Emilia Clarke opens up about brain surgery

Game of Thrones actress, Emilia Clarke, who plays fan favourite Daenerys Targaryen, has opened up about her experience with brain surgery in a piece for The New Yorker.

In between filming seasons one and two of the hit television show, Emilia Clarke experienced a subarachnoid haemorrhage, a life-threatening type of stroke.

Emilia had to have surgery to seal off the aneurysm, but during the surgery, doctors found another, smaller aneurysm on the other side of her brain.

This was operated on in 2013, after season three had finished.


In her essay, Emilia opens up about the challenges she faced during her operations, one of which was a complication called aphasia, a result of the trauma to the brain, where speech and language become impaired, and Emilia couldn’t remember her own name.

“Instead, nonsense words tumbled out of my mouth and I went into a blind panic,” Emilia says in the piece.

“I’d never experienced fear like that—a sense of doom closing in. I could see my life ahead, and it wasn’t worth living…

“I knew I was faltering. In my worst moments, I wanted to pull the plug. I asked the medical staff to let me die.

“My job—my entire dream of what my life would be—centered on language, on communication. Without that, I was lost.”

Following her experiences, Emilia has launched SameYou, a charity to help young people who have experienced stroke or a brain injury.

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