Emilia Clarke may be 100% now, but in 2013, a brain aneurysm could have killed her. It was her second such incident. On April 7, 2019, Clarke went into more detail about the experience that she says left permanent brain damage. “With the second one, there was a bit of my brain that actually died,” she said. “If a part of your brain doesn’t get blood to it for a minute, it will just no longer work. It’s like you short-circuit. I had that.”
That’s never good to hear from anyone, especially one of the biggest stars on TV right now. To get more technical, Clarke had a subarachnoid hemorrhage, which is a stroke from an artery bursting and bleeding into the space around the brain. The doctors weren’t sure which brain functions would become affected. The Game of Thrones star likes to joke and say it’s her taste in men that’s no longer there. For a while, Clarke feared that the stroke had stripped her of her acting skills.
“It was a deep paranoia – with the first one as well,” she said. “What if something has short-circuited my brain and I can’t act anymore? I mean – literally – it’s been my reason for living for a very long time.”
The first time the actress had to deal with this and go through surgery, she explained that it was “difficult,” and when the second time happened, it was “much harder to stay optimistic.” Thankfully, playing the Mother of Dragons helped her draw strength and saved Clarke from “considering her mortality.”