Daenerys Targaryen may look tough, but Emilia Clarke is even tougher than the matriarch of House Targaryen. Ahead of the final episodes of the series, the actress described her near-death experiences in a first-person essay published on The New Yorker. Clarke revealed her first aneurysm took place after the end of filming for Game of Thrones‘s first season. Clarke was taken to the hospital after she felt a “shooting, stabbing, constricting pain” in her skull during a workout with her personal trainer.
“Somehow, almost crawling, I made it to the locker room,” Clarke wrote. “I reached the toilet, sank to my knees, and proceeded to be violently, voluminously ill. Meanwhile, the pain — shooting, stabbing, constricting pain — was getting worse. At some level, I knew what was happening: my brain was damaged. For a few moments, I tried to will away the pain and the nausea. I said to myself, “I will not be paralyzed.” I moved my fingers and toes to make sure that was true. To keep my memory alive, I tried to recall, among other things, some lines from Game of Thrones.”
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Clarke underwent a successful surgery which saved her life, but the doctors detected a second, smaller aneurysm. A couple of years later, the future Sarah Connor in Terminator: Genisys had to endure another medical procedure.
“There is something gratifying, and beyond lucky, about coming to the end of ‘Thrones,'” she wrote. “I’m so happy to be here to see the end of this story and the beginning of whatever comes next.”
So are we Emilia.
Game of Thrones returns on April 14.