Imagine Game of Thrones without Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen, the Mother of Dragons. Surprising, right? Many are unaware that Clarke had a rough time filming the show. While it’s normal for actors to feel stressed on set, she faced some extra tough situations.

Emilia Clarke in Game Of Thrones
Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones (Credits: HBO)

The actress, who played the iconic Daenerys Targaryen, battled through not one but two life-threatening brain hemorrhages during her time on the hit HBO series. Emilia Clarke’s story is definitely one of resilience and hope.

Emilia Clarke’s Fear of Another Aneurysm on the Set of GOT

Emilia Clarke
Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones (Credits: HBO)

While playing the Mother of Dragons, Emilia Clarke was fighting a very real fight for her own life. In 2011, right after filming the first season of Game of Thrones, the actress experienced a subarachnoid hemorrhage — a dangerous bleeding between her brain and the thin tissues around it.

This was caused by a ruptured aneurysm, a weak spot in a blood vessel. After surgery, Clarke struggled with aphasia, a condition that makes it hard to speak and understand language.

Just weeks after her surgery, the star bravely went back to work despite living with the constant fear that another hemorrhage could happen anytime. The intense pressure made her think, “Well, if I’m going to die, I better die on live TV,” as she told Big Issue in an interview.

Emilia Clarke Supporting Brain Injury Survivors 

Emilia Clarke
Emilia Clarke as G’iah in Secret Invasion (Credits: Disney+)

Emilia Clarke’s story reveals the hidden battles that brain injury survivors face. These injuries can deeply affect a person’s thinking, emotions, and self-confidence. Clarke felt very isolated and doubted she could ever act again. However, this experience inspired her to start the charity, SameYou, with her mother in 2019. The 37-year-old said in the same interview: 

Having a chronic condition that diminishes your confidence in this one thing you feel is your reason to live is so debilitating and so lonely. One of the biggest things I felt with a brain injury was profoundly alone. That is what we’re trying to overcome.

SameYou works to help brain injury survivors with their mental health recovery and pushes for better support systems. The English actress is involved in a bunch of projects that are in different stages of production.

Clarke will be the voice of a character in the new animated movie The Twits, which is based on the Roald Dahl book of the same name. According to Variety, she is also attached to star in the film adaptation of An Ideal Wife, playing the role of Irish author Constance Lloyd. She is also set to play Jean Kerr, wife of Senator Joseph McCarthy, in a biographical film titled McCarthy.

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