Now, less than a week away from the series’ final season, Emilia opened up to CBS This Morning with new details on her brain injury, as well as never-before-seen photos from after her brain surgeries.
In the CBS interview, Emilia recalled the day in February 2011 when her first aneurysm ruptured: “Basically I was in the gym, the most excruciating pain, like an elastic band just went, like, snap in my head,” she said.
“An enormous amount of pressure suddenly, and then very very very quickly, I realized I couldn’t stand and I couldn’t walk, and in that moment I knew I was being brain damaged.”
Emilia suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage or bleeding in the space that surrounds the brain. But miraculously, Emilia was back to work on season two of Game of Thrones just six weeks later.
Two years after that, Emilia was back in the hospital with another aneurysm—and this time, it almost killed her, she said.
“With the second one, there was a bit of my brain that actually died,” she said, explaining that “if part of your brain doesn’t get blood to it for a minute, it will just no longer work. It’s like you short circuit. So I had that.”
Clarke said, “You go on set and you play a badass and you walk through fire, and that became the thing that just saved me from considering my own mortality.”
Watch the full interview below.