June 15, 2013 at 9:38 AM ET
It's taken six seasons, but "True Blood" is finally going to kill off one of its principal characters this year. New showrunner Brian Buckner made the reveal to Rolling Stone this past week ahead of Sunday's big season premiere.
And according to stars Carrie Preston and Todd Lowe, who play husband and wife Terry and Arlene, it's going to be a huge downer of a death.
"There is a major death. It kind of shocked us at the table read, and is a very emotional moment," Lowe told TODAY.com. "It was just a big surprise. I had gotten the script late and hadn't looked into it. So I was kind of like, 'Oh! Wow! That's different.' It saddened a lot of people."
"We were all very moved by it, and saddened by it," Preston told us. "It kind of brought us together as a cast, in a way that we haven't felt in a while, just as a whole. There were tears. There were lots of tears."
Forget about spoilers regarding which central character will be meeting his or her true death -- lips are tightly zipped on that topic. But Lowe said that the passing "kind of pulls (Bon Temps) together."
Regardless of how this potential game-changer of a death impacts Terry and Arlene, the murder of Terry's commander, Patrick (Scott Foley), in season five will continue to play a role in the couple's life this year.
"It's a vampire show, so the stakes are always high!" Preston joked. "(Terry and Arlene) did something very drastic last season, which is they had to kill somebody -- Patrick. They will be dealing with the ramifications of that. ... What they did last season continues to weigh heavily on them."
"That's drama that's only going to add to his PTSD," Lowe said of his character. "It wouldn't be 'True Blood' without more problems for everybody, specifically Terry. I can say it's another emotional season for me."
Yes, the couple rid their family of the curse and the Ifrit that was after them at the end of last year by offing Patrick, but as Lowe pointed out, just because the curse is over doesn't mean it's truly gone.
"The curse itself is done, but a curse can linger ... in the mind even though the physical manifestation of it is done, but there's other effects of the curse," Lowe said. "So we're going to see some of that."
And despite all the supernatural drama of Bon Temps, Preston said that Terry and Arlene characterize one of the greatest things about "True Blood."
"('True Blood') has gone into the world of the supernatural of course, but it doesn't forget its original origin, which is about relationships that are very human, even if it's the supernatural characters," Preston said. "The show this season definitely rests ultimately in that -- in the emotional relationships between characters -- and even in the premiere episode, you'll see that the show is trying to go back to those origins. ... I think that's the contribution of Arlene and Terry this season, to remind the audience the show is about relationships."
"True Blood" premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO.