Emilia Clarke Reveals Her Biggest Fear Following Her Brain Aneurysms

The Game Of Thrones star experienced her first aneurysm in 2011, and later survived a second one in 2013.
Emilia Clarke
Emilia Clarke
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin via Getty Images

Emilia Clarke is opening up about how surviving two brain aneurysms took a toll on both her physical and mental health ― and made her question her ability to work.

The actor experienced her first aneurysm in 2011 after filming the first season of Game Of Thrones, and later survived a second one in 2013.

“When you have a brain injury, because it alters your sense of self on such a dramatic level, all of the insecurities you have going into the workplace quadruple overnight,” Emilia told The Big Issue in a new interview published on Monday.

“The first fear we all had was: ‘Oh my God, am I going to get fired?’” she admitted. “‘Am I going to get fired because they think I’m not capable of completing the job?’”

Emilia also feared dying of another brain injury “in front of thousands of people and cameras” because of the stress she was under. She told the outlet she recalled thinking at the time: “Well, if I’m going to die, I better die on live TV.”

Emilia at a Game Of Thrones event in 2016
Emilia at a Game Of Thrones event in 2016
David Livingston via Getty Images

Emilia added that enduring a brain injury also made her feel “profoundly alone,” a feeling which she is “trying to overcome”.

“Having a chronic condition that diminishes your confidence in this one thing you feel is your reason to live is so debilitating and so lonely,” she explained.

The Last Christmas star first opened up about experiencing the aneurysms in an essay for The New Yorker, titled A Battle For My Life, which was published in 2019.

She told BBC’s Sunday Morning programme in 2022 that the aneurysms caused “just the most excruciating pain” and that there is a part of her brain “that is no longer usable”.

Emiliar added that given the extent of her brain damage, it is “remarkable that I am able to speak ― sometimes articulately ― and live my life completely normally with absolutely no repercussions”.


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