Game Of Thrones Returns On April 6

And Boardwalk Empire's fifth season will be its last

Though it wasn’t tough to guess roughly when Game Of Thrones would be back on our screens, once more pitting the various forces of Westeros against each other for the Iron Throne, US cable network HBO has officially announced that the airdate for the show’s fourth season will be April 6. British fans will get their turn on Sky Atlantic a day later, on April 7.

Season Four, once more adapted from George R.R. Martin’s sprawling tome A Storm Of Swords (the third of his Song Of Ice And Fire series) will find several new characters coming into play, including Mace Tyrell (Roger Ashton-Griffiths), Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma), Daario Naharis (Michiel Huisman), Styr, Magnar of Thenn (Joseph Gatt) and Prince Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal). And let’s not forget Sherlock’s Mark Gatiss, who is apparently cropping up as Tycho Nestorios, a representative of the Iron Bank.

Another reason to anticipate the show’s return (beyond the usual level of quality and the promise of even more dragon madness) is the return of Neil Marshall, who brought such flare and power to the Blackwater episode back in Season Two.

In related HBO news, the channel has also used the occasion of its panel at the Television Critics Association winter press tour to confirm that another of its shows, crime drama Boardwalk Empire, will return for a fifth and final season in the autumn. "We’re thrilled to get the go-ahead for a fifth season of Boardwalk Empire,” says Terrence Winter, the show's creator in a statement picked up by Hitfix. "After much discussion with my creative team and HBO, we’ve decided to wrap up the series after such a great run and look forward to bringing it to a powerful and exciting conclusion.”