As the countdown to the final season of Game of Thrones continues (Season 8 kicks off April 14th, people!), Emilia Clarke has dropped a bombshell.
Writing an essay in the New Yorker, she detailed her first aneurysm at 24 years old. She was working out with her trainer after GOT’s first season wrapped, she explained.
Clarke wrote:"I immediately felt as though an elastic band were squeezing my brain. I tried to ignore the pain and push through it, but I just couldn't. I told my trainer I had to take a break. Somehow, almost crawling, I made it to the locker room. I reached the toilet, sank to my knees, and proceeded to be violently, voluminously ill. Meanwhile, the pain—shooting, stabbing, constricting pain—was getting worse. At some level, I knew what was happening: my brain was damaged."
A woman came into her bathroom stall to help her, and she was sent to the hospital, where she was told she suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), which means there was bleeding in her brain, which can cause permanent brain damage. To heal her brain and save her life, she underwen three-hour surgery.
Clarke admitted the prospect of brain surgery at age 24 was daunting: "I was in the middle of my very busy life—I had no time for brain surgery."
Two weeks later, she said she couldn’t even remember her own name: "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...In my worst moments, I wanted to pull the plug. I asked the medical staff to let me die."
A week later, she said she could speak and recall basic facts, but was told she had another aneurysm waiting to "pop." After the third season of GOT wrapped, she went through another surgery, which didn’t work. A third surgery was required, and Clarke said that the recovery was even more brutal. But … she has recovered 100%, with the only permanent damage being her "taste in men."