1304 EW Cover
Credit: RANKIN for EW

All hail the king!

Power-crazed Game of Thrones despot Joffrey Baratheon sneeringly rules the cover of this week’s Entertainment Weekly as we go behind the scenes of the biggest, bloodiest season of the HBO fantasy hit yet.

Across 10 pages, we crash the filming of Joffrey’s long-awaited wedding in Croatia for a full week on the set. It’s the first time since the Thrones pilot that so many major characters have been together in one place and quite likely the last — season 4 has an unprecedented number of character deaths. “It’s just more intense than it ever has been,” says showrunner David Benioff. “We always before had breathing room episodes before. There’s just no relaxing this season. If we can pull this off, it will top season 3.”

What makes season 4 so intense? Bigger dragons (who are no longer listening to Daenerys “mom” Targaryen), more action (including the most epic sword-clanging battle sequence in the show’s history), bigger sets (such as a massive throne room atop an 800-foot pyramid) and darker turns (this time, it’s the “nice” characters you have to worry about). “Particularly this season, and absolutely with Ygritte, there are so many characters out for blood,” says co-star Rose Leslie.

Get the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly where we give you a handy season 4 catch-up primer, fill you in on where all your favorite characters are headed in the season premiere (which airs April 6), do a Q&A with co-star Peter Dinklage, get a first look at some cool new props (Jaime’s golden hand!) and fashion from the season, and more.

Episode Recaps

Game of Thrones

HBO's epic fantasy drama based on George R.R. Martin's novel series A Song of Ice and Fire.

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