'Game of Thrones' Season 4 Return Date Announced

First official trailer coming this weekend

Peter Dinklage Game of Thrones
Helen Sloan
Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister on 'Game of Thrones'
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A new beginning is finally in sight for Game of Thrones. HBO announced on Thursday that the fourth season of the fantasy series will kick off on Sunday, April 6th at 9 p.m. EST.

See Where the Red Wedding Ranked on Our Best TV Moments of 2013 List

The new season is expected to tackle the second half of A Storm of Swords, the third book in George R.R. Martin's ongoing A Song of Fire and Ice series. The first half of the book formed the show's third season, which came to a head with the murder of three main characters in the brutal and shocking "Red Wedding" episode. According to the Los Angeles Times, Martin himself wrote the new season's second installment.

In an interview with Conan O'Brien this past summer, Martin discussed his willingness to kill off beloved characters. "I like unexpected things, and I always like the suspense to be real," he said. "I want my readers and I want my viewers to be afraid when my characters are in danger. I want them to be afraid to turn the next page because the character may not survive it."

For those eager for a taste of the upcoming season, HBO will air the first official trailer for Season Four this Sunday, January 12th, just before the debut of its new series True Detective.

Game of Thrones recently took the honor of being the most illegally downloaded TV program of 2013, beating out Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead.

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