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Emilia Clarke on Surviving Two Brain Aneurysms

"Game of Thrones" Star Emilia Clarke Says Her Brain Has "Quite a Bit Missing" After Aneurysms

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02: Emilia Clarke attends the EE British Academy Film Awards 2020 at Royal Albert Hall on February 02, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)

Emilia Clarke, best known for playing Daenerys Targaryen in "Game of Thrones", has opened up about two terrifying brain aneurysms she suffered while filming the show.

The 35-year-old told listeners of BBC One's "Sunday Morning" on 17 July: "The amount of my brain that is no longer usable — it's remarkable that I am able to speak, sometimes articulately, and live my life completely normally with absolutely no repercussions. I am in the really, really, really small minority of people that can survive that."

The actor has previously spoken about her health concerns and launched her own charity to support those with brain injuries and their loved ones through recovery in 2019. The actor raised over £200,000 for the charity — which is called SameYou — in a live stream with Irish YouTuber Jacksepticeye in 2019, and raised hundreds of thousands more at other fundraisers.

In her recent interview, she said: "There's quite a bit [of brain] missing! Which always makes me laugh. Because strokes, basically, as soon as any part of your brain doesn't get blood for a second, it's gone. And so the blood finds a different route to get around but then whatever bit is missing is therefore gone."

"[I]t's remarkable that I am able to speak, sometimes articulately, and live my life completely normally with absolutely no repercussions."

Clarke's battle with brain injury started in 2011. After the filming of "Game of Thrones" season one, the British star suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage, a life-threatening type of stroke brought on by bleeding around the brain. The then 24-year-old was given brain surgery and suffered from a frightening bout of aphasia (difficulty with language or speech) and couldn't even recall her own name for about a week. Fortunately, she recovered and was able to return to work as normal.

However, her health concerns returned. After two more seasons of filming for the hit HBO show, Clarke was brought back into hospital again, this time for surgery on a growing lump on her brain. It was a paralysing headache during a workout that signalled a problem.

Traumatising injuries aside, Clarke has gone on to receive a number of impressive accolades. The Londoner has been awarded an Empire Award, a Saturn Award, four Primetime Emmy Awards, seven Screen Actors Guild Awards, and she was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2019.

Despite the scary incidents, Clarke's acting career has continued to flourish over the past decade. She might not be appearing in the HBO's new "House of the Dragon" series, but she has upped her acting credits in a number of successful films, such as "Me Before You", "Solo: A Star Wars Story", and "Last Christmas". Her career has gone from strength to strength, and we hope her health continues to follow this trajectory.

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