Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO

You meet somebody special. He’s hot; he’s nice; he’s got some noble blood and big, bushy hair. You introduce him to your friends and even take him to your special jacuzzi love cave. The only thing that annoys you is he acts all self righteous and ethical, which makes what happens next all the more infuriating: He betrays your friends, then runs away, ditching you to go hang out with his frat buddies at Castle Black. So it’s perhaps no surprise that Ygritte is really irked at Jon Snow in Game of Thrones season 4.

“She’s a very different animal,” says Rose Leslie, who plays Wildling warrior Ygritte on the show. “She’s not so playful. She shuts up more and is monosyllabic. She’s been hurt. We see a very different side of her. It harkens back to wronged woman are dangerous, and she’s incredibly dangerous this season. She’s on a mission.” And that mission is basically to wound Jon Snow (Kit Harington) as much as possible.

“She wants vengeance,” Leslie says. “She wants to make sure Jon Snow feels as much pain as she feels.”

In the fourth season of Thrones, which starts April 6, we find Ygritte showing a side that’s much colder and more murderous than we’ve seen previously as her advance band of Wildlings make their way toward Castle Black — where Jon has largely recuperated and is warning his fellow Nights Watch brothers of the impending attack. “She’s still completely in love with him,” Leslie adds. “She feels like a fool and wants to make him pay.”

Yet even with all her anger at Jon, here’s a question: Was Ygritte really trying to kill him when she was filling him with arrows in the season 3 finale? Or did she simply miss hitting anything vital?

“It was neither,” Leslie says. “In my mind, she wasn’t shooting to kill him. She wasn’t shooting to stop him. I think she was shooting to hurt him. That he wasn’t going to get away with leaving without any consequences. She’s in love with him and can’t bring herself to kill him. She could have killed him in one fell swoop with an arrow through the heart if she wanted to.”

EW’s Game of Thrones Pre-Season 4 Coverage. Catch up on what you’ve missed:

Still to come: Once the season starts we’ll have our popular recaps (find them here) and post-episode interviews with cast or producers each week.

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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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