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Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke Reveals She Suffered from Two Near-Fatal Brain Aneurysms

In an article for The New Yorker, Emilia Clarke has revealed that she suffered two brain aneurysms—the first in 2011 and the second two years later.


Updated:March 22, 2019, 10:42 AM IST
Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke Reveals She Suffered from Two Near-Fatal Brain Aneurysms
Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in a still from Game of Thrones. (Image: Instagram/Game of Thrones)

Ahead of the world premiere of Game of Thrones’ final season, Emilia Clarke, who plays Daenerys Targaryen in the blockbuster HBO series, has revealed that she suffered two brain aneurysms—first in 2011 while she was exercising, right after filming season 1, and the second two years later, after season 3, when she was in New York for a play.

In a long essay for The New Yorker, the 32-year-old actor talked about her condition in great detail, describing it as "violently, voluminously ill." "I’d never experienced fear like that — a sense of doom closing in. I could see my life ahead, and it wasn’t worth living. I am an actor; I need to remember my lines. Now I couldn’t recall my name," she wrote.

Clarke was diagnosed with a subarachnoid haemorrhage, a near-fatal stroke which is caused by internal bleeding in the region around brain. Though her first surgery was "minimally invasive"—it didn’t need operating through her skull—Clarke was hospitalised for over a month and had to deal with "unbearable" pain, eyesight trouble and memory loss.

The second episode, however, was way worse. Most patients with aneurysm don’t survive it. Notably, the growth in Clarke’s head had "doubled in size" and required an invasive surgery, which meant her brain had to be cut open this time.

Talking about it, Clarke wrote, “I emerged from the operation with a drain coming out of my head. Bits of my skull had been replaced by titanium."

“I looked as though I had been through a war more gruesome than any that Daenerys experienced,” she added.

Though she’d been discrediting the story—especially in front of the media—all this while, Clarke wrote it was now about time that she shared it.

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