Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke has revealed she has survived two life-threatening brain haemorrhages.
The actress underwent major surgery in 2011 and 2013 and has spoken in incredible detail of the health scares that struck in her early 20s.
In an interview with The New Yorker, Clarke told how "bits of my skull" have been replaced with titanium and that she has a scar from the top of her head to her ear.
The 32-year-old, who plays Daenerys Targaryen in the smash hit show told how her first scare occurred in 2011.
She revealed how she started to feel a "bad headache" coming on and was so fatigued before a workout with a trainer at a north London gym she could barely put on her training shoes.
Clarke said she had to cut short the session, such was her distress: "Somehow, almost crawling, I made it to the locker room.
"I reached the toilet, sank to my knees, and proceeded to be violently, voluminously ill.
"Meanwhile, the pain - shooting, stabbing, constricting pain - was getting worse.
"At some level, I knew what was happening: my brain was damaged.”
London-born Clarke, who was only 24 at the time and had just completed the first series of Game of Thrones, underwent brain surgery and recovered well.
But, two years later, she attended one of her regular hospital appointments for a brain scan where it was discovered another issue with swelling on her brain.
A routine operation did not go to plan and she spent a month in hospital.
She told the magazine: "I emerged from the operation with a drain coming out of my head.
"Bits of my skull had been replaced by titanium.
"These days, you can’t see the scar that curves from my scalp to my ear, but I didn’t know at first that it wouldn’t be visible."
The actress made the revelations in support of charity Sameyou, which is aimed at aiding the recovery of young people battling brain injury.
Clarke said: "Recovery is long-term, and rehabilitation can be difficult to access.
"Brain injury can be an invisible illness, and the subject is often taboo."
The eighth and apparently final season of Game of Thrones is due to return to TV screens next month.
Unlike the previous seasons, most of the upcoming one will be original content, not based on the books of George RR Martin.