When actors talk about nearly dying while filming a TV show or movie, it’s usually because of a stunt gone wrong or they were “full-on” choking while eating spaghetti. But not Emilia Clarke. Her life almost came to a tragically short end twice while filming Game of Thrones, once right after season one wrapped and again after completing season three, both times due to an aneurysm.
Clarke opened up about the “battle for my life” for the first time in the New Yorker. “On the morning of February 11, 2011, I was getting dressed in the locker room of a gym in Crouch End, North London, when I started to feel a bad headache coming on,” the Emmy winner wrote. Before long, she was “violently, voluminously ill” and trying to keep her memory “alive” by recalling lines from Game of Thrones. Clarke was taken to the hospital, where she got an MRI:
“The diagnosis was quick and ominous: a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), a life-threatening type of stroke, caused by bleeding into the space surrounding the brain. I’d had an aneurysm, an arterial rupture. As I later learned, about a third of SAH patients die immediately or soon thereafter. For the patients who do survive, urgent treatment is required to seal off the aneurysm, as there is a very high risk of a second, often fatal bleed. If I was to live and avoid terrible deficits, I would have to have urgent surgery.”