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Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke reveals she survived two brain aneurysms since show started

Email Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke reveals she survived two life-threatening aneurysms

Updated March 22, 2019 13:49:23

Daenerys Targaryen in a still from season seven of HBO's Game of Thrones Photo: Emilia Clarke, as Daenerys, had her first aneurysm after finishing filming the first season. (Supplied: HBO) Related Story: Here are some of the details you might have missed in the new Game of Thrones trailer Related Story: Game of Thrones 'changes' approach to sexual violence after backlash Related Story: HBO confirms Game of Thrones won't be back until 2019 Map: United Kingdom

Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke has revealed she suffered two life-threatening aneurysms and has undergone two brain surgeries since the show started filming.

Key points:

  • One of the aneurysms Emilia Clarke suffered was a subarachnoid haemorrhage, which can be fatal
  • The actress said she was unable to speak her full name even weeks later
  • Clarke has made a full recovery

An unknown actress before landing the role, Clarke had just finished filming her first season as Daenerys Targaryen, the "Mother of Dragons", on the HBO fantasy series when she had the first aneurysm in 2011 at age 24 while working out at a London gym.

"Just when all my childhood dreams seemed to have come true, I nearly lost my mind and then my life," Clarke wrote in a first-person story in The New Yorker.

"I've never told this story publicly, but now it's time."

External Link: Game of Thrones Season 8 official trailer

Clarke said she had been healthy all her life, but was suffering from serious stress when the artery burst in her brain.

Much of it came from constant press questions about the nudity of her character, a conquering queen, in the show's first episode.

"I always got the same question [that was] some variation of: 'You play such a strong woman, and yet you take off your clothes. Why?'," Clarke wrote.

"In my head, I'd respond: 'How many men do I need to kill to prove myself?'."

She said she suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage the first time around, which is often fatal.

She was unable to speak her full name even weeks later.

The second aneurysm, which prompted an invasive surgery that involved opening her skull, came after Clarke finished shooting the third season of the show, which has since been green-lit for a prequel by HBO.

"I looked as though I had been through a war more gruesome than any that Daenerys experienced," Clarke wrote.

"I emerged from the operation with a drain coming out of my head. Bits of my skull had been replaced by titanium.

Dany and Jon in Game of Thrones Season 7 Photo: Daenerys Targaryen met Jon Snow for the first time in season seven. (Supplied: HBO)

"These days, you can't see the scar that curves from my scalp to my ear, but I didn't know at first that it wouldn't be visible."

She added there was "the constant worry about cognitive or sensory losses", but she recovered fully and was able to keep the problems from the media — with one exception.

"Six weeks after the surgery, the National Enquirer ran a short story," Ms Clarke wrote.

"A reporter asked me about it and I denied it."


Topics: television, arts-and-entertainment, health, united-kingdom

First posted March 22, 2019 11:35:59

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