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'Game of Thrones,' season four: Just the facts

A scene from HBO's

A scene from HBO's "Game of Thrones." Credit: HBO

"Game of Thrones" arrives April 6. That much we know. But what we do not know are details: key storylines, episode titles, throughlines. HBO has gone some of the way toward sating our thirst and offering some information, too, with the following. From the network, to you:

Encouraged by the Red Wedding slaughter in the Riverlands that wiped out many of their Stark nemeses, the Lannisters’ hold on the Iron Throne remains intact…but can they survive their own egos, as well as new and ongoing threats from the south, north and east? While an unbowed Stannis Baratheon continues to rebuild his army in Dragonstone, a more immediate danger comes from the south, as Oberyn Martell, the Lannister-loathing “Red Viper of Dorne,” arrives at King’s Landing to attend Joffrey’s wedding to Margaery Tyrell, and perhaps act on an ulterior agenda. In the north, a depleted Night’s Watch seems overmatched against the inexorable Wall advances of Mance Rayder’s army of wildlings, which in turn is being trailed by an even more formidable foe: the undead White Walkers. As if that weren’t enough, Daenerys Targaryen, accompanied by her menacing trio of dragons and army of Unsullied, is poised to liberate Meereen, the largest city in Slaver’s Bay, which could ultimately provide her with enough ships to sail to Westeros and reclaim the Iron Throne.

Episode #31: “Two Swords” Debut: SUNDAY, APRIL 6 (9-10 p.m. ET/PT) Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) welcomes a guest to King’s Landing. At Castle Black, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) finds himself unwelcome. Dany (Emilia Clarke) is pointed to Meereen, the mother of all slave cities. Arya (Maisie Williams) runs into an old friend. Written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss; directed by D. B. Weiss.

Episode #32: “The Lion and the Rose” Debut: SUNDAY, APRIL 13 (9-10 p.m.) Tyrion lends Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) a hand. Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and Margaery (Natalie Dormer) host a breakfast. At Dragonstone, Stannis (Stephen Dillane) loses patience with Davos (Liam Cunningham). Ramsay (Iwan Rheon) finds a purpose for his pet. North of the Wall, Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) sees where they must go. Written by George R.R. Martin; directed by Alex Graves.

Episode #33: “Breaker of Chains” Debut: SUNDAY, APRIL 20 (9-10 p.m.) Tyrion ponders his options. Tywin (Charles Dance) extends an olive branch. Sam (John Bradley) realizes Castle Black isn’t safe, and Jon proposes a bold plan. The Hound (Rory McCann) teaches Arya the way things are. Dany chooses her champion. Written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss; directed by Alex Graves.

Episode #34: “Oathkeeper” Debut: SUNDAY, APRIL 27 (9-10 p.m.) Dany balances justice and mercy. Jaime tasks Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) with his honor. Jon secures volunteers while Bran, Jojen (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), Meera (Ellie Kendrick) and Hodor (Kristian Nairn) stumble on shelter. Written by Bryan Cogman; directed by Michelle MacLaren.

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