When Game Of Thrones mentions the Mad King it’s often to discuss how mad he was. Sure, we know he was fond of wildfire and burning people alive, but what else do we really know about the last Targaryen king? Why was he so mad and what did he actually want?
As it turns out, the Mad King wasn’t simply mad for the fun of it: he was mad because no one was listening to the things that he wanted to get done. For one thing, King Aerys wanted to build a new Wall 100 miles north of the current one and take all the territory in between for himself. And while that probably wouldn’t have been a great idea considering the White Walkers there, hey, at least someone in Westeros other than Jon wanted to talk about the Wall.
Other things the Mad King wanted was to replace all of King’s Landing with a new capital; one that was comprised entirely of white marble. This would’ve served little purpose other than to show off his wealth, which of course he didn’t have much of since he owed so much to the Iron Bank. His solution for that, however, was simply to go to war with Braavos so that he didn’t have to pay back the debt.
Okay, so maybe he was a little mad after all.