'Game of Thrones' Star Emilia Clarke Reveals She Suffered Brain Aneurysm

Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke has revealed that she suffered a brain aneurysm after filming the first season of the hit HBO series.

In a new editorial for The New Yorker, Clarke recalls the moment she suffered the near-fatal medical emergency, saying that it happened while she was working out.

"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.

After getting help, Clarke was quickly rushed to a nearby hospital for medical attention, where she was advised that she would have to have brain surgery.

"I remember being told that I should sign a release form for surgery. Brain surgery? I was in the middle of my very busy life—I had no time for brain surgery," she said. "But, finally, I settled down and signed. And then I was unconscious. For the next three hours, surgeons went about repairing my brain. This would not be my last surgery, and it would not be the worst. I was twenty-four years old."

"That first surgery was what is known as 'minimally invasive,' meaning that they did not open up my skull. Rather, using a technique called endovascular coiling, the surgeon introduced a wire into one of the femoral arteries, in the groin; the wire made its way north, around the heart, and to the brain, where they sealed off the aneurysm," Clarke went on to reveal.

"The operation lasted three hours. When I woke, the pain was unbearable. I had no idea where I was. My field of vision was constricted. There was a tube down my throat and I was parched and nauseated. They moved me out of the I.C.U. after four days and told me that the great hurdle was to make it to the two-week mark. If I made it that long with minimal complications, my chances of a good recovery were high," she added.

She spent much more time in the hospital and required more surgery, as doctors discovered another aneurysm on the other side of her brain.

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Clarke then confessed that "after keeping quiet all these years, I’m telling you the truth in full. Please believe me: I know that I am hardly unique, hardly alone. Countless people have suffered far worse, and with nothing like the care I was so lucky to receive."

Game of Thrones Season 8 premieres on HBO on Sunday, April 14 at 9 p.m. ET.