For eight seasons, Emilia Clarke has projected confidence and power as Daenerys Targaryen, mother of dragons and conquering queen on HBO's superhit series Game of Thrones.
However, in an intimate essay for The New Yorker in March, Clarke revealed that she had actually suffered two brain aneurysms during the show's history: one in 2011, just after filming the first season, and another in 2013 after finishing season three.
In a new interview with CBS this morning, Clarke opened up about the aneurysms and revealed part of her brain actually died during the second health scare.
Emilia Clarke on health scare: "There was a bit of my brain that actually died" youtu.be
In the interview, Clarke explained how the lack of blood flow during her second aneurysm caused permanent brain damage:
"So, with the second one, there was a bit of my brain that actually died. 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."
Joking around, the actress said she believed she'd lost her taste in good men:
"I always say it's my taste in men … That's the part of my brain [I lost], my decent taste in men."
On a more serious note, however, Clarke said that for many years she harbored fears that she had lost her ability to act:
"For a very long time, I thought it was my ability to act … That was a deep paranoia. I was like, 'What if something has short-circuited in my brain and I can't act anymore?' I mean, literally it's been my reason for living for a very long time."
2 brain aneurysms, subarachnoid hemorrhage (rare, represents 5% of strokes, chances of survival are low and the com… https://t.co/47BwxPgTjM— chi (@chi)1554651366.0
Fans on Twitter were inspired by Clarke's strength and resilience:
Emilia Clarke really battled two brain aneurysms whilst learning a new language and playing a role as hard as Daene… https://t.co/XAtGX50zKV— ser bronn of the fookin blackwater (@ser bronn of the fookin blackwater)1554750102.0
@Complex Bless her— Monica (@Monica)1554825785.0
@Complex That’s gotta be so scary— Jake (@Jake)1554826066.0
One can only imagine what experiencing multiple brain aneurysms in your early 20's must be like, especially knowing your first major TV show is about to premiere.
@BuzzFeed God bless you My Girl for being so strong and brave— Jane Danvers will see A4 3X (@Jane Danvers will see A4 3X)1554804857.0
One of my favourites! I had no idea, but it's nice to see her completely recovered 😍https://t.co/PSZax2wxEp— Queen Guinevere 👸 (@Queen Guinevere 👸)1554804681.0
Fortunately, Clarke has managed to make a full recovery and her acting is better than ever!
@CapitalOfficial She's so strong! We didn't even know that she suffered from all this :') love you @emiliaclarke https://t.co/sfsMYvmXJu— 𝐕𝐚𝐢𝐬𝐡𝐧𝐚𝐯𝐢 𝐀𝐦𝐢𝐧 ◟̽◞̽ (@𝐕𝐚𝐢𝐬𝐡𝐧𝐚𝐯𝐢 𝐀𝐦𝐢𝐧 ◟̽◞̽)1554823960.0
Emilia Clarke has inspired me in so many ways. she was going through the toughest time in her life when acting on G… https://t.co/smFaeDL8ms— sharona 🌻 (@sharona 🌻)1554802644.0
Though Game of Thrones's final season begins this Sunday, April 14, Clarke is ready for whatever life throws at her!
"I can't wait for the next thing, the next decade. Literally can't wait for it."