LOYAL Game of Thrones fans will know by now to expect the unexpected - and it would appear that the trend is not set to abate anytime soon.
John Bradley, who plays Samwell Tarly in the hit HBO fantasy series, has said viewers should be prepared to be "surprised" and "double-crossed" in season five, which airs in April.
Speaking at the launch of a Game of Thrones exhibition at London's O2 arena, the 26-year-old British actor said the team had worked hard to keep fans captivated.
"The quandary going into season five, if anything, is that we know what people like, we know what people expect, so we know that we are going to have to keep them interested in what they like but find ways of surprising them still," he said.
"I think people, after watching 40 hours of something, they start to know the formula a bit - or they start to think they know the formula a bit - so we have got to find new and exciting ways of both keeping it familiar and double-crossing them. And I think we've managed to do that."
Based on George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, Game of Thrones is notorious for its violence, with not even the most integral characters immune to a gory death. But things weren't looking too bad for Samwell at the end of series four.
"As far as Sam is concerned, Sam finished season four on a relative high," Bradley said.
"He achieved so much in season four, not only coming to the forefront and gaining all this responsibility during the battle for Castle Black but also forming the more intimate relationship with Gilly.
"You will see how that goes into season five and you will also see how that is affected by the arrival of Stannis and everybody else."
With more than 70 props and costumes from the fourth and fifth seasons and interactive elements at the exhibition, Game of Thrones fans can fully immerse themselves in the fantastical world of Westeros.
It is open to Sky TV customers in the Sky Backstage rooms at The O2 arena in Greenwich from today until Thursday and again from 15 to 17 February, before going on an international tour.
The fifth series starts on 13 April on Sky Atlantic.
Additional reporting by Press Association
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