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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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Game of Thrones finale breaks all viewership ratings records for Sky

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Game of Thrones finale breaks all viewership ratings records for Sky

Game of Thrones was a ‘record’ hit, there’s no doubt. We had previously reported about the American ratings for the Game of Thrones finale, but a new report about the UK ratings shows that the episode actually shattered all records for Sky, the British network that aired the show. Read on!

The finale apparently got over 5.8 million viewers on Sky Atlantic in the UK, which is a 12% jump from Season 7 finale, reports Variety. This figure broke all records for Sky, as Game of Thrones brought in an average of 6 million viewers, making it the most popular show to air on Sky.

Peak viewership came with “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”, arguably the best episode of the season, which hit 6.31 million viewers. The number goes up to 7.1 million if you count the views that came from streaming, within seven days of airing.

The breakdown for the viewership was also revealed by Sky, amounting to 51% share for men, and 49% for women. Zai Bennett, Sky’s director of programs commented:

“Showcasing British talent both on and off-screen, the series has kept viewers gripped with the myriad twists and turns of the battle for the Seven Kingdoms. We want to say a massive thank you to all the fans who have supported the show throughout this incredible journey.”

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






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Game of Thrones will return to San Diego Comic Con this year, one last time

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Game of Thrones will return to San Diego Comic Con this year, one last time

Any popular fandom has one event to look forward to the most, every year, and that is the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC). Game of Thrones has been a regular attendee, with panels with the showrunners and everything. Now that the show is over, nobody was expecting Game of Thrones to be present at SDCC 2019. However, reports are now saying that the show will return to San Diego Comic Con for one last time this year. Read on!

HBO is always a big player at SDCC, and this year will mark the last time it takes its star child, Game of Thrones, to Hall H for one last appearance, according to Deadline. Apparently, the details are yet to be nailed down as to who will actually make an appearance.

HBO skipped the 2018 SDCC, so this should help make up for that missing appearance. In any case, George R. R. Martin is expected to appear. It is very likely that many of the Season 8 cast members will be present for the panel.

Season 8 has mostly been hated by the fandom, however, and this will be the first time the cast and showrunners will be facing the fans together since the end of the show, so it’s needless to say that they might get a couple of bad questions.

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






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The ‘Communists of Russia Party’ wants HBO to remake Game of Thrones Season 8

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The 'Communists of Russia Party' wants HBO to remake Game of Thrones Season 8

Game of Thrones Season 8 has left many fans world over disappointed, but none more so than a political party from Russia, it seems. The Moscow Times recently reported that a party called the Communists of Russia has penned an open letter to HBO demanding that the final season of Game of Thrones be remade, with different directors and screenwriters no less!

Sergei Matasov, first secretary of the party’s regional committee in the Russia’s Republic of Altai posted the letter on Facebook. He wrote:

“There are many sincere fans of this wonderful series in our party because it demonstrates the consequences that monarchist regimes can bring.”

The fans in his party were left hugely dissatisfied with the “ill-conceived storyline,” “poor acting” and a “lack of logical conclusions” in the final six episodes.

This sentiment does correlate with the global Game of Thrones fan community, some of whom even started a petition to HBO demanding the same thing – a remake of Game of Thrones Season 8. But Matasov has even graver accusations to throw at HBO. He accused the makers of:

“Disappointing millions of fans and presumably misappropriating the funds allocated to the show, which came from the taxes of ordinary American workers and downtrodden negroes.”

For these offences he demanded “an immediate apology from the creators of the finale of ‘Game of Thrones’ and a compulsory reshoot of the final season with new directors and screenwriters”, and also suggested that this time around the U.S. Communist Party should be involved in the making.

HBO doesn’t seem likely to budge any more than they did during the fan petition, though. Tough luck, dear comrades!






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