Emilia Clarke Reveals She Battled Two Aneurysms In Between Filming Game of Thrones

She suffered from a life-threatening hemorrhage after filming the first season.

A few weeks ahead of the release of the hit television series Game of Thrones, Hollywood actress Emilia Clarke penned a poignant essay for The New Yorker, detailing how she suffered two aneurysms while filming the HBO show. The article entitled “A Battle for My Life” was released on March 21. 

Emilia Clarke

The first aneurysm happened after filming the first season, in February 2011. While she was enduring a workout session with her trainer, Clarke recalls, “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.” As the pain worsened, she realized at one point that she suffered from brain damage. After an initial hospital visit and an MRI scan showed that she suffered from a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), she was swiftly transferred to the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London for treatment. 


It took a month at the hospital for her to recover but she was finally discharged and given the go signal to work on season two of GOT. Her doctors, however, had already detected a minor aneurysm in another part of her brain.

Clarke with her co-star Kit Harington on the set of Game of Thrones

After filming season three, she was told she needed another operation to take the second aneurysm out, but the operation failed and she had “massive bleed.” The solution was to perform another procedure, but this time “they needed to access my brain in the old-fashioned way—through my skull,” she writes. She spent one more month recovering at the hospital after the procedure before suffering from panic attacks and anxiety. “I felt like a shell of myself. So much so that I now have a hard time remembering those dark days in much detail.”

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Presently, she’s fully recovered and working on a charity called SameYou, which offers treatment for those recovering from strokes and brain injuries. 

h/t: The New Yorker

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