Emilia Clarke has opened up about the lasting effects two aneurysms have had on her brain.
The 35-year-old actor has previously spoken about the two aneurysms, which occurred back in 2011 and 2013 respectively, while she was filming the hit HBO show Game of Thrones.
Per the NHS website, a brain aneurysm occurs when there is a bulge in a blood vessel in your brain. Most people won't know they've got a brain aneurysm unless it bursts, which leads to internal bleeding that can cause intense pain, brain damage, and even death.
Over the weekend, Clarke spoke to BBC’s Sunday Morning about how the two aneurysms have impacted her life.[[imagecaption|| Credit: Sydney Alford / Alamy]]
"The amount of my brain that is no longer usable - it’s remarkable that I am able to speak, sometimes articulately, and live my life completely normally with absolutely no repercussions," she said. "I am in the really, really, really small minority of people that can survive that."
Clarke then opened up about the moment she saw a scan of her brain, saying: "There’s quite a bit missing, which always makes me laugh.
"Because strokes, basically, as soon as any part of your brain doesn’t get blood for a second, it’s gone. And so the blood finds a different route to get around but then whatever bit it’s missing is therefore gone."[[imagecaption|| Credit: CBS Sunday Morning]]
In 2019, Clarke appeared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, where she spoke in even more detail about the moment she realized she was having an aneurysm.
"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."
Clarke also appeared on CBS Sunday Morning to discuss how she struggled to stay optimistic after the second aneurysm, believing it would impact her acting career.
"In my worst moments, I wanted to pull the plug," she said. "I asked the medical staff to let me die. My job - my entire dream of what my life would be - centered on language, on communication. Without that, I was lost."
Fortunately, she explained how playing Daenerys Targaryen helped her fight back against her demons, saying: "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."
Clarke's former co-star and on-screen husband Jason Momoa spoke to Entertainment Tonight back in 2019 about how "brave" she had been in the aftermath of her first aneurysm.[[imagecaption|| Credit: Moviestore Collection Ltd / Alamy]]
"I've kind of been a part of that whole situation for a very long time, so we've had so many scares and trying to find the right way to come out and help," Momoa said. "I'm very sad, because we almost lost her the first time. So, I love her to bits and she's here and she's going to do great things with it and teach the world.
"I just think it's beautiful that... She's so brave in helping the world and trying to raise awareness."
Clarke has since launched SameYou, a charity dedicated to providing services to those recovering from brain damage.