The actress, 32, appeared on CBS Sunday Morning yesterday to talk about her struggle to cope after she suffered two brain aneurysms during her early years on Game of Thrones. Emilia Clarke also shared raw pictures of her time in hospital, with one showing her hooked up to machines with a tube attached to her head. Another saw her looking sombre as she looked at her phone whilst lying in the hospital bed. The Daenerys Targaryen star could also be seen with wires stuck on her chest as she took a candid selfie, staring straight down the lens in the stark picture.
On the show, Emilia spoke out about recovering from the two aneurysms she suffered in her 20s.
“The first time was difficult, with the second one I fond it much harder to stay optimistic,” she said.
“I definitely went through a period of being down — putting mildly,” she continued. “In my worst moments, I wanted to pull the plug.
“I asked the medical staff to let me die.”
She previously said she had suffered from aphasia, meaning she was unable to speak comprehensively or even say her own name following the initial brain surgery to fix her first subarachnoid haemorrhage.
“My job — my entire dream of what my life would be — centred on language, on communication. Without that, I was lost,” she told the programme.
Emilia went on to say playing the formidable Mother of Dragons on Game of Thrones provided a distraction from her struggle to cope after her health scares.
“You go on set and you play a bada** character and you walk through fire, and you speak to hundreds of people, and you’re being asked to be — to work as hard as you possibly can.” she said. “And that became the thing that just saved me from considering my own mortality.
Emilia recently told Stephen Colbert on The Late Show how she had been “petrified” after the life-threatening ordeal.
“Honestly, being completely honest, it made me petrified most of the time,” she told the host, 54.
“I wish I could sit here and say, ‘I was like, let’s go jump out of a plane,’” she continued.
The star first spoke out about her near-fatal brain aneurysms in a candid personal essay published in The New Yorker last month.
“Just when all my childhood dreams seemed to have come true, I nearly lost my mind and then my life,” she wrote. “I’ve never told this story publicly, but now it’s time.”
She explained how she had been working out when she suffered an agonising pain in her head and was then violently ill before being taken to hospital, where she was diagnosed with a bleed in the space around her brain.
The Game of Thrones actress said she was told by medical professionals around one third of patents with SAH died “immediately or soon thereafter”.
She spent a month in hospital after the initial surgery and later returned to set to film Game of Thrones season two, but was told she had a second aneurysm which could lie dormant or burst at any time.
After filming was completed on the third season, she went for a routine brain scan and was told she would need surgery on the second aneurysm.
The first procedure to fix the aneurysm failed and left her in agony before doctors performed a second to improve her chance of survival.
On The Late Show, Emilia opened up on her approach to life after recovering from the terrifying health scares, saying: “For the rest of your life, you know how lucky you are.”