Janina Gavankar and Sam Trammel
[Warning: This story contains major spoilers from the sixth season premiere of True Blood. Read at your own risk.]
It should come as no surprise that the True Blood premiere featured a lot of death — including one that was first suspected at the end of last season.
During Sunday's premiere, the HBO series officially said goodbye to Luna Garza (Janina Gavankar), the love interest of Sam (Sam Trammell) and mother to Emma (Chloe Noelle) who died after skinwalking as vampire Steve Newlin (Michael McMillian). Ouch. It wasn't too much of a surprise considering Luna looked near death in the finale and Gavankar had moved on to other projects, including the CW's Arrow. But still, the uncertainty of her fate at the close of the finale gave hope to some fans that Luna may get a second wind in Season 6.
Read our recap of the True Blood premiere
For Gavankar, however, Luna lasted much longer than she initially suspected. "I really thought I was going to die in the beginning," she tells TVGuide.com. "I was like, 'I'm going to die in Episode 12 of Season 4 and I'm going to go out with a bang and I'll have been so happy to have been there.'" But shortly into her time on the show, new showrunner Brian Buckner let her know that she'd be sticking around. "I was so thankful that they would even want me around for two years. It's been an awesome experience."
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Gavankar, who found out roughly halfway through Season 5 that Luna would bite the dust, actually had to return in Season 6 to shoot her death a second time. "We shot one at the end of Season 5 where I died, but it didn't work or something [and] they cut it out," she says. "So, I had to come back and re-die this season."
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But have we really seen the last of Gavankar? "No one really dies in True Blood land," she says, recalling a conversation with True Blood director Scott Winant, who noted that he had killed off Godric (Allan Hyde) twice on the series. "There's always a chance, but even if it doesn't happen, it's been a dream. I took risks with this show that I've never taken on any other one. When you're a woman in this business, you're asked to do a lot of things. You have to decide if and when you're ever going to do it, and I'm so proud to have been able to take the risks I have with this group of people around me. It's been a blessing."
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As for what's next, Gavankar's Arrow character didn't die — even though McKenna Hall was supposed to — leaving the door open for her return. She also has a role on The League and she just signed on to lend her voice to a video game, but wouldn't reveal which one. "I'm a huge gamer, so this is the most exciting thing that's happened," she says. "I'll tell you this, I played No. 3 in the series recently." Any guesses? Hit the comments!
Will you miss Luna on True Blood?
True Blood airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.