Lynette Rice
June 07, 2013 AT 04:00 AM EDT

JUNE 16, 9 P.M. / HBO

Bloody hell, something’s gotten into Bill. And as you might remember from season 5’s finale, that would be the blood of Lilith — god of the vamps — which transformed Bill (Stephen Moyer) into the leader of all bloodsuckers. The season opens with Bill terrifying Eric (Alexander Skarsgård), Sookie (Anna Paquin) & Co. by literally moving heaven and earth. ”He doesn’t know what he’s capable of,” explains exec producer Brian Buckner, who took over from EP Mark Hudis three episodes into production on season 6. ”That’s the question of the season. There won’t be an Authority or a decentralized vampire power at all.” But there will be vampire enemies: Arliss Howard joins the cast as Gov. Truman Burrell, a tough-talking politician who wants to take advantage of the destruction of the Tru Blood factories. ”His motives are pure,” says Buckner. ”He’s a true hater of vampires.” Jason (Ryan Kwanten) and Sookie meet their ”faerie grandfather” (Rutger Hauer), who arrives to protect the bloodline. Though even his ancient powers can’t keep the love alive between Bill, Sookie, and Eric. ”Bill and Sookie always hold the center of the show,” says Buckner. ”But they can’t always be together.” For those fans who were disappointed with season 5, here’s one compelling reason to tune back in: Alcide (Joe Manganiello) is nude in the premiere.

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