Tomorrow night is the premiere of the eighth and last season of Game of Thrones. I remember saying to my designing friend Stacy Lomman, “How will we wait for 2019?!” after the previous season’s finale in August 2017. Then we realized, “That will feel like it’s about one day,” because time flies faster than zombie ice dragons the older you get!
Going into the final six episodes, I still suspect Bran Stark is to blame for all this mayhem due to his bad warging choices in previous timelines. I also hate Jon Snow for getting one of Khaleesi’s dragons killed and weaponized by the Night King. Speaking of Khaleesi — aka Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons — every so often I see a not-so-nice critique of the abilities of actress Emilia Clarke, who plays the character.
I think any issues people might have should be directed towards the writers, who haven’t always given her the best plot lines. There’s certainly some surprising evidence she can act her damn ass off: After the first season of the series was shot, Clarke suffered the first of two massive brain aneurysms, which she only revealed last month in a personal essay written for the New Yorker. Surgery for a second aneurysm was done after season three had wrapped. Here’s part of what she said about the period in between.
Even before we began filming Season 2, I was deeply unsure of myself. I was often so woozy, so weak, that I thought I was going to die. Staying at a hotel in London during a publicity tour, I vividly remember thinking, I can’t keep up or think or breathe, much less try to be charming. I sipped on morphine in between interviews. The pain was there, and the fatigue was like the worst exhaustion I’d ever experienced, multiplied by a million.
If you haven’t read the New Yorker article, click here. Clarke also recently posted some hospital photos. What a vivid reminder that people struggle with so much that others never know about! And she’s making something good out of the experience by founding a charity to increase rehabilitation access for people who have suffered brain injury or stroke. Check it out: