Game of Thrones fans have learnt to beware the curse of episode nine. Game-changing shockers like the execution of Ned Stark, the Battle of Blackwater and the bloody Red Wedding – in which a host of major characters met their ends – have all taken place during the penultimate instalment of each ten-part series of the fantasy drama.
But this time it’s going to be different. This time it's going to be worse...
Season four will feature an event of catastrophic proportions, not once, but “every couple of episodes”, according to star John Bradley.
“The first three seasons, there was always a huge build-up for whatever’s going to happen in episode nine,” says Bradley, who plays Night’s Watch soldier Samwell Tarly. “You know when you get to episode eight, it’s all about to go off big time.
“But in terms of season four, at least every couple of episodes there is an occasion or a set piece that would rival the magnitude of anything you would get in episode nine. There are at least five or six ‘episode nines’ in season four!”
Bradley says the increased intensity is an indication of just how pivotal the upcoming series of Game of Thrones is going to be.
"A lot of things are resolved in this season... A lot of characters’ stories that have been planted as a seed in season one are really blossoming and coming to an end."
Characters's stories coming to an end? No change there then...
Game of Thrones returns to Sky Atlantic on Monday 7 April at 9pm