Mother of dragons, or mother of our hearts?
VALLEY says both. The London-born actress has certainly managed to capture the hearts of millions, and for good reasons. Her presence emulates all things one looks for in an idol: warmth, compassion and humility. Clarke’s Instagram proves that alone.
Just look at her post of when she got a tattoo of Drogon in honor of her “Game of Thrones” character, Daenerys Targaryen:
You can’t deny that those hashtags are the cutest things known to man.
But why exactly is Miss Emilia Clarke so lovable and enigmatic? Let’s start at the beginning.
The Humble Origin
Emilia Isobel Euphemia Rose Clarke was born on Oct. 23, 1986 (our favorite Scorpio) in London, England to Peter and Jennifer Clarke. From an early age, Clarke was obsessed with the theater, as her father worked as a sound producer for a theater production of Show Boat. While her parents were not wealthy in Oxford, Clarke and her brother attended private school and Clarke took theater classes throughout her education.
Clarke took her passion for acting and ran for it as she graduated from the Drama Centre London in 2009. Before being cast as Daenerys Targaryen in HBO’s “Game of Thrones”, Clarke took a bunch of small acting jobs and obscure jobs to make ends meet in London. After graduation, the actress promised herself that she would only take roles of promise.
Then, the fateful audition came.
On Jimmy Fallon’s “The Tonight Show”, Clarke said that when she auditioned in front of the show creators, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, she did the “Funky Chicken” as her dance routine when asked to do something impressive. That dance scored her way to being the iconic Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals, The Rhoynar and the First Men, Protector of the Realm, Mother of Dragons, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains and Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. If anyone says you won’t make it anywhere by being unconventional, kindly refer them to Emilia Clarke.
When In Doubt, What Would Emilia Clarke Do?
In March 2019, Clarke came out with an article with “The New Yorker” describing her life-threatening battle with two aneurysms during the filming of the second season of “Game of Thrones.” After experiencing her first attack on Feb. 11, 2011, she was diagnosed with a subarachnoid hemorrhage, a type of stroke that caused bleeding in the actress’s brain. The stroke almost killed her.
“If I was to live and avoid terrible deficits, I would have to have urgent surgery,” Clarke says. “And, even then, there were no guarantees.”
She recalls her time in the hospital as a hazy, disquieting time. She experienced aphasia post-surgery — the loss of ability to understand speech.
Clarke said of that time, “I could see my life ahead, and it wasn’t worth living. I am an actor; I need to remember my lines. Now I couldn’t recall my name.”
The very worst thing a person — an actress — can go through, she was living through that.
Clarke resumed filming the second season of “Game of Thrones,” with no intention to stop — after all, this was her livelihood, her reason to hope, as the high likelihood of second aneurysm was an impending thought that wracked the actress. She did not want the press to know of her condition, and persevered.
“On the set, I didn’t miss a beat, but I struggled,” Clarke said. “Season 2 would be my worst. I didn’t know what Daenerys was doing. If I am truly being honest, every minute of every day I thought I was going to die.”
Not Just A Woman, But A Hero
Emilia Clarke is not just an actress, but an advocate. She began a charity called SameYou, an organization meant to support and raise awareness for brain injury and stroke survivors. You can join the organization and help support Clarke in her mission. Clarke has also expressed her gratitude for nurses and has raised money for the support of nurses in the UK.
Through it all, she has been a light that radiates ambition, positivity and true, raw inspiration. All of her interviews feature that bright smile and quirky eyebrows that everyone has gone crazy over.
Seriously, look at her eyebrows:
That expressive face has proven Emilia Clarke to be one of the most important and positive celebrities that Hollywood has graced us with. The world has come to adore Daenerys Targaryen, and even when Daenerys was at her worst, Emilia was at her best.
VALLEY is so thankful to have such a vibrant influence in the sphere of problematic celebrities. Those are much needed in a toxic culture of idolization. If you are gonna choose an idol, might as well be the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. Many say to never listen to celebrities, to never try to be like them, but it is fair to say that Emilia Clarke is a rare exception.
If more people were like Emilia Clarke, it is undeniable that many would be kinder, softer and more vulnerable. All traits that are an absolute gem to possess.
If you are ever having a bad day, watch this Teen Vogue interview and always remember to wear your sunscreen, drink that diet coke and to not worry about what everyone else is doing. And never forget: Winter is coming.
Follow @VALLEYmag on Instagram to keep up with all things celebrities, whether they are the devil incarnate or a simple ray of sunshine.