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'True Blood': EP Reveals How Witches Conjure Up Chaos in Season 4

Executive producer Alexander Woo and cast members reveal the power of witches.

Fiona Shaw, Kevin Alejandro
John P. Johnson/HBO
"True Blood"

Warning: Mild spoilers.

In case you haven’t heard, Season 4 of True Blood (which premieres Sunday at 9 p.m on HBO) is going to be overrun by witches. They’re the newest big bad in Bon Temps and the vampires aren’t exactly rolling out the welcome wagon to greet them.

“I’d say the witches certainly pose the greatest threat to the vampires that we’ve seen yet,” executive producer Alexander Woo tells The Hollywood Reporter.

“[The witches and vampires] go head-to-head,” says Harry Potter’s Fiona Shaw, who plays the leader of Bon Temps’ new witch coven, Marnie.

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The witches will enter the HBO show’s world when Jesus (Kevin Alejandro) tries to encourage Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) to get more in touch with his magical side by introducing him to a small coven of witches led by Marnie. At first, Shaw’s stumbling and awkward portrayal of the character can be very deceptive.

“She’s pretty bad, but she’s also pretty good,” Shaw says of her character. “She’s a pathetic person who becomes very powerful and maybe starts to abuse her power.”

So, on first take one would wonder what trouble this coven (which comes off in the beginning like a suburban housewife’s book club) could rain upon the vampires. But it doesn’t take long before we’ll see that there’s definitely an agenda and it’s something the vampires will want to shut down quickly.

“I think what [the witches] represent is the power of the human spirit and sort of the power of life,” Woo explains. “And they use that to perform their magic. Whereas, vampires are the dead. They represent death and it’s the contrast of life versus death, with human versus vampire that I think is the crux of this season. And the very thing that allows the vampires to be animated is the thing that the witches can control.”

PHOTOS: 'True Blood' Season 4

That control of death is referred to as necromancy in the series and it’s that power that the vampires need to shut down. Yet, the witches have other tricks up their sleeve, which makes the job of getting rid of them especially tough for the vampires.

“Most enemies sort of have boundaries,” Kristin Bauer, who plays vampire Pam, tells us. “Witches don’t really, so they fight in an unseen world. You know they’re not going to throw something at you or throw a punch at you. They are going to do spells and things that you can’t predict, you can't know, and you can’t react to necessarily in a physical way. So that creates chaos.”

And that chaos extends beyond the vampires this season. “[Marnie] goes after pretty well anyone who crosses her path,” Shaw reveals.

Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro

Additional reporting by Lesley Goldberg.

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