Emilia Clarke Opened Up For The First Time On Surviving Two Life-Threatening Aneurysms

The Mother of Dragons shocked fans when she revealed she suffered from two life-threatening aneurysms.

Emilia Clarke, who plays Daenerys Targaryen in the hit show “Game of Thrones,” underwent two brain surgeries which lead her to have panic attacks and “terrible anxiety.”

The actress told The New Yorker in a candid interview that she had her first aneurysm in 2011, adding that she never told the story publicly before.

Just when all my childhood dreams seemed to have come true, I nearly lost my mind and then my life.

emilia clarke liefe-threatening aneurysms
Emilia Clarke attends the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 24, 2019, in Beverly Hills, California. Photo by Tony Barson/FilmMagic/Getty Images

The 32-year-old explained that she was working out with a trainer when she had her first aneurysm. At the time, Clarke had just finished filming the first season of series, and she had been exercising to relieve the stress of her newfound fame.

Shortly after, she started to feel a “bad headache and fatigue,” yet, she kept working out. However, things got worse when she got into the plank position felt like “an elastic band was squeezing her brain.”

She became “violently, voluminously ill” and kept telling herself “I will not be paralyzed,” adding she started reciting her lines from series to keep her memory alive.


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Clarke told The New Yorker that she was then wheeled to the hospital as unconsciousness settled over her. She was diagnosed with having a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).

The actress survived the surgery, however, after the surgery, a condition called aphasia set in, which is characterized by the loss of the ability to communicate. She admitted of thinking her career was over.

In my worst moments, I wanted to pull the plug. I asked the medical staff to let me die.

Fortunately, she recovered enough and begin filming for season two. However, in 2013, she had to undergo another surgery for her second aneurysm. This was an invasive surgery meaning the doctors had to open up her skull.

The actress wrote:

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

Clarke said she managed to make a full recovery, and her piece for The New Yorker is the first time she has spoken about her experience.


Read also: Emilia Clarke And Jason Momoa’s Reunion At The Oscars Is Everything We Needed From That Night