Aerys Targaryen was the last of his name to sit on the Iron Throne. Known far and wide as the Mad King, his
was a reign of instability and terror. The Seven Kingdoms are well rid of him and his kind. Oh, he may have
appeared to be a capable ruler at first, but that was due in no small part to his councilors, led by the Hand
of the King, Tywin Lannister. There may have been years of peace and prosperity during Aerys' reign, but it was
Tywin who was really running the country, as Aerys spiraled further and further into insanity.
The dragon spawn were famous for losing their minds. It was the price they paid for centuries of keeping the
bloodlines pure. And Aerys more than happily continued the noble sister-fucking tradition of his forefathers.
As the years passed, Aerys' behavior became increasingly erratic. He cut himself so often on his Iron Throne,
many referred to him as King Scab, though never to his face. It was rumored he had developed an obsession with
wildfire, and was known to inflict horrific punishments on those he considered enemies, including burning them
alive. As his paranoia and blood-lust grew, he had a bitter falling-out with Lord Tywin who had served the Crown
faithfully for 20 years. At least Tywin was able to leave the job with his life and fortunes intact. Subsequent Hands
of King Aerys weren't so fortunate.
Then the Targaryens went too far. The Crown Prince Rhaegar abducted Lyanna Stark, daughter of Rickard Stark, the
Lord of Winterfell. She was my betrothed. She was my beloved. Beautiful and spirited woman. And I loved her more
than life itself. Rhaegar went south with Lyanna, hiding her away in Dorn. What harm he inflicted on the poor girl,
the gods only know.
Brandon Stark, Lyanna's eldest brother, was outraged. He rode to King's Landing to confront the king and demand
his sister's safe return. Instead, Aerys had him executed. His father, Rickard Stark, as well.
There wasn't much left to discuss after that. Aerys feared their loved ones would seek revenge for what he did. He
was right to be afraid. Aerys wasted no time in calling for the heads of Brandon's younger brother, my friend Eddard
Stark, and my head, too, of course. I'm sorry he didn't come looking for it himself.
Alongside Jon Arryn of the Vale - the man who fostered Ned and I as children - Baratheons, Starks and Tullys all
called their banners. Once our rebellion began, the Mad King's days were numbered.