Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke is candid about the impact on her brain, life and acting career of undergoing two life-threatening aneurysms.
“It’s remarkable that I can speak, sometimes eloquently, and live my life completely normally with absolutely no consequences,” Clarke said during an appearance on BBC’s Sunday morning program. “I belong to the very, very, very small minority of people who can survive that,” added Clarke of her resilience.
In 2019, Clarke first revealed she survived two aneurysms in an essay for: The New Yorkeras she pointed out, the health problems started just after the success of the first season of Game of Thrones. On Sunday, the star of the HBO series added that the aneurysms, essentially strokes, have eliminated parts of her brain, as shown by a scan.
“There’s quite a bit missing that I always have to laugh about. Because strokes basically, once a part of your brain doesn’t get blood for a second, it’s gone. And so the blood finds another route to move, but the missing piece is therefore gone. It shows how little of our brains we need,” explains Clarke.
About a third of people die immediately after an aneurysm, the actress learned. Clarke immediately underwent brain surgery to close off the aneurysm, an operation that put her health at risk. She told the BBC program that her starring role in Game of Thrones was instrumental in giving her purpose as she recovered from the aneurysms.
And Clarke – currently starring in a stage production of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull in London’s West End – added that she continues to do theater as her memory has always been essential to her acting profession.
In addition, she no longer thinks about her dramatic brain mass loss. “It’s the brain you have, so there’s no point in puzzling over what might not be there, because what you have is great and let’s work with that,” Clarke said.
Watch the full interview below.