Clarke, who portrayed indomitable Daenerys Targaryen, shared in a Variety Studio: Actors on Actors interview with actress Regina Hall that not only did she have to leave her dragons behind when the show wrapped, but that she didn’t take any souvenirs from the set.
“I didn’t take anything, and I deeply regret it, and I’m very annoyed and I’m really hoping that the showrunners give me a dragon egg,” the 32-year-old said, before adding, “I need my smelly socks. I think I did take those.”
But Clarke, who played the Khaleesi since Season 1 first aired nearly a decade ago, said she was thankful for the opportunity to play such a strong character. The actor reflected on how portraying Daenerys helped her get through her recovery after suffering two brain aneurysms and the resulting surgeries.
“I always say that Daenerys literally saved my life, because it puts you in quite the headspace when you’ve had a brain injury,” she said. “Walking in her shoes, I just put so much more into each season because it really was life or death.
“I felt so powerfully that she was saving me that it was like I couldn’t see anything else,” she continued. “I could only see her, I could only see the show. That was my single point of focus that allowed me to not think about anything scarier than just getting on set.”
Following the finale of the fantasy series, Clarke said it took her some time to readjust to normal life – one without dragons.
"At first it was an existential crisis," she joked. "Who am I? Where are my dragons?"