True Blood‘s final season begins this Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO, and a warning to viewers: Prepare for major Blood-shed. “It’s the final season of True Blood, so gone are the days where we pull our punches,” teases showrunner Brian Buckner. “Heads are gonna roll.”

The premiere picks up immediately after the events of the season 6 finale, which found Bellefleur’s Bar and Grill under siege by a group of Hep-V-infected vamps. “Mayor Merlotte, Sheriff Bellefleur, and Jason Stackhouse are going to have their hands full, because not only do they have to fend off these H-vamps, but also they have to fend off this [Bon Temps] vigilante group,” he explains. In a deliberate nod to Hurricane Katrina, adds Buckner, Blood‘s tiny Louisiana town will be left on its own in the wake of the Hep-V outbreak, getting no support or protection from the government.

While most seasons of Blood have featured a scene-stealing villain, in season 7 the virus itself is the Big Bad. Says Buckner, “There are certain things I don’t believe we can top. So the writers and I decided from the get-go that we’re not going to take screen time away from our series regulars to build a new character who becomes the focus of the season.”

Still, we might see the return of a few familiar faces, like Anna Camp’s Sarah Newlin. “We know who the fan favorites are and we’re going to do our very best to weave everything in,” says Buckner. “As we say in the writers’ room, ‘Try to use the whole buffalo.'”

Prove that you’re #TrueToTheEnd in our Twitter Q&A with Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer this Sunday, June 22, from 8-9 p.m. ET. Submit your questions now with #AskAnnaAndStephen and follow along Sunday as you quench your thirst for more True Blood knowledge.

For more on True Blood‘s last drops, including our cover Q&A with Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer plus a look back with creator Alan Ball’s, pick up the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands now.

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