Emilia Clarke shares harrowing photos from her time in hospital

Hanna Flint
Contributor
Emilia Clarke talks further about health problems (Credit: ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)

Emilia Clarke has shared never-before-seen photos from her traumatic hospitalisation.

The Game of Thrones actor revealed in a personal essay published in The New Yorker that she had survived two brain aneurysms during the early years of making the fantasy show.

Over the weekend, Clarke made an appearance on CBS News and spoke of her experience with these brain bleeds, or as they’re formally known, as subarachnoid haemorrhages.

“With the second one, there was a bit of my brain that actually died,” Clarke 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. So, I had that. And they didn’t know what it was.

Emilia Clarke shares hospital photos (Credit: Emilia Clarke/CBS News)

“They literally were looking at the brain and being like, ‘Well, we think it could be her concentration, it could be her peripheral vision [affected].'”

For Clarke, though, she found the humour: “I always say it’s my taste in men that’s no longer there! That’s the part of my brain, yeah, my decent taste in men.”

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The actor said that her recovery was helped by being able to lose herself in such an empowering character like Daenerys.

Emilia Clarke shares hospital photos (Credit: Emilia Clarke/CBS News)

“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,” Clarke said.

“And that became the thing that just saved me from considering my own mortality.”

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Clarke detailed the symptoms she suffered that first suggested she was not well in her New Yorker essay:

“My trainer had me get into the plank position, and 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.”

Game of Thrones’ eighth and final season will begin its broadcast with episode one on April 15, on Sky Atlantic at 2am and 9pm.