Would you mind talking about Simon Petrikov/The Ice King for a bit, ’cause I keep hearings edges of bits but not all of it, and I don’t think I’m ever going to watch Adventure Time. There’s a crown that changes him? -taiey

OH MY GOSH YES I WILL TALK ABOUT HIM. A HUNDRED TIMES YES.

(and I shall illustrate it with my screencaps!)

The Ice King was the main recurring villain (and not a very good one) on Adventure Time for a bit. Everything changed in the Series 3 Christmas Special, where Finn and Jake uncover the Ice King’s secret tapes, play them, and this guy appears:

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TURNS OUT that Ice King was once a mild-mannered antiquarian of ancient artifacts, named Simon Petrikov. He found a golden crown in Scandinavia, took it home to show his fiancee Betty and put it on his head. The second he did that, he began to experience visions and behave violently. This incident caused Betty to leave him (actually she just jumped forward in time to be with him in the future, but no-one knew that until Series Five) and Simon, now bonded somehow to the crown, began to deteriorate in mental health but gain power over ice and snow (as well as extreme longevity, since he’s over a thousand years old now.) His skin turned blue and he began to look like this:

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eeep. Okay, so far, so tragic. But it gets worse! Around here, there was a war – the Mushroom War – that destroyed most of humanity. The series hasn’t gone into too much detail about it (more on it later) but the tie-in books kinda indicate that the crown protected Simon by covering him with ice before the bombs fell. Generally it appears that the crown is in some way sentient (as most magical jewellery is, I guess) and loves Simon as its master. Also, it’s an object of tremendous power, since in an alternate universe (yay alternate universes!) Finn put it on and was instantly corrupted. What this says about Simon’s willpower is…well, A Lot.

(There is an episode explaining the origins of the crown but I figure we can skip that for now.)

In the much loved Series Four episode I Remember You, it turns out that Simon once knew one of the world’s other long-lived beings, Marceline. She’s the daughter of a demon whom Simon found alone in the ruins after the bombs. (Where her still-living demon dad was at the time is unclear, but the upcoming Marceline miniseries might explain it.) She was only seven years old and Simon became her protector against the hideous zombie goo-monsters that sprung up after the apocalypse. They grew to love each other very much (sniff) but eventually Simon had to leave her as he slipped further into insanity. (We don’t know the hows or whys of this yet, only that it must have happened.) The end of I Remember You has Simon/Ice King and Marceline playing a song Simon wrote as a note to her before his mind was lost, which goes ‘Please forgive me for whatever I do/when I don’t remember you’. Marceline cries as she sings, but Ice King just plays his drums cheerfully, utterly oblivious to the fact that this girl was once his surrogate daughter.

Nearly done! In the episode Betty, a magic spell gone awry takes away the magic of the crown and transforms Simon back into his old self. Unfortunately, without the crown he’s dying. Simon manages to create a time portal to Betty in the past, to apologise to her for what happened. However, Betty jumps through the portal and sets about trying to save Simon from both Death (who is personified in AT as a horse-skulled man with a hat and an invisible car, just go with it) and the sanity-sapping curse of the crown. Simon tells her he would rather die than become Ice King again (I wrote a little bit about that scene vs The Donna Noble Incident here, it may interest you. ;) ) but agrees to let her try. So Simon goes back to being Ice King and completely forgets who Betty even is, whilst she takes up residence in a cave and starts working on breaking the crown’s curse. With SCIENCE!

And…that’s about it for now. People have read the Simon story as a metaphor for Alzheimer’s’ disease, and I can definitely see that. (My fiance, whose grandmother had Alzheimer’s, sees it too.) Or as a Jekyll/Hyde (or Banner/Hulk) two-seperate-entities-in-one-body sort of story. But no matter what, it’s basically the story of a kind and noble man corrupted by forces beyond his (or almost anyone’s) control. Which is just the sort of story I love. Because I am a huge masochist.

Anyway I wrote a little bit a couple of months ago about why I love him so much here, as well. And my blog remains a very Simon-full zone. :D