Will Claire die? Netflix

As reported earlier this year by the Hollywood Reporter, Netflix will be releasing a third season of the acclaimed original series "House of Cards." That said, Netflix has yet to reveal when it will be releasing the next installment of the series. While no set release date has been announced, it is safe to expect the series to be released on the online streaming platform in February 2015, similar to the season 1 and season 2 release dates.

With the new season less than six months away -- hopefully -- fans can begin wondering about the fate of their favorite characters. The unpredictable show has seen many loved and main characters be killed off. One running speculation is that Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) will be killed off. In the original British series, the lead male character is killed by his wife after she hires an assassin. Francis Urquhart (Ian Richardson) was killed by his wife, Elizabeth (Diane Fletcher), in her attempt to protect his legacy -- and that is something we can see Claire doing.

In the original series, a character by the name of Commander Corder (Nick Brimble) assassinates Urquhart. Thus far, if the show has already introduced their equivalent to Corder, then Meechum (Nathan Darrow) is the closest character resembling Corder, who is the emotionless bodyguard of Urquhart. Could Meechum go so far as killing the president? Considering his intimate relationship with the POTUS and his wife (as seen in season 2) and the mysteriousness behind his character, all could be possible.

But one has to wonder if the Netflix series will follow the original series. In many cases, shows take their own path after setting the premise of a series and we can see the creative team opting to keep Frank alive. And if a major character has to be killed off for the element of surprise and grief, who better than Claire? Don't get us wrong -- we love the character and don't want to see her going anywhere, but if Frank doesn't die in the end, then have a hunch Claire will be the one to go.

Here are 17 spoilers for the new season:

1. Filming has begun. The third season has begun filming, according to a tweet by writer-producer Beau Willimon, who revealed that he has begun "binge-writing." While production saw a few hiccups with some legal tax matters, the cast and crew have reportedly started filming the next season.

2. "House of Cards" season 3 will test limits. In an interview with E! News, Spacey revealed Willimon and producer David Fincher have a "desire to see just how dark that well is and how deep does it go. We have miles to go before we sleep."

3. The season will most likely involve a lot of Russia. Remember how season 2 had a lot of back-and-forth with China? Season 3 will most likely be focused on Russia. First, there will be a 'formidable' new Russian character -- see spoiler 4 -- and secondly, the show tried to film in Russia. Specifically, "House of Cards" producers wanted to film important scenes on location in the U.N. Security Council's chambers. But according to Foreign Policy, Russia nixed the idea on the grounds that the chamber must be available at all times in case of an emergency meeting.

4. Patent reform will be a story arch? According to The Hill, showrunner Beau Willimon stated: "[I] was like we're going to do a story on patent reform because I think patent reform is fascinating. I truly do," he said. "And I want the rest of America to think patent reform is fascinating."

5. There will be new characters. E Online reveals that new characters will grace the screen in season 3 of "House of Cards." Without revealing whether the new characters will be good or bad, the network reveals that one character will be "Dr. Buzdar, a doctor in her 40s who is described as "very smart.""

6. There will also be a mysterious Russian character! E Online also revealed that there will be another character in a recurring role: "Anto Ivonovich, a Russian man described as "formidable" and "refined" will recur." The word "formidable" alone is worthy of wondering if this character will bring Underwood down.

7. Is the POTUS a possible guest star? If Wright has her way, then she would ask President Obama to guest star, according to what she told Politico. “Maybe Obama. I’m going to ask Obama tomorrow night if he’ll come and do a guest spot," said the actress. Think it's absurd? Think again! After all, Michelle Obama is rumored to be appearing on "Parks and Recreation" and Senator John McCain appeared on the NBC show once before.

8. Will ISIS make an appearance? Will America's current politics will be appearing in the story arch. Specifically, will Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) appear in the fictional story lines? It would seem fitting -- if not mandatory -- that characters watch Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) deal with the radical organization, and not to mention it would make a dynamic story line. Spacey even recently appeared in character as a guest on "The Colbert Report" and was asked by Stephen Colbert about the current international situation. ""A dog doesn't need to show his teeth as long as his growl's deep enough, his food bowl is full and he knows where all the bones are buried," said Spacey, in jest. But was this a subtle hint about the season to come? Only time will tell.

9. Who is Meechum? The bodyguard of the Underwoods shocked viewers in season 2 with this threesome with Frank and Claire. But the character is entirely mysterious and fans are curious to see how will Meechum's character evolve in the season to come? “I don’t think it would be helpful to me nor to the consumers of the story [to reveal it]," said actor Nathan Darrow to Entertainment Weekly. "One can always remember that there’s plenty of people walking on this earth that don’t know why they’re doing what they’re doing.”

10. Frank loves Claire. The elusiveness of Frank and Claire's love story is one that captivates viewers. Do they truly love each other? How does this open relationship work? The questions are endless. But in the end, it's been confirmed: Frank loves Claire. In a recent Twitter Q&A, Willimon responded to a tweet asking if Frank can love anything other than power with, "I think he's very much in love with Claire."

11. Frank Underwood's character was meant to be a role model for politicians. Done laughing? It's true! According to Willimon's interview with The Independent, Underwood is misunderstood. “The series asks ‘do the ends justify the means when government isn’t working?’”, said Willimon. “I don’t advocate elected officials offing people. But we are watching someone not tied down by gridlock. When Frank gets boxed in he finds a way to unlock the situation. There’s a certain wish fulfillment for viewers because we’d like to see this more in real life.”

12. Rachel is not gone for good. “I have no clue what is happening with the third season," said actress Rachel Brosnahan in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "I think Rachel should come back. I think there’s a lot of loose ends. I also think it’s interesting if Rachel came back because she’s one of the bigger threats to Frank now. She’s still the missing link, and people are discovering that she exists.”

13. Zoe Barnes wants to come back! Actress Kate Mara cannot reprise her role as Zoe after Frank Underwood killed the aspiring journalist in a shocking "accident" in the first episode of season 2. But Mara shared in an interview some of her thoughts on how her character could possibly return -- but will the creative team take her pitches? Probably not. "I've been sort of lobbying to bring me back as a different character, just give me some prosthetics. I would do that," Mara told E! News at the premiere of 'Transcendence.'" I would come back as a ghost too, but I don't think that's going to happen."

14. Is Doug really dead? If one were to take the last episode for face value, then Doug (Michael Kelly) is, in fact, dead. The show panned in on the character's face in daylight, showing him motionless with eyes wide open. The show has never been one to mislead viewers with fake deaths and dream sequences, which would support the fact that Doug is dead. But in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Brosnahan gives some insight about the character's future.

“I don’t think we know that he’s dead yet,” revealed Brosnahan. “It cuts so quickly. I don’t think we can say for sure that Stamper is dead.” The actress adds: “Michael [Kelly] and I had some conversations [about the ending moments]. He’s very upset with me! [Laughs] It was some tough, crazy scenes in the woods, but I don’t think I’ve ever worked with an actor that is so kind and positive all the time. Michael’s amazing. He can’t be dead!”

15. Michael Kelly hopes Doug is still alive. In an interview with the Huffington Post, Kelly revealed that he doesn't know the fate of his character and whether or not Doug makes it. "I don't know -- they haven't officially said," said the actor. "And with television contracts, as an actor, when you sign those contracts you sign for a long time. So technically they still own me, but I don't know yet."

16. Doug is dead? This is the last Doug spoiler -- we promise! While Brosnahan said Doug could be alive, the actress later took to Twitter to reveal a major spoiler, allegedly. After Twitter user @mister_moss asked Brosnahan what her initial thoughts were about the script and her character killing Doug, the actress replied, "Devastated! But she had to do something. But... poor Stampy." Her tweet blatantly contradicts her former interview, but we have to point out the the show is known for a little misleading -- consider how Mara made her rounds in the media with the lead cast and then proceeds to be killed half hour into the first episode.

17. The show may not end after season 3. Good news for hardcore fans: Unlike the original British series, the American adaptation may not end after the third season. In an interview, co-executive producer Rick Cleveland divulged that as long as lead actors Spacey and Wright -- who play Frank and Claire Underwood, respectively -- agree to continue reprising their roles, then Netflix will continue the series.

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