Emilia Clarke Was Afraid of Getting Fired From ‘Game of Thrones’ After Brain Injury

The actress pointed out that a brain injury 'alters your sense of self' during a new interview.

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Emilia Clarke will always be our Daenerys Targaryen, but the star was afraid of losing her iconic Game of Thrones role. While opening up to The Big Issue in an interview published on Monday, June 10, the 37-year-old actress recalled how her brain injury convinced her that she would lose her job on the acclaimed HBO series.

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

Emilia suffered from two brain hemorrhages — one in 2011 and another in 2013. According to the outlet, she experienced the two in between seasons of the show. Therefore, she only told a few people from her inner circle about the health scares.

After experiencing her first brain bleed in 2011, Emilia returned to the set but feared experiencing another one due to the hectic filming schedule and pressure she was under to keep her role. She then recalled thinking at the time, “Well, if I’m going to die, I better die on live TV.”

This wasn’t the firs time that the Solo: A Star Wars Story actress opened up about her brain injury. In March 2019, she described the experience in further detail in an essay published by The New Yorker, noting that she was diagnosed with a subarachnoid hemorrhage.

“The diagnosis was quick and ominous: a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), a life-threatening type of stroke, caused by bleeding into the space surrounding the brain,” Emilia revealed. “I’d had an aneurysm, an arterial rupture. As I later learned, about a third of SAH patients die immediately or soon thereafter. For the patients who do survive, urgent treatment is required to seal off the aneurysm, as there is a very high risk of a second, often fatal bleed. If I was to live and avoid terrible deficits, I would have to have urgent surgery. And, even then, there were no guarantees.”