Emilia Clarke says "quite a bit" of her brain is missing after surviving two aneurysms

London, UK - At the age of 35, Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke has already survived two brain aneurysms.

Emilia Clarke played Daenerys Targaryen in the hit HBO series Game of Thrones.
Emilia Clarke played Daenerys Targaryen in the hit HBO series Game of Thrones.  © KEVIN WINTER / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

In 2011, during the filming of the first season of Game of Thrones, the then 23-year-old suffered a burst aneurysm.

An emergency operation saved the star's life, but she experienced speech problems for weeks afterwards. At one point couldn't even remember her name, she told the BBC.

Clarke fought and returned to the set. "Every day I thought I was going to die," she recalled.

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Then she had a second aneurysm in 2013, and doctors had to operate immediately, this time penetrating her skull.

Emilia Clarke says part of her brain is "missing"

Emilia Clarke is currently starring in Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull on the London stage.
Emilia Clarke is currently starring in Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull on the London stage.  © VALERIE MACON / AFP

The operation succeeded, but the actor has been wearing a titanium plate in her skull ever since. Areas of her brain are also damaged.

"The amount of my brain that is no longer usable – it’s remarkable that I am able to speak, sometimes articulately, and live my life completely normally with absolutely no repercussions," she said.

"I am in the really, really, really small minority of people that can survive that."

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Today, the "Mother of Dragons" is leading a normal life and tries to look at her experiences with humor. "There's quite a bit missing," she said of her brain, "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," she explained.

Clarke is now starring in Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull, a theater play in London. She is also trying to help others recovering from brain surgeries and strokes through her foundation SameYou.

Cover photo: KEVIN WINTER / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

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