Emilia Clarke shares never-seen-before images from her hospitalisation for brain aneurysm

Emilia Clarke shares never-seen-before images from her hospitalisation for brain aneurysm

Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke has shared never-before-seen photos of herself from a hospital stay following a brain aneurysm she had eight years ago.

Clarke, 32, had two brain aneurysms while filming the first season of Game of Thrones as a 24-year-old, the second of which had the actress fearing for her life. Appearing on the CBS Sunday Morning show, Clarke shared photos of her time in a hospital bed, admitting she was in a dark place at the time.

Even beyond the physical aspect of it, Clarke said the illness took a mental toll on her as well, and said there was a long time where she wondered if her acting ability would be affected by the aneurysm.

Luckily, Emilia Clarke pulled through, and her character is set to be one of the main players in the final season of Game of Thrones.

You can watch the epic trailer for season eight here:

As she explained on the show, once a part of the brain has been deprived of blood for a minute, it dies, and that is what happened during her second aneurysm.

"So, they [the doctors] literally were looking at the brain and being like, 'Well, we think it could be – could be her concentration, it could be her peripheral vision,'" Clarke explained, before joking: "I always say it's my taste in men."

Emilia Clarke in hospital Credit: CBS Sunday Morning

Jokes from Emilia Clarke aside, there was a long time where she wondered if she was going to give up acting forever. "For a very long time, I thought it was my ability to act…that was a deep paranoia."

"In my worst moments, I wanted to pull the plug. I asked the medical staff to let me die. My job—my entire dream of what my life would be—centred on language, on communication. Without that, I was lost."

Emilia Clarke hospitalised Credit: CBS Sunday Morning

Luckily for Emilia, the actress explained that her mentality changed once she returned for the second season of Game of Thrones. Immersing herself in the exploits of her character Daenarys Targaryen, she soon had to focus on a lot more than just her own mortality.

"You go on the set, and you play a badass character, and you walk through fire, and you speak to hundreds of people, and you're being asked to be – to work as hard as you possibly can. And that became the thing that just saved me from considering my own mortality, yeah."

Emilia Clarke in hospital Credit: CBS Sunday Morning

Ahead of Game of Thrones' eighth season, Emilia Clarke went on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, where she spoke in even more detail about what went on through her head after the aneurysms.

"Oh, you know. You absolutely know," Clarke said, answering Colbert's question about whether or not she could tell what was going on with her brain.

"The easy way of describing it is that it is the worst headache that a human could possibly experience. It’s pretty intense. I genuinely knew I was being brain damaged. I don’t know how — you’ve got this incredibly horrific headache and being violently ill, and somewhere I knew that meant brain damage."

Here's Emilia Clarke's full conversation with Stephen Colbert, where she also discusses spoilers ahead of the new season: 

Clarke's resilience in the face of the life-threatening aneurysm paid off, and you can see the actress in the final season of Game of Thrones, which starts next week on April 14.