True Blood fans will be able to sink their teeth into season 5 Sunday, June 10 at 9pm. The new season features a number of new faces (including Law and Order: SVU‘s Christopher Meloni) and some new directions for many of the characters.

HBO sent out the first four episodes of season 5 for review, and I’m happy to report that the show doesn’t let up. There’s nonstop action, drama, humor, blood, sex, nudity and intensity. The season 5 premiere picks up exactly where season 4 left off, so don’t expect any time to pass. In fact, the first four episodes all take place within one week.

To get you even more excited, here are five bites of information about what you can expect from True Blood season 5.

Tween Tara

The big mystery of the season 5 premiere is the fate of Tara, who was last seen being cradled by Sookie after taking a shotgun blast to the head. I wouldn’t dream of revealing what happens to her, but I will say that there is a pretty awesome flashback where we see young Sookie and young Tara. And young Tara was every bit as bad-ass as present-day Tara.

No Meloni or O’Hare in the Premiere

If you’re eagerly awaiting the arrival of Christopher Meloni as the head of the Vampire Authority or the return of Denis O’Hare as Russell Edgington, you’ll have to wait an extra week. Neither of them appears in the season 5 premiere, but both are in the second episode.

A Raising Hope Guest Star

I’ve already written about Veronica Mars star Tina Majorino popping up as a guest star in the season’s third episode (and fan’s will certainly love her role), but there’s another somewhat notable guest star. Todd Giebenhain, who plays the slow-witted grocery store employee Frank on FOX’s Raising Hope, appears in the second episode as a clerk of a store that sells anti-vampire security devices.

The Great Vampire Steve Newlin

At the end of season 4 we saw Reverend Steve Newlin, now a vampire, show up on Jason’s doorstep. Thankfully Newlin will play a very major role in season 5 (and not just in connection to Jason), and he is easily my new favorite character. His entire scene with Jason in the premiere is quite possibly the funniest thing the show has ever done.

Flashbacks for Pam and Terry

The new season will reveal a lot about these two minor characters, particularly when it comes to what makes them tick. We will see Pam in her pre-vampire days (a storyline that spans several episodes and features more than one unexpected twist) and we’ll see Terry’s days fighting in Iraq.

True Blood season 5 begins Sunday, June 10 at 9pm on HBO.

(Image courtesy of HBO)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.