There will be blood. And nudity. And dragons.
Millions worldwide will tune in for the fourth season of medieval fantasy drama Game of Thrones
from Aptil 6 as the hit show returns to television screens, promising to deliver its usual jaw-dropping mix of sex, violence and vengeance.
Since its debut in 2011, the HBO drama based on George R.R. Martin's best-selling novels about a struggle for power between feuding clans in seven mythical kingdoms has won a devoted global fan base -- President Barack Obama among them, reportedly -- to establish itself as the star of the US cable channel's stable.
The series has wowed critics with its densely-layered plot, lavish production values and a readiness to kill off, invariably in gruesome fashion, protagonists who had hitherto seemed integral to the show.Read: Game of Thrones to end after seven seasons
Four words -- No one is safe -- have become the unofficial catchphrase for devotees of the series. Guessing which character may soon meet his or her maker is all part of the fun.
An infamously bloody episode in Season 3, involving a massacre at a wedding party, was one of the most talked about and tweeted television events of 2013.
YouTube videos capturing the shock of unsuspecting viewers watching as the on-screen slaughter unfolded rapidly went viral.