And hey, guess what looks fucking awesome?

After the events that took place in A Storm of Swords/at the end of the last season of Game of Thrones, it's tempting to think that George R.R. Martin's narrative has... well, "peaked" isn't the right word, but at least as far as the books go, book four is where things really slow down, with some of the series' least popular characters coming to the fore and the plot stretchinnnng oouuuut. That said—for better and worse—two problems that the TV show has never had are too-slow pacing and spending too much time with less-than-awesome characters. The show just burns through stuff, fast, and I'm guessing that will only help the show in its fourth season.

And besides, even though I've spent an embarrassing number of hours whining about book four, I can still think of two or three big things that happen in it I can't wait to see onscreen. In some ways, season four will be when we see what the show can really do; going forward, it's going to be harder and harder for them to stay true to the books. That'll be a challenge—but if they pull it off, I can't imagine the end result not being pretty great.