Emilia Clarke reveals never-before-seen photographs of her shortly after she suffered a life-threatening brain aneurysm in 2011.
The photos of the Game of Thrones actress looking weak in a hospital bed showing the impact the life-threatening incident had on the then 24-year-old.
During an interview on CBS Sunday Morning, Emilia, now 32, shared the photos and opened up about how she fell into a dark place following her recovery.
Looking back at how it affected her psychologically, the actress, who plays Daenerys I Targaryen in the hit HBO show, said: “The first time it was difficult, with the second one I found it much harder to stay optimistic.
“[I coped with it as a] a day to day thing. I definitely went through a period of being… down – putting it mildly.”
Two years later, in 2013, Emilia suffered a second aneurysm, which she said almost killed her.
“The second one, there was a bit of my brain that actually died,” she revealed. “If a part of your brain doesn’t get blood to it for a minute, it will just no longer work. It’s like you short circuit. So, I had that.
“So, they [the doctors] literally were looking at the brain and being like, ‘Well, we think it could be – could be her concentration, it could be her peripheral vision’.”
Emilia joked, “I always say it’s my taste in men. For a very long time, I thought it was my ability to act…that was a deep paranoia.”
Amazingly, she returned to the set and has been an ever-present of Game of Thrones, now in its eighth season. In fact, Emilia said it was the pressure of having to play such a ‘badass; character, that ultimately saved her life – she simply had ‘no time to question her mortality’.
“You go on the set,” she says, “and you play a badass character, and you walk through fire, and you speak to hundreds of people, and you’re being asked to be – to work as hard as you possibly can.
“And that became the thing that just saved me from considering my own mortality, yeah.”
Emilia will return to television screens later this month as the final season of GOT kicks off on April 15th.