Game of Thrones actor Jason Momoa has spoken out in praise of co-star Emilia Clarke, saying she was 'brave' in the aftermath of suffering an aneurysm once filming had wrapped for the first season of the HBO fantasy series.
Last month, Clarke revealed in an emotional essay titled 'A Battle For My Life' - which was published by the New Yorker - that she had nearly died after suffering a brain aneurysm aged just 24.
Emilia Clarke at this year's Oscars ceremony. Credit: PA
She secretly underwent brain surgery and had to spend a month in hospital, before requiring another surgery in 2013 - only to experience complications and a huge bleed, in turn leading to an operation once again.
At Game of Thrones' season eight premiere in New York on Wednesday, her former on-screen husband Momoa told Entertainment Tonight: "I've kind of been a part of that whole situation for a very long time, so we've had so many scares and trying to find the right way to come out and help.
"I'm very sad, because we almost lost her the first time. So, I love her to bits and she's here and she's going to do great things with it and teach the world. I just think it's beautiful that... She's so brave in helping the world and trying to raise awareness."
Jason Momoa with wife Lisa Bonet at the premiere for the eighth season of Game of Thrones. Credit: PA
In her honest and very personal essay, Clarke - who plays Daenerys Targaryen in the hit series - opened up about having to deal with her newfound fame alongside the aneurysm, which can cause extensive brain damage.
"At some level, I knew what was happening: my brain was damaged," she said.
"For a few moments, I tried to will away the pain and the nausea. I said to myself, 'I will not be paralysed.' I moved my fingers and toes to make sure that was true. To keep my memory alive, I tried to recall, among other things, some lines from Game Of Thrones."
Jason Momoa and Emilia Clarke. Credit: Instagram/Jason Momoa
Clarke went on to detail her intense moments of pain and exhaustion, as well as her determination not to let it affect or career, or to let the world know about the state of her health.
She also reflected on suffering from aphasia - which impairs language and the ability to speak, read or write - after a second, more painful surgery where doctors had to cut open her skull.
"Even as I was muttering nonsense, my mum did me the great kindness of ignoring it and trying to convince me that I was perfectly lucid," she said.
"But I knew I was faltering. 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 - centred on language, on communication. Without that, I was lost."
Emilia Clarke at the Game of Thrones season eight premiere on Wednesday. Credit: PA
<span class="NormalTextRun SCXW166189881 BCX0" ">Despite what she's been through, Clarke remains positive and grateful that she received great care and medical attention when she needed it.
"In the years since my second surgery I have healed beyond my most unreasonable hopes," she said.
"I feel endless gratitude-to my mum and brother, to my doctors and nurses, to my friends."
Clarke has since set up charity organisation Same You, which helps people recover from brain injuries and strokes.
"There is something gratifying, and beyond lucky, about coming to the end of Thrones," she wrote. "I'm so happy to be here to see the end of this story and the beginning of whatever comes next."
The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones will air on 15 April on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV.
Featured Image Credit: HBO