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“We need to embrace our strength, as well as our vulnerability”

Actress Emilia Clarke talks about her archetypal role in Game Of Thrones, how Daenerys Targaryen inspires her – and the life-threatening stroke that prompted the creation of her charity

Emilia Clarke

Funny and fearless are two adjectives that would best be applied to Emilia Clarke. She recently broke her silence about suffering a potentially fatal brain haemorrhage eight years ago before having surgery that left her unable to remember her own name. She had another surgery in 2013 after a bleed on the brain and has made a full recovery. To support others, Clarke has launched the charity SameYou. ‘I am determined to help,’ she told The New Yorker.

There’s also a sense of sadness that comes with the fact that her journey of self-discovery playing one of Game Of Thrones’ most intriguing and beloved characters, Daenerys Targaryen, has come to a close. This month, the path-breaking HBO series begins its eighth and final season. ‘I’m happy to be here to see the end of this story and the beginning of whatever comes next,’ she says.

Clarke is experiencing the inevitable emotional fallout accompanying the end of an era. She says filming the final six episodes made ‘everything feel more intense’ and ‘only now am I beginning to understand what this past decade has meant’.

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