“Game of Thrones” seems to have the biggest cast in television, so when it came to getting hints for Season 4, there were plenty to be found.
When things last left off, Daenerys Targaryen had freed slaves across the Narrow Sea with her dragons and her Unsullied army. Stannis Baratheon was attempting to regroup at Dragonstone. Starks and Greyjoys were scattered across Westeros. Sansa had tied the knot with Tyrion. Jaime made it home to King’s Landing (without his hand, but with Brienne), and a- full-of-arrows Jon Snow made it back to Castle Black, hoping to warn of the Wildling plans.
Here’s 24 hints from the actors who play the characters about what fans can expect this season on HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”
At Castle Black & Beyond
Jon Snow: “He’s speaking and fighting for himself,” Kit Harington told Access. “It’s a big season for him. He’s got a lot to do. … This season, he turns into a leader. He doesn’t have an older male figure speaking for him.”
Samwell Tarly: John Bradley predicted fear among the Night’s Watch at Castle Black, with the Wildlings ready to attack. “Before you get into their depleted armory and all their shortcomings, they’re so under qualified and unequipped to do the job that they have to do. So if they’re gonna win, they’re gonna have to win against all odds really.”
Ygritte: “At the start of Season 4, we find her a completely different animal. She is a wronged, scorned woman and she’s no more, I feel, the kind of playful, vivacious, character [she was]. She’s very much restrained now, she’s closed off,” Rose Leslie explained. “She shuts down. The dynamic between her and Tormund is very different. So, yeah, she’s a changed person.”
Across The Narrow Sea
Daenerys Targaryen/Khaleesi: “There’s one scene that I think everyone will appreciate. My dad is not one of them,” Emilia Clarke told Access, a possible hint that something romantic is on the cards for Dany. And as for her dragons, “They’re huge,” she said.
Missandei: “So for Missandei, I guess you see her kind of evolve and she’s growing into her role as Daenerys Targaryen’s first handmaiden and friend and translator,” Nathalie Emmanuel explained. “She’s very much growing into that role and we get to learn a little bit about her and see the kind of human side to Missandei as opposed to the servant and the dutiful Missandei.”
Daario Naharis: “Daario has obviously never met a woman that has touched his heart this way. … It’s like, this is a whole different thing and I think that he would go through great, great lengths to try and win her over, but she’s the Mother of Dragons, so that’s not easy,” actor Michiel Huisman, who steps into the role of Daario (it was played in Season 3 by Ed Skrein) told Access. “I guess we’ll have to wait and see if Daario will succeed or not.”
Sansa Stark: “Her mum and brother have died – like, there’s no getting over that,” Sophie Turner said. “But then, as the series progresses, she becomes a lot stronger and she becomes very kind of manipulative. Sneaky. Yeah, sneaky Sansa.”
Tyrion Lannister: “He’s trying to still juggle what he should be doing and what he wants to be doing, and if anybody out there has read the books… that sort of scenario doesn’t work out for anyone — whether it be Westeros or New York City or wherever,” Peter Dinklage told Access of Tyrion’s romantic troubles. “So that doesn’t look like that’s gonna have a happy ending, does it?”
Cersei Lannister: “Yeah, he has new hair and one hand,” Lena Headey said of what Cersei notices about her newly-returned twin brother Jaime Lannister. “She’s very mixed about it. He’s, of course, come back believing it’s all gonna be the same, and she’s still figuring out how to move forward.”
Tywin Lannister: “I still hold out some kind of hope for him,” Charles Dance said of how Tywin feels about his eldest son Jaime. “I mean, he is the best of a pretty rum bunch, actually. And at times, he seems to be trying to live up to my expectations, but he hasn’t managed it yet.”
Margaery Tyrell: “There might be a white dress involved,” Natalie Dormer, who plays Margaery Tyrell told Access. “There might be the small detail of a wedding, so the fans have that to look forward to.”
Ser Loras Tyrell: “I have like a slight flirtation with one of the new characters, but I can’t say anything else,” Finn Jones teased.
Brienne Of Tarth: “I think what we’re going to see is the continuation of a story of a woman that is placed in situations that she doesn’t know, naturally, how to navigate,” Gwendoline Christie said. “And there are occasions where we can truly enjoy watching how she’s tested. And she also undergoes the greatest hardship yet.”
The Red Viper/Prince Oberyn Martell: “If you get on his good side, he promises to be really good to you. He is invited to the royal wedding. He doesn’t waste any time in letting people know what he’s up to,” “GoT” newcomer Pedro Pascal, who plays Oberyn, told Access. “He has vengeance in his heart. He’s got a taste for blood.”
Elsewhere, Across Westeros
Arya Stark: “Arya is in a much darker place and I think we see a little glimpse of that in [Season 3,] Episode 10, but moving into the premiere of the new season, I feel like Arya… she doesn’t have a direction anymore. She’s given up on trying to look for family. She’s given up on trying to control her future. I feel like this year [she] feels nothing,” Maisie Williams told Access.
The Hound/Sandor Clegane: “There’s gonna be a lot of blood spilled this year, that’s for sure — and a lot of swearing. My mother’s not happy about it,” Rory McCann said. “Apparently I’ve got the record for swear words this year.”
Reek (Formerly Theon Greyjoy): “It could be easy, it could be hard, but probably, common sense tells you it ain’t gonna be easy. But, we’ll wait and see,” Alfie Allen said of Reek’s Season 4 journey.
Roose Bolton: “In Season 4, there is a major shift in power… and without giving too much away, I am not in it a huge amount, but when I’m in it, it’s fairly full on and it’s about gaining further power basically,” Michael McElhatton, who plays the man who turned on Robb Stark in Season 3, said.
Littlefinger/Petyr Baelish: “I would say the key thing for me this time out is probably taking my… surrogate parental responsibilities a bit more seriously and looking out for the younger ones,” Aidan Gillen said.
Beyond The Wall
Bran: “Bran is sort of exploring a mystical element to his storyline and trees are quite heavily involved in that,” Isaac Hempstead-Wright shared with Access as his Season 4 tease. “That’s all I’ll say.”
Jojen Reed: “The fact that we’re going north of the wall in itself means the stakes are a lot higher. There’s a lot of very nasty, unknown things out there and we’re heading up there with our little posse of very small young people,” Thomas Brodie-Sangster teased. “We’re getting closer to the goal of our mission that we’ve been on for a while now and Bran’s character is shown a bit more and explained in kind of the bigger term of the whole world of ‘Game of Thrones.’ You kind of get a sense of what the future for Bran might hold.
Hodor: “There’s not so much camping. For Seasons 2 and 3, we basically moved from campsite to campsite and killed a few rabbits,” Kristian Nairn said. “Season 4 is a lot more action packed. We’re on our own in the middle of the snow — a disabled boy, two children and sort of a backward giant. It’s not a good combination.”
Melisandre: “You’ll see a little bit more of a domestic kind of — you’ll see a little bit more behind the scenes. How they have dinner for example,” Carice van Houten hinted about what’s ahead for her character and King Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane).
Davos Seaworth: “He’s in a terrible position. He’s lost the navy, lost the army. Stannis ain’t happy. Stannis wanted to kill him — that’s how good of a job I’m doing,” Liam Cunningham of how Ser Davos is feeling.
“Game of Thrones” premieres April 6 at 9 PM ET/PT on HBO.
-- Jolie Lash