Emilia Clarke Survived Two Life-Threatening Aneurysms While Filming ‘Game of Thrones’

| Lifestyle
Emilia Clarke
Carlota Guerrero/The New Yorker

In an essay written in The New Yorker, Emilia Clarke, aka Khalisee on Game of Thrones, shared how she survived two dangerous strokes while filming. Here’s her incredible story.

The Shocking Essay

Emilia Clarke New Yorker Essay
The New Yorker

In a beautifully touching and revealing essay for The New Yorker, Emilia Clarke – aka Mother of Dragons – shared how she survived two dangerous life-threatening aneurysms on the set of Game of Thrones.

In the piece, titled “A Battle For My Life,” Clarke writes how she took up exercise to help her deal with the stress and anxiety after being picked for such a huge role on Games of Thrones. It did help relieve tension, but in February of 2011, something went awfully wrong.

The First Rush To The ER

Emilia Clarke Game of Thrones

Clarke was getting ready for a normal session with her trainer when she felt weak, disoriented, and fatigued. She tried to push through – until she tried planking. 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.” She then went back to the locker room and became extremely ill, and did not stop vomiting.

Paramedics rushed Clarke to the nearest emergency room. An MRI scan showed a quick, worrying diagnosis – she’d suffered a type of a stroke caused by bleeding into the space around the brain. In her essay, she describes how shocked she felt and how much the experience upended her life. After all, it occurred in the middle of her busy life! It seemed like a cruel joke: how could this happen to a 24-year-old achieving her wildest dreams? She went into surgery, already knowing this wouldn’t be her last time.

“I Thought I Was Going To Die”

Emilia Clarke Lena Headey
Peggy Sirota/The Rolling Stone

Clarke stayed in the hospital for an entire month. Right after her release, she headed back to the set of Game of Thrones, season two. Clarke said this was her worst season; she struggled every day on the set. “If I am truly being honest, every minute of every day I thought I was going to die.”

In the next few years of filming, Clarke suffered another brain aneurysms – the same stroke she’d had before, but pushed through, somehow. While no one ever revealed the information to the public, the cast knew. Over the years, they’ve become close friends, basically family. They were Clarke’s support system through thick and thin.

Following the essay’s publication, Lena Headey, aka Cersei, posted a picture of Clarke on Instagram and wrote, “It took me a while to know this woman… Not until she spoke to me about her experience did I fully realize the warrior she truly is… she does really great things for causes that deserve it. She’s kind and determined and funny and aware. #Thursdays MVP […] Here’s to Emilia Clarke.”

Praise And Support For Emilia Clarke, Mother Of Dragons

Emilia Clarke Aneurysms

Meanwhile, following the essay’s publication, fans took to social media to praise her: “Thank you for sharing all of this. You are truly remarkable. Truly.” Another wrote, “You are adorable. Only wishing you strength and happiness, my queen.”

Following the massive amount of tweets and posts praising Clarke, she decided to put up a thank you video. In the video, she says, “The response from my story has been overwhelming and deeply and profoundly moving, so thank you so much.” Clarke continues to support people for sharing their brain or heart issues online and to stay strong every day.