As Aerys Targaryen's behavior grew more and more erratic, the task of ruling the Seven Kingdoms fell to me, Tywin Lannister. I had served
Aerys for nearly 20 years and as a result the realm had prospered. The royal coffers were full, the land was at peace.
But Aerys grew increasingly hostile - jealous of the success many credited to me. My power and influence unnerved him. The captain of my
personal guard, Ser llyn Payne, was once overheard making offhand comments regarding who was the true ruler of Westeros. When the king was
given this information, he had llyn Payne's tongue ripped out with hot pincers.
It was my desire to unite the Houses of Lannister and Targaryen through marriage. My daughter, Cersei, would marry Aerys' eldest son, Prince
Rhaegar. Such a union made perfect sense for all parties. However, Aerys' senses had begun to leave him quite some time earlier. Instead of
uniting the royal family with its most loyal and powerful ally, Aerys chose instead to insult my family, indicating that such a match was
beneath Rhaegar. Instead, he chose Elia Martell of Dorne to be Rhaegar's wife.
As if to rub salt in my wounds, Aerys appointed Jaime, my son, to the Kingsguard. The Kingsguard may be an honor for lesser families than ours,
but it is a lifetime appointment that forces him to renounce all family holdings. This creates a difficulty in naming an heir to Casterly Rock.
But Aerys knew all that.
I had grown tired of the king's constant provocation. Thus, I resigned my post as Aerys' Hand and returned to Casterly Rock with my considerable forces.
When Robert Baratheon rebelled against the throne, Aerys grew fearful that I would join with Robert's forces and rise against him. He thought himself
clever, and kept Jaime very close, as if warning me.
He sunk deeper and deeper into delusion, paranoia and violence. I've heard it said he became obsessed with wildfire - a substance which, once lit,
cannot be extinguished. Convinced he had enemies all around him, he wouldn't allow blades in his presence, save for those of his Kingsguard. Alas,
that proved to be his undoing.