series come at the end of this coming season," show creator/director David Benioff vows in the video, which is saying something.
Here's what we learned from the video:
The Red Wedding is not over
"There is a tremendous clamor for revenge, especially in the wake of the Red Wedding," Benioff says, alluding to the bloody third season nuptials that left several main characters dead or seriously wounded, and left fans shocked (at least, fans who hadn't already read the books).
Turns out it was shocking even for some of the actors; Rory McCann (Sandor "The Hound" Clegane) admits, "I shed a tear" while shooting of those scenes.
Oh, and the show's not done with weddings. Stay tuned for the upcoming Purple Wedding, which will be incredibly grand and also surprising.
"I'm shocked by the sheer scale" of the production, notes Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth).
Tyrion is going to have a series of very bad days
The smartest, wiliest member of the Lannisters is still the least-favored brother, and Benioff calls season 4 the "most dangerous season" for Tyrion (Peter Dinklage). Fortunately, Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is back, and he's a rare ally for his brother.
"I'm the last friend you've got," a clip shows Jamie telling Tyrion.
Dragons and draconian rule are problematic
Daenerys' baby dragons are bigger and harder to handle. "They are outgrowing the restrictions she's placing on them," says Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen). Also, the cities she freed in season 3? Not doing so hot, without proper leadership. With dragons and her freed subjects revolting, the ascendant ruler is going to have to cope with a lot of strife.
The actors still find time to have fun on and off set
Sure, it's lots of fun hearing the actors in their real-life accents (Joffrey is Irish!) but the best bits in the video come from the quick outtakes. For instance, watching Jamie and Tyrion do a little dance as they walk down the steps of the court is hilariou (though it turns out it wasn't very funny to a tired crew). And Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) admits they keep things light by doing "knock-and-runs" on each others' hotel room doors.
In the end, though, this is "Game of Thrones." Things are not funny in Westeros, or beyond. And creators Benioff and D.B. Weiss promise a season of thrills and emotional roller coasters — again.
But it's Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) who gets the last, hopeful word.
"The good guys are coming back this year," she promises. "And that's nice to see."
"Game of Thrones" returns to HBO on April 6.