Should all its “beginning of the end” pronouncements and the constant revelations that everyone’s is everyone’s grandfather or whatever have led you to believe this is the final season of True Blood, rest assured that ratings, not story, still determines that. HBO has confirmed today that its most popular drama will return for a seventh season, in which perhaps we will finally learn who made the vampire god who in turn made a fairy-vampire, all so that in a few millennia it could have sex with Anna Paquin, and make more double-stuffed fairy-vampires to have sex with each other.

All of this is, of course, building to the really big payoff in season eight or perhaps even nine, when we finally learn whether Alcide will forgive his werewolf dad. “It took several years of paying attention to my storyline for no discernible reason beyond the intermittent shirtlessness, but at last we’ve settled our differences,” Alcide will growl, then somberly remove his shirt as “THE END” flashes across his pectorals. “Also, I’m Bill’s brother and we're both wizards,” he’ll say, just before the ultimate fade to black.