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I know my mind is changing... but I'm already too far gone to know what to do. I want people to know that... if I do things that... if I do things that hurt anyone, please, please forgive me.
~ Simon Petrikov's recording tape about his tragic past.

The Ice King (real name: Simon Petrikov) is the central antagonist and an anti-hero of the Cartoon Network series Adventure Time. He appears as the main antagonist of seasons 1-3 and an anti-villain/protagonist for the remainder of the show. Though initially the main antagonist, his role has shifted into a tragic villain/anti-hero.

He was voiced by Tom Kenny, who also played Heffer in Rocko's Modern Life , Dog in CatDog, SpongeBob SquarePants, Gary the Snail, Patchy the Pirate and the French Narrator in SpongeBob SquarePants, Chester in Kids Next Door and The Mayor and The Narrator in The Powerpuff Girls, Scoutmaster Lumpus, Slinkman and a Weasel in Camp Lazlo, and Commander Peepers in Wander Over Yonder.

Biography

Past

Simon petrikov-0

Simon Petrikov after losing Betty.

A Christmas-themed episode ("Holly Jolly Secrets . II") revealed the tragic backstory about the Ice King by a video. Sometime before The Great Mushroom War, the Ice King was Simon Petrikov, a young glasses-wearing human who was working to be an antiquarian. One day, he bought a crown and went to show it to his fiancee Betty, whom he dubbed "Princess." He put the crown on his head for a laugh, which made him do something so terrible (of which he had no memory) that Betty left him. He then begins to slowly lose his sanity and look more and more like the "Ice King". It is revealed that he kidnaps princesses to fill the gap made when Betty left him. Finn later develops for his nemesis, because he knew that he was once human.

Sometime during the Great Mushroom War before Simon became Ice King , he met a young Marceline in the middle of the wreckage. He then comforted her by giving her a teddy bear from a destroyed toy shop. He also tried to find her soup after finding out that she was sick, though he had to protect her from unknown creatures.

Adventure Time

S1e3 ice king dancing

Victory dance.

The Ice King is the lonely and of the Ice Kingdom. He constantly kidnaps princesses (including Princess Bubblegum) in hopes that one of them would marry him, even if he has to threaten them with death. He is a lowly villain and was easily defeated by his own heart, Ricardio. He has a small gold crown with three red jewels that help him to bring monsters made of snow to life or fly using his beard. He is hated by Finn, Jake, the princesses, and even by . He has with the penguins of the Ice Kingdom, though. He has a long beard and blue skin (most likely from frostbite) and a blue robe that makes his body look big, though he is really skinny. He first appeared in "Prisoners of Love". The Ice King seems to have a bad habit of threatening others to do his bidding.

In "Betty," after a demon negated powers from wizards, including the Ice King, his crown became useless and he turned back to Simon. However, since he had his ice powers (which made him immortal) for 1,000 years, Simon started dying and he and Marceline tried to track down Betty. His Ice Kingdom was also melting. He used a time portal to communicate with her. Afterwards, Betty jumped into the present and decided to help her fiance regain his powers before it was too late. When Betty defeated the monster back in Wizard City, Ice King and everyone else got their powers back. Afterwards, the Ice King was seen in his castle explaining the story to Muscle Princess (whom he had her feet frozen in ice).

In the series finale, Betty took the crown, thus is reverted back into Simon Petrikov once again. 

Appearance

Ice King is a blue-skinned man with unusually pointy fingers, pointy toes, sharp teeth, and a long, goblin-like nose. He wears a dark blue tunic and has a lengthy white beard that covers most of his body. Although his robe gives him the appearance of a fat and small/short man, Ice King's body is in fact exceptionally thin and tall.

As Simon Petrikov, he was a human man with olive skin and dark brown hair. He wore glasses along with a tuxedo. After putting the crown on, his eyes turned white and his appearance slowly began to change to that of the Ice King's.

Personality

Though in earlier episodes the Ice King was portrayed as short-tempered, argumentative, and disagreeable, due to his main antagonistic role, he is merely a nuisance and "isn't usually a serious threat", according to Princess Bubblegum. Despite this, he is still capable of causing harm to others (whether intentionally or unintentionally).

In later episodes, due to no longer acting as a main antagonist, he is portrayed as more genial, easy-going and having a sense of humor from time to time, particularly due to considering Finn and Jake his "friends" after the events of "What Have You Done?".

The Ice King is a misunderstood, lonely, and sad being who only hopes of marrying a princess. He has been labelled as a "sociopath" by the Cosmic Owl, though his personality seems more akin to a person with narcissistic personality disorder, as he still feels humiliation and guilt. Due to his poor social skills, enduring short attention span and arrogant nature, Ice King is unable to attract any of his prisoners and often resorts to a forced marriage instead of the loving relationship he desires. However, he can be a loving and selfless person as revealed in "Princess Monster Wife". Aside from Gunter, his other penguin guards, and numerous ice creatures, Ice King expresses a continual zeal to spend time with anyone who will tolerate his company, especially Finn and Jake. In "The Eyes", he takes on the disguise of a horse to spy on Finn and Jake in an effort to learn how to be so happy, but this fails as well.

Despite the Ice King's more antagonistic role, he plays the part of a protagonist in "Mortal Recoil", as he helps Finn and Jake defeat Princess Bubblegum by freezing her Lich-possessed body. In the mini-episode, "The Wand", he actually helps Finn and Jake regardless of the fact that Finn said to "sacrifice" himself, but unbeknownst of the fact that it also changed his face.

Ice King is harmless and nonviolent in nature, and only kidnaps princesses and steals out of desperation. However, in the episode "Loyalty to the King", when he does have the opportunity to marry many princesses, he secretly plots to make an elite army of wives to take over the world with. His misunderstood intentions may either be in question or may just stem from his lunacy. Over the many years, his crown has made him insane, affecting his social skills and causing him to unintentionally do bad things. Friendship and companionship are all he really wants, albeit he often goes about it the wrong way.

Demoniceyeandghostpouch

Ice King showing off his Demonic Wishing Eye.

Due to the insanity brought by wearing the crown, Ice King seems to have a limited memory. This was first seen in "I Remember You", where he does not seem to remember his past as Simon Petrikov, even though he saw the history (after he found the crown) in "Holly Jolly Secrets Part II". Later on, he does not remember who Neptr is, even though he was the one that wanted Neptr to accept as his father in Neptr's debut, "What is Life?", and even confuses him with BMO, as seen in the events of "Mystery Dungeon".

Ice King seems to find his happiness in his own Imagination Zone, and it is clear that he would rather live in his Imagination Zone than in the real world. In "Fionna and Cake", he is shown reading his gender-swapped fan fiction Finn and Jake, based on the events and characters in the actual world. He is shown to cherish his fan characters more than the real-life characters, and in "Mystery Dungeon", he tries to bring the characters to life, but he fails. In "Bad Little Boy", it is revealed that he had made ice sculptures of Fionna and Cake along with writing many other fan-fiction stories. 

Although Ice King is characterized by these traits, Simon's personality is completely the opposite: he was known for his intelligence, kindness, and self-sacrifice. From the information given in "Holly Jolly Secrets Part II", Simon was deeply trustworthy, loving, and had a fiancé, Betty. He proved to be the same way as a subservient and watchful guardian over young Marceline during the aftermath of the Mushroom War. Even when they were in great danger, Simon struggled to keep Marceline happy and helped her to always see the best of their situation. He took on a very responsible role in Marceline's life, by not only protecting her and keeping her healthy, but also by teaching her right from wrong and keeping her spirits high (as seen in "Simon & Marcy"). Simon, as a rule, was known for being optimistic even at the worst of times and it is clearly one of Simon's most notable and outstanding attributes. Even while being saddled with a great burden, Simon fought an apocalyptic world while fighting the influence of the Ice Crown. Some of Simon's innermost thoughts and fears of his inevitable madness were revealed in left to Marceline revealed in "I Remember You". Simon agonized over abandoning Marceline in a dangerous world due to his deteriorating sanity. However, Simon, nearing the very end of his humanity feared for his own life, worried that as the crown took him from Marceline, no one would be able to "save him". His vulnerability as a human was most evident just before he permanently became the Ice King.

Goals and Ambitions

S1e17 Icekingwink
The Ice King wants to find a woman who would want to marry him, and help to rule his kingdom. As long as he has not found that companion, however, he continues to kidnap a wide variety of princesses and trap them in his Ice Kingdom. In later episodes, Ice King started to respect Finn and Jake and becoming their new best friend by any means necessary has become one of his new goals.

Really Evil?

The Ice King may be a misunderstood man who just wants attention and a companion. In the episode, "What is Life?," he wanted NEPTR (Never Ending Pie Throwing Robot) to be his son, but he failed. In "Prisoners of Love", he was thrilled when he thought Finn and the captured princesses wanted him to dance with him, and when he was in his imagination, he pondered why people did not like him and he wanted advice from Finn and Jake about marriage in "When Wedding Bells Thaw".

In the later episodes, he often tried to be best friends with Finn and Jake, as well as other individuals as well.

Possibly, the Ice King's final main antagonistic role was in the episode "A Glitch is a Glitch", where he unleashed a virus that would delete everything in the world except him and Princess Bubblegum. However, this episode is considered non-canon the series.

Quotes

Making your way, in the world today, takes everything you got. Taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot. Wouldn't it be nice to get away, where everybody knows your name, where everybody...
~ Simon Petrikov singing the theme song for "Cheers" in an attempt to keep his sanity.
Hello. My name is Simon Petrikov. I am recording this tape so that people will know my story. I was studying to be an antiquarian of ancient artifacts. Now, I never believed in the supernatural stuff myself—just had a fascination with superstitions, but everything changed when I came into contact with this item, After purchasing this crown from an old dock worker in northern Scandinavia, I brought it home and excitedly showed my fiancée Betty, and jokingly put it on my head just for a laugh or something, and that's when it started. The visions, I fought with them. Shouted at them until I realized it wasn't real—it was the crown!! [Taking crown off] I quickly took it off, and saw my fiancée in front of me, [Whispering] looking at me with such contempt. What had I said? What had I done when I wore this crown? All I know is I never saw Betty again. Since then, I see the visions always whether or not I wear the crown. They tell me the secrets, the secrets of the ice and snow, that the power of the crown will save me with its frost. I don't yet know what this means. As you can see, my skin is beginning to turn blue. My body temperature has been lowering at a supernatural rate, to what is now about 30° C. I don't know when it will end, I'm really scared. I know my mind is changing, but I'm already too far gone to know what to do. I want people to know that, if I do things, if I do things that hurt anyone, please, please forgive me. Just watch over me until I can find a way out of this labyrinth in my brain and regain my sanity!! And then maybe Betty, my princess, maybe you will love me again. [Sobbing] Please love me again Betty!
~ The Ice King about his tragic past.
Heh? Stop meddling, boy! You and your magical dog can't harm me.
~ Ice King in the pilot episode.
Do you know what 'Ice King' means?!
~ Ice King.
Ladies! I brought you a baby, and a puppy!
~ Ice King.
Play it or I'll squish you into juice!
~ Ice King threatening Wildberry Princess - one of his most notable quotes.
Because when you have stanky old Wizard Eyes, sometimes you see things that are real, and other times it's like crazy, crazy, crazy, in your face, all the time. [sighs] All the time...
~ The Ice King explaining his wizard eyes.
What do you think, Finn? Can we pull back the veil of static and reach in to the source of all being? Behind this curtain of patterns, this random pattern generator. So clever. Right here in every home, watching us from a one-sided mirror.
~ Ice King in "Beyond this Earthly Realm".
J. T. Dawgzone always says, 'Ladies are drawn to bros. with tortured pasts.' And I've got a way tortured past! I think. I don't really . . . re . . . hmm.
~ Ice King in "I Remember You.
I just wanted to be loved!
~ Ice King in "I Remember You."
Marceline, is it just you and me in the wreckage of the world? That must be so confusing for a little girl. And I know you're going to need me here with you. But I'm losing myself, and I'm afraid you're gonna lose me too. This magic keeps me alive, but it's making me crazy, and I need to save you, but who's going to save me? Please forgive me for whatever I do, when I don't remember you... Marceline, I can feel myself slipping away. I can't remember what it made me say. But I remember that I saw you frown. I swear it wasn't me, it was the crown.
~ Simon's messages to Marceline explaining his declining sanity, which was also sang by the two as "Remember You".

Gallery

Trivia

  • Back when Adventure Time started airing, the Ice King initially received a mixed reception due being considered an "irritable antagonist". However, as the series progressed, the Ice King's later development into a complex character and the revelation of his tragic backstory behind his villainy was widely acclaimed. Some even came to deem him as one of the most tragic figures in television of all time.
  • The Ice King's obsession with kidnapping princesses, aside from his desire for companionship, might be from a desire to feel the love that he once had with with his fiancé Betty, as he referred to Betty as "my princess" on his video tape. This theory, while highly plausible, remains unconfirmed given that it's unknown whether he referred to Betty as such before his crown started sapping at his sanity.
  • Due to the immortality his crown provides him, the Ice King can remain alive even without his heart, Ricardio. However, he is extremely weakened in this state.
    • After the episode "Lady & Peebles", Princess Bubblegum makes a new heart for Ice King made out of Ricardio's sinews, toffee and maracas.

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