In an essay for The New Yorker, actress Emilia Clarke revealed that she almost had to quit the hit TV series Game of Thrones because of two life-threatening brain aneurysms.

Clarke portrays the much-loved character, Daenerys in the show and is referred to as The Mother Of Dragons on account of the three (now two) dragons that she commands and treats as her children. The first aneurysm occurred post the first season when she was working out at her gym. A splitting headache brought her to her knees and she had to be rushed to the E.R. The aneurysm and surgery brought about temporary aphasia (a language impairment condition).

“My job – my entire dream of what my life could be – centred on language, around communication. Without that, I was lost,” the actress wrote in The New Yorker.

Heartbreakingly, Clarke also admits to having suicidal thoughts.

“In my worst moments, I wanted to pull the plug. I asked the medical staff to let me die,” she wrote.

Her second surgery took place after the third season of GoT and this one was worse – she writes that she recalls waking up in “screaming pain”. Not only did the doctors warn her mother that she might not make it but they said that even if she did, she could have to live with severe brain damage. Clarke admits denying the news to the media and sipping morphine between press interviews for the show.

However, now she has recovered completely and has started a charity called SameYou that seeks to “provide treatment for people recovering from brain injuries and stroke”.