A thousand years or so before the Mushroom War and before Ice King was the creepy, desperate, annoying, and powerful Wizard that we know, he was a human man named Simon Petrikov. He had black hair, olive-toned skin, and he wore glasses. He was a Professor of Archaeology and he had a wife named Betty whom he truly loved. He was a very intelligent, studious, and kind man.
As he did greatly appreciate ancient artifacts. One day he bought a crown from a dock worker in Scandinavia that was said to have some kind of magic power. He didn't believe in the superstition but found it interesting. He brought it home and showed his wife and put it on his head in front of her to be funny, but after that he started to have visions and black out. He eventually realized these things were happening because of the crown.
As the crown began to change Peter, not only in his mind but as well his body, his dear love, Betty left him, which only caused his condition to worsen. He began to become more unrecognizable and have his mind twisted, while still trying to understand what was happening to him and the power of the crown. He considered that he was too far gone to turn back whatever happened. This crown did endow him with great power and abilities (which would become even greater years later), such as being able to shoot ice crystals from his hands and being able to create structures from the ice. However, it was still the very thing causing his insanity and deformity.
In the midst of all these terrible things happening for Peter, The Mushroom War (an apocalyptic event) occurred. This war destroyed civilization as he knew it, leaving it in a disastrous state. He happened to be a survivor of this disaster, however, and as far as he knew, he could have been the only one, but one day he found a little girl crying named, Marceline.
Marceline is half vampire/demon and half human girl. We are familiar with her mostly as Marceline, The Vampire Queen, that sings very well. She's a bit terrifying and mean at times, but she actually has a lot of problems in her life, mostly relating to her father. However, she eventually becomes great friends with Finn and Jake.
She was not always that intimidating vampire queen. Long before, she was just a little girl all alone after a terrible disaster upon civilization, she had no father or mother around, she was unprotected and uncared for. She needed someone to be there for her and at the right time Peter found her in the midst of this (and his own problems) and he cared for her. He's the one who gave her the stuffed bear Hambo that she claims is her "favorite thing in the whole world".
Peter and Marcy, as he called her, developed a very close and sweet relationship with each other. He was a lot like a father to her and she was much like a daughter. They really loved each other. Marceline needed a figure in her life at that time, someone to show care and protect her, and Simon needed someone he could care for and keep him sane for as long as possible. They were the person that the other needed and they gave each other what they needed, which was love, happiness, and something constant.
As sweet and special as this relationship was, things began to go bad when Peter realizes that he is getting worse and he no longer can be the help and protection Marcy needs. He was starting to lose himself even more and was becoming something he didn't know or understand because of this crown, and he couldn't imagine putting Marcy through that and the possible danger, he loved her too much. So, he ended up having to leave from her to protect her from him, even though it would hurt her and leave her alone, again.
Many years later as time goes on, in the present time we know on the show now, Marceline is grown, Simon officially has lost his mind, becomes deformed, and he becomes the Ice King as we know him, and civilization flourishes again. Marceline knows Ice King and knows that he is Simon, but he has no idea of who she really is and he remembers nothing of their past together.
We learn, in the episode "I Remember You", that Simon wrote letters for himself and to Marceline when they were together those thousand years ago and for once he did lose his mind and forget her. You can watch this part of the episode in the video below
It is a very sad and heartfelt story for a show that is animated and initially so full of quirkiness and humor. That is a part of what makes it so amazing and special, as well.
If you would like to know the episodes where these things are revealed and you get to see a little history, I will have them below
Season 3 episodes
- "Memory of a Memory"
- "Holly Jolly Secrets Part 1"
- "Holly Jolly Secrets Part 2"
- "I Remember You"
- "Simon and Marcy"