Jason Momoa is thankful that his onscreen Game of Thrones love interest Emilia Clarke is doing well after his Khaleesi revealed she had suffered two brain aneurysms during the early seasons of the HBO series.
Speaking to Entertainment Tonight at the Game of Thrones Season 8 premiere in New York City on Wednesday, Momoa opened up about his reaction to learning that they “almost lost” Clarke, who admitted in an emotional essay for The New Yorker that she underwent two life-saving brain surgeries.
“I've kind of been a part of that whole situation for a very long time, so we've had so many scares and trying to find the right way to come out and help," he said. “I just think it's beautiful that...she's so brave in helping the world and trying to raise awareness."
“I’m very sad, because we almost lost her numerous times,” he added. “So, I love her to bits and she’s here and she’s going to do great things with it and teach the world.”
Clarke, who portrays Daenerys Targaryen on the HBO series, revealed in the March essay that she had suffered her first aneurysm in February 2011 after a training session at the gym, just after filming wrapped on GoT Season 1.
“My trainer had me get into the plank position, and I immediately felt as though an elastic band were squeezing my brain," she wrote. "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. 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."
Clarke was ushered into emergency surgery after being diagnosed with a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), which is a life-threatening type of stroke caused by bleeding into the space surrounding the brain.
Following the surgery, Clarke spent four days in the I.C.U. and an additional week-and-a-half in the recovering in the hospital. While doctor’s told her that her “chances of a good recovery were high," she was warned of a second, smaller aneurysm on the other side of her brain that could “pop.”
In 2013, she underwent a second surgery after it was discovered that the second aneurysm had doubled in size.
“When they woke me, I was screaming in pain. The procedure had failed,” she recalled. “I had a massive bleed and the doctors made it plain that my chances of surviving were precarious if they didn’t operate again.”
Clarke has now made a full recovery and is “now at a hundred percent,” and thankful for the support she received from her Game of Thrones co-stars and fans following her admission.
Fans can catch Clarke as portrays Daenerys Targaryen, sans her Khal, when Game of Thrones Season 8 premieres on Sunday, April 14 on HBO.