- Note: all information on this page are not official and are just speculation and theories, based on some verifiable sources, but not to 100%. Also, be warned, as plot and other types of spoilers can appear.
Air date of Season 4
Although originally expected to be released on March 11, 2016, Netflix announced that the Season 4 air date would be March 4, 2016. That's because, Season 1 premiered on February 1, 2013; Season 2 on February 14, 2014; Season 3 on February 27, 2015. Between all existing seasons, there is the same one-year-and-13-days shift. A year of space is completely rational and logically explainable, but why the +13 days? Some believe this is perpetuated by Netflix in order to give viewers time to re-watch the previous seasons starting on February 1:
- Season 1 began on February 1, 2013
- Season 2 began on February 14, 2014 (Re-watch Season 1 from Feb. 1-13)
- Season 3 began on February 27, 2015 (Re-watch Seasons 1 & 2 from Feb. 1-26)
- Season 4 could begin on March 11, 2016 (Re-watch Seasons 1-3 from Feb. 1 - Mar. 10 [with leap year Feb. 29])
Perhaps, all three current season have 13 episodes each and the number 13 also represents the Thirteen Colonies, one of the most recognizable symbols in American history:
"The first flag of the United States bore thirteen stripes, alternating red and white, and thirteen white stars in the blue union. The thirteen stripes represented the Thirteen Colonies from which the United States was created, and the thirteen stars represented the number of states in the new nation."
Also, March 11, 1861, is an important date in American history - the adoption of Confederate States Constitution - a major step in the evolution of American Civil War events. Not at least, Frank Underwood's great-great-great grandfather was a Confederate soldier and the Constitution represents 'the next move' in the timeline. In particular, 'the next move' could be interpreted as a symbol representing the start of the last epoch, the last act - the beginning of the end - in the timeline of events in House of Cards, as the Constitution did so.
Number of seasons
Card deck theory
One possibility is the view of a normal card deck, containing 52 cards, as we speak of House of Cards. By 13 episodes in each season, there can be exactly 4 seasons (4×13=52). Also, a logical dramatic sequence appears:
However, this possibility is no longer the case. On January 28, 2016, it was confirmed that there will be a fifth season in 2017.
Another theory states that there is a serious connection between House of Cards and Shakespeare. Shakespeare (Richards III) has a significant weight in the series, maybe not so visible, but probably more in the philosophy behind HoC. From this connection, the following could be true: "Richard III has five acts. All of Shakespeare's tragedies do, even Titus Andronicus which iirc is his shortest play." So, there are 5 seasons possible if this connection is true.
Perhaps, the more interesting is, that the meaning of Sonnet 13 (one of 154 Shakespeare's sonnets - and also the number 13) is in an interpretable way (very) similar to the position of Frank and the whole standing of House of Cards, which could be another indicator of Shakespeare's "involvement".
Vague speculation #1
Based on how Season 3 occurred, this is what could happen in Season 4. After recovering, Doug rejoins Team Underwood to take out Heather Dunbar in the Democratic Nomination. Frank may win the nomination to go against the potential Republican candidate. Meanwhile, Claire has left Frank. So Frank must find a way to rekindle his marriage or will her leaving be his downfall? Also near the end of Season 3, Doug had attacked the only loose end to Frank, Gavin Orsay. Will Gavin want revenge on Doug and take actions against Doug and Frank? How will Frank handle Claire's movement? And at last, who will be the new president?
Vague speculation #2
Hypothetically, Season 4 may run the entire course of his 2016 re-election bid up until his own inauguration in January 2017. There is no word that season 4 would be the final season. For the sake of argument, if one accepts that season 4 will not be the final season. It is possible to assume that the main theme this season is solidifying the rift between Claire and Frank, to the point that Frank is being played at his own game and because he genuinely loves Claire he would fall for it and this will become his undoing. We have seen echoes of this in previous seasons. There may be some possibility of a warming up between Frank and Jackie at the urging of Claire, in order to solidify his re-election bid among the Democrats, Jackie Sharp would be his VP. The only unknown element is the ferocity of the Republican nominee for president. It would be fascinating to have a worthy opponent put against Frank with this presidential election at stake. There is so much more to lose.