Emilia Clarke says there's 'quite a bit missing' from her brain following aneurysms
Clarke grappled with the aneurysms, which are caused by a weakness in the blood vessel wall, during production of the HBO series in 2011 and 2013. She's publicly discussed her struggles in the past, but in a new interview with BBC One's Sunday Morning the actress elaborated on her fight for survival while noting that portions of her brain are no longer functional.
"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 told the program on Sunday.
The star added that she is one of very few to survive this type of aneurysm.
"I am in the really, really, really small minority of people that can survive that," she said, adding that brain scans reflect her diminished brain functions.
"There's quite a bit missing! Which always makes me laugh," she continued. "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."
Clarke, who rose to fame as Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones, came forward about her struggle as the series concluded its run in an essay for The New Yorker.
"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 wrote of dealing with the difficult process amid a busy filming schedule. "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."
In the wake of her piece, fans organized a fundraiser for SameYou, a charity Clarke helped start that assists those recovering from strokes and brain injuries. The initiative raised more than $25,000 in just two days.
The star commended the effort in an emotional video on Instagram, thanking her supporters for the "extraordinary" gift. "I'm so incredibly moved and blown away and grateful and thank you and thank you and thank you!"