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Emilia Clarke survived near-fatal brain strokes while filming Game of Thrones

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For the most part of shooting Game of Thrones, Daenerys Targaryen actor Emilia Clarke was in incredible pain and thought she was going to die at any moment. In a personal essay published in The New Yorker on Thursday, the 32-year-old actor revealed for the first time that she had suffered two near-fatal brain aneurysms requiring multiple surgeries since 2011.

The aneurysms (rupture of artery walls) caused Clarke severe pain and trauma for almost eight years. What she had suffered is called Subarachnoid Haemorrhage (SAH), a type of brain stroke caused by excessive bleeding in the space surrounding the brain. About one-third of SAH sufferers die immediately or soon after; another one-third never fully recover from the ensuing brain damage.

Throughout this period, Clarke was in constant fear of death and cognitive decline. She had developed a condition called Aphasia after the first stroke. It affected her memory, so much so that at one point she couldn’t recall her own name. She was in “blind panic”, and even contemplated suicide, Clarke recalls in the essay:

“In my worst moments, I wanted to pull the plug. I asked the medical staff to let me die. My job—my entire dream of what my life would be—centered on language, on communication. Without that, I was lost.”

The first aneurysm happened during a workout session shortly after Clarke had wrapped up filming for Season 1. She was 24 years old at that time. A brain surgery had to be performed to repair the rupture. Recovery was slow, and Clarke was in incredible pain throughout the filming of Season 2. Clarke recalls how it affected her performance in the show:

Emilia-Clarke-Survived-Near-Fatal-Brain-Strokes-While-Filming-Game-of-Thrones

Emilia Clarke in a scene from Game of Thrones Season 2.

“On the set, I didn’t miss a beat, but I struggled. Season 2 would be my worst. I didn’t know what Daenerys was doing. If I am truly being honest, every minute of every day I thought I was going to die.”

But Clarke’s ordeal didn’t end there. In 2013, soon after she had finished filming for Season 3, a brain scan revealed another aneurysm in her brain. She went in for a preventive minimally-invasive surgery in New York on her doctor’s advice, but it went horribly wrong. Clarke had to go through with an open-skull surgery immediately after.

Eight years later, Clarke is now healthy and pain-free. Since recovering from her condition, she has helped developed a charity organization called SameYou that provides treatment to people recovering from brain injuries and stroke. She also talks candidly about her inability to manage the stress of new-found fame after Season 1. Like many of her co-stars, Clarke was a debutant and had no experience of celebrity pressure before Game of Thrones.

“I hardly felt like a conquering spirit. I was terrified. Terrified of the attention, terrified of a business I barely understood, terrified of trying to make good on the faith that the creators of “Thrones” had put in me.”

Well, Emilia Clarke is no less a survivor and fighter than the Mother of Dragons, it seems.






Writer, translator, and high fantasy nerd based in Kolkata, India. Would dearly love to own a pet dragon some day, but the black market isn't really helping.

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Diageo launches its last Game of Thrones single malt whiskey

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Diageo launches its last Game of Thrones single malt whiskey

Game of Thrones-themed liquor is quite a popular merchandise for the franchise, and now that the show is over, we’re seeing the last batches of new collections come out. The latest to join the lineup comes from Diageo, and it’s a single malt whiskey. Read on!

This limited edition whiskey is called Six Kingdoms, and it is a Mortlach Single Malt Scotch Whisky, aged 15 Years. It has been matured in first-fill sherry-seasoned casks and finished in American Oak ex-bourbon casks. The whiskey is a tribute to the fate of the Seven Kingdoms that become six at the end of the series, reports The Drinks Business.

This is actually the ninth and the last whiskey in the collection. The first eight were a part of the Game of Thrones Single Malt Scotch Whiskey Collection, which was as released at the beginning of 2019. Diageo also owns Johnnie Walker, a brand that has also launched multiple Thrones-themed whiskeys.

Diageo launches its last Game of Thrones single malt whiskey

Kavita Agarwal, global brand director for Diageo commented on this merchandising partnership that has helped them boost sales:

“[There was an] overwhelmingly positive response to the launch of the Game of Thrones Limited Edition Single Malt Scotch Whisky Collection and as Game of Thrones fans continue to explore both the world of whisky and the world of Westeros, we are proud to introduce the final addition to the collection.

Mortlach is one of our most sought-after super premium single malts, and seemed fitting as the perfect finale to complete the collection.”

The Whiskey is expected to be priced at £120 for a 700ml bottle, and will be available with certain retailers and on Amazon, before Christmas. Perfect holiday gift for a Game of Thrones fan, don’t you think? Talk to us in the comments, down below!






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Inside sources reveal Game of Thrones showrunners quit Star Wars over “divided attention and toxic fandom”

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Inside sources reveal Game of Thrones showrunners quit Star Wars over “divided attention and toxic fandom”

Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss are having a tough week, to say the least. First, we saw their trainwreck of an panel interview at the Austin Film Festival. Following that, we heard that the two had left their upcoming Star Wars trilogy project. Now, a new report now says that there might be more to why the two aren’t going to be involved with that project anymore. Read on!

David Benioff and Dan Weiss recently announced that they’re stepping away from the Star Wars trilogy that they were going to be writing and producing, citing their commitment to Netflix and the lack of time to do justice to both projects as the reason. Now, The Hollywood Reporter has published a report about an inside source revealing why the two left the project.

Apparently, Kathleen Kennedy, the head of Lucasfilm, was not too happy with David and Dan for signing a deal with Netflix. The pair had previously said that they will not start work on Star Wars until they were done with Game of Thrones, and immediately after they were, in August, they signed the Netflix deal. The source claims their exit from the Star Wars project was in the cards since August.

Kennedy was apparently not convinced that the two could juggle Star Wars, and Netflix, especially because they are known for doing only one project at a time. David and Dan also had concerns over this, and didn’t want to deal with a “toxic fandom.” The source also noted that Netflix learned of this development only a few days before the duo announced it.

This is also a new move in the latest streaming wars which Netflix currently seems to have the lead in, with Disney joining in soon with Disney+.

What do you guys think? Talk to us in the comments, down below!






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HBO announces the first Game of Thrones prequel series “House of the Dragon”

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HBO announces the first Game of Thrones prequel series “House of the Dragon”

Game of Thrones prequel news has been heavy today. Hours after we heard about the cancellation of Jane Goldman’s Game of Thrones prequel, we today got an official announcement from HBO, ordering the first ever Game of Thrones prequel, straight to series! The show will be called “House of the Dragon“. Read on!

“House of the Dragon” will be written by Ryan Condal, with George R.R. Martin on-board as a co-executive producer. The project is based on Fire and Blood, GRRM’s 2019 book which explores the history of House Targaryen, leading up to the civil war that ultimately led to the doom of the once great house. The series will be set 300 years prior to the events of Game of Thrones.

Now, we know that HBO had multiple Game of Thrones prequels under development. The first one, helmed by Jane Goldman, and dubbed The Long Night, starring Naomi Watts had gotten a pilot order. Following that, today, it was announced that HBO will not be moving forward with it. In the meantime, we had recently talked about another prequel being close to a pilot order, but HBO has now skipped the pilot stage and directly ordered the show to a series, as announced by HBO programming chief Casey Bloys at today’s event for AT&T’s new streaming’s service, HBO Max. Bloys said:

“The Game of Thrones universe is so rich with stories. We look forward to exploring the origins of House Targaryen and the earlier days of Westeros along with Miguel, Ryan and George.”

Miguel Sapochnik, who directed multiple battle episodes of Thrones, will direct the pilot and more episodes, and serve as a showrunner along with Condal, as a part of his new deal with HBO to produce content for HBO and HBO Max. Vince Gerardis will also serve as an executive producer.

The announcement is the most exciting development we have had about the prequels yet, and the show is expected to arrive after HBO Max does, in May 2020. Being one of the flagship offerings of the platform, we expect it to arrive soon, but no release time slot has been mentioned at this point.

Excited? We sure are! Talk to us in the comments, down below!






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