In the last month Emilia Clarke, who we all know and love as Daenerys Targaryen from hit tv show, Game of Thrones, has recently revealed some shocking news. In the show she plays an extremely strong willed female, who is fighting to take back her rightful throne and perhaps this strong willed attitude is reflected truly from herself. After the filming of the first season had wrapped, she suffered from the first of two life threatening brain aneurysms. She spoke her truth about her experience, her surgeries and recovery in an essay she wrote for the New Yorker.
As standard procedure after any brain surgery, you are asked questions by nurses at random points that you should know the answers to. After Emilia was moved out from ICU, she was woken one evening and asked her name, but couldn't manage to get even close. She wrote:
"I’d never experienced fear like that — a sense of doom closing in. I could see my life ahead, and it wasn’t worth living. I am an actor; I need to remember my lines. Now I couldn’t recall my name. In my worst moments, I wanted to pull the plug. I asked the medical staff to let me die. My job — my entire dream of what my life would be — centered on language, on communication. Without that, I was lost.”
As much as this may come across selfish to some people, that she should just be thankful that she's alive, we completely understand where she's coming from. If you lost the ability to do your life long dream, you've lost your purpose and recentering to find a new one is a long hard journey. Sometimes people feel they don't have the strength to take that on. Fortunately within a week, she was back to remembering her name and even lines from Game of Thrones. She then went on to be discharged a few weeks later and although she was leaving and going back to her acting career, she had another aneurysm on the other side of her brain, which needed to be watched closely.
A few years on, she happened to be in New York after taking a job in a show on broadway and decided to head for a check up. The doctors found it had unfortunately doubled in size and what was meant to be an 'easy' operation turned out to be harder and more traumatic than expected. Her recovery was harder and yet she still continued to push through the pain to carry on with her role within Game of Thrones. She said she had experienced lots of anxiety and even panic attacks through this period because every waking hour of every day, she thought she was going to die.
Emilia was only 24 and to have that stress that your life could be over in an instant, must be an immensely heavy burden to carry. This is why she is our weekly inspiration! To be able to find the strength to continue, to fight for her life, to fight for her career, is truly inspirational. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves when we get knocked down, that we have to get back up to get to where we want to be. Because giving up won't solve anything, you will only be left with the regret of not trying harder, especially if you had to tools to do what you dreamed! We are going to leave you with some final words from Emilia and if you wish to read her essay, you can find it here!
'In the years since my second surgery I have healed beyond my most unreasonable hopes. I am now at a hundred per cent. Beyond my work as an actor, I’ve decided to throw myself into a charity I’ve helped develop in conjunction with partners in the U.K. and the U.S. It is called SameYou, and it aims to provide treatment for people recovering from brain injuries and stroke.
I feel endless gratitude—to my mum and brother, to my doctors and nurses, to my friends. Every day, I miss my father, who died of cancer in 2016, and I can never thank him enough for holding my hand to the very end.
There is something gratifying, and beyond lucky, about coming to the end of “Thrones.” I’m so happy to be here to see the end of this story and the beginning of whatever comes next.'
Game Of Thrones season 8 aired this morning! Catch it on Sky Atlantic or Now TV.
We will be watching!