Emilia Clarke, who starred as Daenerys Targaryen, was afraid of being fired from Game of Thrones after season 1 for an unexpected reason.
In a recent profile by Harper’s Bazaar, Clarke opened up about her brain hemorrhage. The actor says her primary concern wasn’t dying, although the condition carries a 33 percent mortality rate, and instead, it was being fired from Game of Thrones. Read what she shared below:
I wasn’t afraid of dying. I was afraid of being fired! I decided: “This is not something that’s going to define me.” I never gave into any feeling of “Why me? This sucks.” I was just like – gotta get back on it.
Emilia Clarke’s Brain Hemorrhages Explained
Shortly after Game of Thrones season 1, Clarke was preparing for a workout to relieve the stress of filming when she felt a “bad headache coming on.” During the workout, she suddenly collapsed and was rushed to the hospital where she was quickly diagnosed with a subarachnoid hemorrhage which, in simple terms, is bleeding around the brain. Clarke is lucky to have survived, as the medical emergency results in immediate death for a third of all patients.
Two years later, Clarke suffered another brain hemorrhage, and a routine operation to address the bleeding went horribly wrong. Afterward, Clarke dealt with unbearable pain and also experienced aphasia – a disorder that impacts a person’s ability to speak. As an actor, this made Clarke seriously fear for her job security on Game of Thrones. She felt “broken” and was worried the show’s producers would see her as an “unreliable person” and fire her.
With determination and perseverance, Clarke was able to overcome aphasia, and many weren’t even aware of it until 2019 when she revealed that she suffered the two life-threatening brain hemorrhages. Amazingly, the actor never let her health issues affect her performance on Game of Thrones, receiving a total of four Emmy nominations for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series. Now, also Clarke runs the charity SameYou, which helps survivors recover from brain injury.