'Game of Thrones' Star Emilia Clarke Reveals New Details of Aneurysm: 'A Bit of My Brain Died'

Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke has revealed new details about her life-threatening aneurysm, saying, "A bit of my brain died."

While sitting down with CBS Sunday Morning, Clarke spoke about the terrifying experience, which began during some post-Game of Thrones Season 1 training in 2011.

"I was in the gym, and the most excruciating pain, like an elastic band just went like snap in my head and an enormous amount of pressure suddenly," she recalled of the first hemorrhage. "And then very, very, very quickly I realized I couldn't stand and I couldn't walk. And in that moment, I knew I was being brain-damaged."

Clarke later went on to talk about the second aneurysm, which came some years later, admitting, "So, the second one, there was a bit of my brain that actually died," Clarke explained. "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 literally were looking at the brain and being like, 'Well, we think it could be her concentration, it could be her peripheral vision' [that was affected]," she said, then joking, "I always say it's my taste in men."

Clarke also confessed that the entire frightening ordeal forced her to think heavily about her life and vulnerable it can be.

"You go on the set, and you play a badass character, and you walk through fire, and you speak to hundreds of people, and you're being asked to … work as hard as you possibly can. And that became the thing that just saved me from considering my own mortality, yeah."

"The brain injury," Clarke added, "grounded me in a way that nothing else could."

In a recent New Yorker op-ed, Clarke went more in depth regarding that fateful day she experienced the first aneurysm.

"On the morning of February 11, 2011, I was getting dressed in the locker room of a gym in Crouch End, North London, when I started to feel a bad headache coming on," she shared. "I was so fatigued that I could barely put on my sneakers. When I started my workout, I had to force myself through the first few exercises."

"Then my trainer had me get into the plank position, and I immediately felt as though an elastic band were squeezing my brain. I tried to ignore the pain and push through it, but I just couldn’t. I told my trainer I had to take a break," Clarke continued.


"Somehow, almost crawling, I made it to the locker room. 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," she confessed.

Thankfully, Clarke is doing much better these days, recently completing filming on the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones.