Picture: HBO
Ayesha Abrahams is a former high school English teacher and editor, who's currently completing a MA in Creative Writing. 

Now in its eighth and final season, Ayesha has joined IOL Entertainment's elite "GoT" review panel, and here's what she thought of the first episode of the final season...

Few things can make me set my alarm for 3am on a Monday but  "Game of Thrones" makes the cut. My expectations were high for season 8's premiere and as usual, they delivered. 

I felt episode's title should’ve been "The Reunion" instead of "Winterfell" because several characters meet up after years of separation and things get emotional, fast.
 
Daenarys arrives in Westeros and receives a welcome as cold as winter itself – people in the North aren’t happy with their new queen considering that they had already pledged allegiance to Jon as King of the North.

Then there’s a romantic dragon ride, an awkward open-eyed kiss between Dany and Jon. Seriously, what was up with that?

Jon also finally finds out who he really is - not a bastard but the true heir to the Iron Throne.

There's also no sign of the Night King yet, but he leaves us a nightmare-inducing message through poor little Lord Umber.  However, as far as violence goes, this was a tame episode with a death toll of under 10 (I assume, based on the number of limbs pinned to the wall).

Despite this, I still shed a tear upon hearing the theme song. Only those who’ve stuck with GoT since the beginning will understand what a privilege it is to be a part of a generation who knows that Jon Snow knows nothing.

Where to watch "Game of Thrones" 

Watch it on Mondays at 3am on  (repeat at 10pm) on M-Net, or straight after with the   DStv Now app  . 

You can also binge-watch all previous seasons of "Game of Thrones" on Showmax. Sign up for a 14-day free trial at Showmax.com