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OTRC: 'True Blood' season 4 - what you need to know before the premiere

Anna Paquin and Joe Manganiello appear in the trailer for season four of 'True Blood' (HBO)

As "True Blood" fans gear up for the fourth season premiere of the show on HBO Sunday, those out of the loop might be wondering what's happened last season and what they'll need to know for the new season.

Well, when audiences last saw the normal and supernatural residents of Bon Temps, Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) was left heartbroken after vampire Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard) revealed that her vampire boyfriend Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) was sent to her town on a mission from the vampire Queen of Louisiana,Sophie-Anne (Evan Rachel Wood). His mission? To "procure" her for Sookie's telepathic gift.

Audience also learned her gifts are a result of her fairy heritage. Yes, she's a fairy -- or at least part fairy. Bill also manipulated Sookie into falling in love with him.

Bill was then banished from Sookie's home and, with nothing left to live for, starts an epic battle with Queen Sophie-Anne. Eric promised Sookie that he'd never sell her out for her fairy heritage, but at that point she was done with vampires altogether and banished him too.

A teary Sookie visited her grandmother's grave when suddenly her fairy guide appeared. Sookie gets sucked into the colorful fairy world. In fact, as we can see from the first six minutes of the premiere posted below, Sookie is still in fairy world when the season picks up.

Things aren't going well for either of the Stackhouse children as Sookie's brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten) lost his new werepanther girlfriend Crystal (Lindsay Pulsipher) to her crazy ex-boyfriend, who was basically taking her hostage. Jason was left in charge of the people of Crystal's town, a backwoods area known as Hot Shot. Oh, and he lost his job in the police department after tampering a DEA investigation.

Sookie's best friend Tara (Rutina Wesley) survived the attack of a psycho vampire known as Franklin Mott and after finding out her hook-up buddy, bar owner Sam Merlotte, was a shape shifter, she'd had enough of Bon Temp's supernatural beings and drove out of town.

Tara's cousin Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) found out that his boyfriend Jesus (Kevin Alejandro) is a witch. How often is that said in a sentence? Jesus wants to teach Lafayette how to use magic after Lafayette started having visions of Sam with blood on his hands. Speaking of Sam, he's on the outs with his little brother Tommy, who stole money from him, causing Sam to pull out a gun and fire at Tommy off-screen.

Lastly, "True Blood" lovebirds human Hoyt (Jim Parrack) and vampire Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) decided to take their relationship to the next level by moving in together. The two even began to talk about marriage.

As for what is in store for the fourth season, the stars of "True Blood" dished some minor spoilers to OnTheRedCarpet.com host Chris Balish at the show's big season 4 premiere event in Los Angeles on June 21.

"We've got a lot of elements, we've got a lot of things in the air this year," series star Stephen Moyer told reporters at the premiere. "I had very little to do with the witches, I do work with them a little bit and that been really fun. It's very new, something completely different. They have a power that we've never explored before. "

The fourth season of "True Blood" is said to loosely follow the event of the fourth novel in "The Southern Vampire Mysteries" series, which the show is based off of, called "Dead to the World." Creator Alan Ball told the audience at PaleyFest in March that it will be a while before Bill and Sookie reconnect.

What we do know about Sookie, from the first six minutes of the premiere HBO released earlier this month, is that she still in the mysterious fairy world. She runs into her grandfather Earl, played by "Office Space" star Gary Cole, who can't believe it has been there for 20 years. Sookie quickly discovers that just like Bon Temps, all is not well in the fairy world.

Joe Manganiello, who stars on the hit HBO series "True Blood" as werewolf Alcide Herveaux, " told reporters that "if you like the tension between Sookie and Alcide then you'll like this season."

Check out videos of the characters' cliffhangers from season 3 and the first six minutes of season 4 below!

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