The Ice King could honestly say that between his stanky old wizard eyes, the shouting voices, spontaneous memory loss, and sinsister whispering of the crown, he was merely stumbling around through a haze of sensation that did not often match up with reality.
He saw things that weren't there. He'd tried once to explain this to Finn and Jake, but they just didn't understand how difficult it was. The problem was that he knew he was seeing things, but didn't know how to tell the real from the unreal. He would dismiss something as an illusion only to be smacked in the face with a fist or trip over Gunter. He would dodge a swarm of bees only to be seen dancing like a crazy.
The voices in his mind were always angry. They shouted and screamed and yelled until he could no longer hear himself. He became lost in a sea of thoughts that weren't entirely his. Morals became tangled, ideology twisted, and his will burried beneath theirs.
His memory was riddled with holes. There were long stretches of time that he simply could not remember. No amount of concentrating could bring them back. He would find himself in the midst of a fight he could not remember starting or blacking out during a conversation.
The worst by far was the crown. It's whispers cut through the cacophany of voices straight to his core. It told him that only its frost can save him. It tells him to send blizzards of snow and hail to all that enter his kingdom. It tells him to slow the creatures until their hearts become as cold and frozen as his. It tells him that he needs no one because they will all be a part of him once they join him in ice.
He fights. Of course he fights. It is unfocused, baseless, and altogether ineffective. His resistance is an automatic push, the opposite reaction to that of the crown. There is no real strength behind it, just a desperate need to preserve something that was him.
The crown was stronger though. He could not remember what he was fighting for or even if he should be fighting and then his memory would unblank and a battle outside would demand his attention. The fruitless struggle would be forgotten along with any possible reason for restistance his shattered mind would cook up. The ache of himself, his very soul, being eaten away was lost.
There was however one thing that the crown could not destroy completely.
His overwhelming, all encompassing love for his princess.
Even at his worst, when he was too far gone to speak, he loved his princess. There was not a single moment that he stopped loving her. The occasional burst of strength that made him fight back came from her. He would be able to see, like a short burst of sun through the clouds, the reason he still fought.
In his muddled mind though, this pure, untainted love came out not quite right. His kidnapping of princesses was only his way of fighting back. His love filtered through both the labrinth of his mind and the crown was only able to become a pull towards anything to do with princesses.
He did not want to hurt anybody, but then again his wants were not a concern of those in control of his body. He was only able to vaguely influence his actions toward finding a princess.
It helped him preserve was one thing that he held close and even the crown could not force him to leave behind in all the years he had been controlled.
A single singed photograph of a smiling, dark haired man holding his pink, blushing princess.