'Game of Thrones' star Emilia Clarke shares never-before-seen photos of herself after brain surgery
The now 32-year-old Clarke said that the impact of the aneurysms was not just physical but affected her mental wellbeing as well
'Game of Thrones' actress Emilia Clarke has now released unseen photos that were taken during her recovery from a near-fatal brain aneurysm in 2011 when she was only 24 years old. The star spoke recently about how she suffered and also survived two brain aneurysms while she was filming the fantasy drama. The second time she had one almost killed the 'Mother of Dragons'. The now 32-year-old Clarke recalled the dark part of her mind that she went to after her surgery and even shared images from her hospital stay.
She told CBS Sunday Morning in an interview that the impact of the aneurysms was not just physical but affected her mental wellbeing as well. She revealed: "The first time it was difficult, with the second one I found it much harder to stay optimistic. [I coped with it as a] a day to day thing. I definitely went through a period of being... down — putting it mildly."
Clarke then explained that when a part of a human brain is denied blood for more than a minute, it dies and that is exactly what happened to her after her second near-fatal aneurysm. She said: "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. I always say it's my taste in men. For a very long time, I thought it was my ability to act…that was a deep paranoia."
During the revealing interview, she also admitted what it felt like to return to the GoT set after her aneurysm which happened right after filming the first season of the show. She said that after she went back to shoot the second season, she did not have time to "question her own mortality" because she was too busy playing a "badass character who walked through fire".
Clarke said: "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."
In her open letter in The New Yorker, Clarke explained that she has only just finished filming the first season of GoT and was working out with a personal trainer when she was struck with the first of two brain aneurysms. She was immediately sent to get an MRI after which she was diagnosed with a subarachnoid hemorrhage. It's a type of life-threatening form of stroke which is caused by bleeding around the brain. A third of patients reportedly die immediately or right after they suffer one.
Clarke said on the show: "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." While she was recovering from the first one, she was told that she had one more on the other side of her brain which could burst at any time, however it may just end up remaining dormant.
When she was in New York after season three was done filming she went for one of her regular scans and doctors found that the aneurysm had doubled in size and wanted to operate to avoid any complications. In spite of her being promised that she would have a simple operation, Clarke said that she woke up screaming in agony after the failed operation and doctors had to operate on her again in order to improve her chances of survival.
A reporter had asked her about her operation about six weeks after she completed her surgery but the star denied the allegation swiftly. She now says that she feels like the time is right to speak out and acknowledge that she is one of the fortunate few with an excellent level of care.