Emilia Clarke Says Two Aneurysms Left Part of Her Brain “Missing”

Emilia Clarke Says Two Aneurysms Left Part of Her Brain “Missing”

Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke has opened up about the impact on her brain, life and acting career from enduring two life-threatening aneurysms.

“It’s remarkable that I’m able to speak, sometimes articulately, and live my life completely normally without absolutely no repercussions,” Clarke said during an appearance on BBC’s Sunday Morning program. “I am in the really, really, really small minority of people that can survive that,” Clarke added about her resiliency.

In 2019, Clarke first revealed that she has survived two aneurysms in an essay for The New Yorker, as she indicated the health scares began just after the success of the first season of Game of Thrones. On Sunday, the HBO series star added that the aneurysms, essentially strokes, eliminated portions of her brain as revealed by a scan.

“There’s quite a bit 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 it’s missing is therefore gone. It shows how little of our brains we need,” Clarke explained.

Around a third of people die immediately after an aneurysm, the actress learned. Clarke had immediate brain surgery to seal off the aneurysm, an operation that put her health at great risk. She told the BBC program that her star role in Game of Thrones was helpful in giving her purpose as she recovered from the aneurysms.

And Clarke — who is currently starring in a stage production of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull in London’s West End — added she continues to do theater because her memory has always been essential to her acting craft.

What’s more, she no longer gives thought to her dramatic brain mass loss. “It’s the brain you have, so there’s no point in racking your brain as to what might not be there, because what you have is great and let’s work with that,” Clarke said.

Watch the full interview, below.