Jon Connington

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Jon Connington
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Jon connington.png
‎Jon Connington - by Filipe Ferreira

Alias Griff[1]
The dancing griffins Hand[2]
Title Lord of Griffin's Roost[1][3]
Hand of the King[1]
Hand of the True King[4]
Allegiance House Connington
House Targaryen
Golden Company
Culture Stormlands
Born In 260 AC or 261 AC[5], at Griffin's Roost[6]
Book(s) The World of Ice and Fire (mentioned)
A Storm of Swords
A Feast for Crows (mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (POV)

Jon Connington, also known as Griff,[1] was the Lord of Griffin's Roost, the head of House Connington, towards the end of the reign of King Aerys II Targaryen,[7] and served for a short time as Hand of the King to Aerys II, during Robert's Rebellion.[2] Jon was one of the friends of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen,[8] and served at the court of King's Landing during the years before he became Hand.[9] After failing to defeat Lord Robert Baratheon during the Battle of the Bells, he was sent into exile to Essos, where he is believed to have drunk himself to death.[10]

Appearance and Character

See also: Images of Jon Connington
Jon Connington and Rhaegar Targaryen
Art by yakuzafish

In his youth, Jon's hair and beard were fiery red.[11] Nearing forty, Jon is clean shaven with a lined, leathery face.[11][12] He has crow's feet at the corners of his pale, blue eyes.[12][13] When disguised as "Griff", he has dyed his hair blue, though his eyebrows are still red, and his red roots are still showing.[12][13] By now, his hair has turned grey,[11] though his beard is still mostly red, with here and there ash showing.[7] Whilst pretending to be the sellsword "Griff", he prefers to wear a red wolf-skin cloak.[11][12][13][14]

In his youth Jon was described as proud, bold, energetic, reckless, and thirsty for glory. He was ever a capable warrior and commander. His years spent in exile have made him more cautious, more seasoned, and, according to Kevan Lannister, more dangerous.[9] Tyrion Lannister considers Jon to be dangerous as well, and to be without humor.[13] Even though Griffin's Roost is sworn to Storm's End, Jon had chafed at serving under a lord like Robert Baratheon.[4]

George R.R. Martin has confirmed that one of the POV characters in A Dance with Dragons is gay,[15] and it is implied that this is Jon, who was in love with Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. Jon refers to Rhaegar as his silver prince when he reminisces about him, and believed Rhaegar's wife Elia Martell, to have been unworthy of him.[7]


Jon Connington - by mustamirri ©

Early Life

Jon Connington was the only son of Armond Connington, Lord of Griffin's Roost, and his wife.[10] Jon served as a squire in King's Landing, first alongside Prince Rhaegar Targaryen,[14] later for Prince Rhaegar.[4] He was the most headstrong amongst the gaggle of young lordlings who would gather around Prince Rhaegar competing for his royal favour.[9]

During a time when his father was still alive, Rhaegar visited Griffin's Roost upon returning from a visit to Dorne. Jon recalls how he walked the castle with Rhaegar.[7] When his father died, Jon inherited the rule to Griffin's Roost, and named his cousin Ser Ronald Connington as castellan when he left to serve at King's Landing.[7] In 280 AC, Jon was present for the wedding of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen to Princess Elia Martell of Dorne, and felt that Elia was unworthy of Rhaegar.[7] In 281 AC, Jon was present at the tourney at Harrenhal, where he danced with Ashara Dayne.[16] In a later tourney at Storm's End, he was unhorsed by Ser Barristan Selmy of the Kingsguard.[17]

Robert's Rebellion

See also: Robert's Rebellion and the Battle of the Bells.

During Robert's Rebellion, King Aerys II Targaryen decided to dismiss his Hand of the King, Lord Owen Merryweather, believing him to be too ineffectual, even suspecting foul play in favor of the rebels on his part.[18] To match Robert Baratheon, one of the leaders of the rebellion, Aerys wanted someone young and vigorous as his next Hand, and named Jon to the office.[19][9] When word of the king’s choice reached Lord Tywin Lannister, a former Hand of the King, Tywin declared that the Handship had come to soon for Jon, believing him too be too young, too bold and too eager for glory.[9]

Jon promised King Aerys that he would deliver him the head of Robert Baratheon,[9] and personally led an army into the field. After the Battle of Ashford, Jon took over the pursuit of Robert from the Tyrell army. In the Riverlands, near the town of Stoney Sept, he caught up with Robert, who had been hiding in the town. Jon's soldiers began a house-to-house search after failing to find him, but they did not locate Robert before his rebel allies arrived at Stoney Sept to oust Jon and his forces. At this point the Battle of the Bells began. The rebel army under the joint command of Lords Eddard Stark, Jon Arryn and Hoster Tully immediately began attacking the royal army. Jon fought back fiercely, personally killing Jon Arryn's nephew and heir, Denys Arryn, and wounding Lord Hoster Tully.[20] When Jon saw that the battle was lost, he managed to escape and was able to retreat in good order.[20]

When he later reflected on his search for Robert, during his first year in exile, Jon claimed that even Tywin Lannister himself could not have done better. His friend Myles Toyne, however, argued that Tywin would not have bothered with a search, but would have burned the town and everyone in it. Jon realized that Myles was right, but admitted to himself that, because he had wanted the glory of killing Robert personally, and had not wanted to be branded a murderer, he chose the more honorable course of action.[7]

King Aerys II held Jon responsible for his defeat at the Battle of the Bells and exiled him, stripping him of his titles, passing the rule of Griffin's Roost over to Ser Ronald Connington, who had been Jon's castellan. After the war, the new King Robert I Baratheon took nine-tenths of the Connington lands, distributing them to more fervent supporters. He also took away the lordship from House Connington, making it a knightly house.[7][10] Once on the Iron Throne Robert was not willing to recall Lord Jon from exile, since he had been among Prince Rhaegar's closest friends.[21]


Now exiled, knowing little else to do, Jon joined the Golden Company.[6][11] He served with the company for five years, rising quickly in the ranks to a place of honor at the right hand of Myles Toyne, the captain-general. Jon believes that, had his exile gone otherwise, he might have been the successor to Myles instead of Harry Strickland.[11]

After a few short years in the Company, both Jon and Myles Toyne were approached by Illyrio Mopatis and Varys, who informed them that Prince Rhaegar Targaryen's infant son, Aegon, had survived the Sack of King's Landing during Robert's Rebellion.[6] In order to remove Jon from the Golden Company, they concocted a plan, of which the remainder of the Golden Company was left unaware, so they would not be able to let anything slip. Jon was kicked out of the Golden Company after being caught stealing from the company's war chests. Afterwards, news was spread that Jon had died, having drank himself to death in Lys. The shame of the lie caused considerable resentment on Jon’s end, but Varys insisted the lie was necessary, stating that gallant exiles are long remembered, whereas thieves and drunks are soon forgotten.[11]

While Jon went along with Varys's scheme for Prince Aegon's sake, he never liked it, believing it to be a dishonorable slight. Varys, however, was adamant about the need for secrecy.[11] The rumors of his disgrace and death eventually reached Westeros and successfully convinced everyone that he was dead,[22][23] enabling him to focus on raising and protecting "Young Griff" in the guise of his father, "Griff", during the past twelve years.[11]

Recent Events

Griff with Aegon - © Steamey

A Dance with Dragons

Jon Connington, having dyed his hair blue, goes under the name Griff, and has been raising his "son", Young Griff, secretly Prince Aegon, on the Shy Maid, alongside Haldon, Rolly Duckfield, Lemore, Ysilla and Yandry.[12] Jon plans to meet up with Queen Daenerys Targaryen, expecting her to journey towards Westeros with her army after her conquest of the cities in Slaver's Bay. Knowing that, whichever route she chooses, Daenerys needs to pass Volantis, it has been decided that the company will wait for her at the Free City.[24] Illyrio Mopatis sends them Tyrion Lannister, who has fled Westeros after killing his father and being condemned to death for the death of King Joffrey Baratheon.[12][24] While Connington is made aware by Illyrio who Tyrion is immediately upon the latter's arrival, the secret is kept from the rest of the company.[12]

While the Shy Maid journey's down the Rhoyne, Jon forbids Tyrion from drinking wine after the latter becomes drunk during one of his first night on the ship, and orders him to write down everything he still recalls from his extensive reading about dragons.[13] When they reach the Sorrows, home to the stone men, Jon orders "Young Griff" to go below deck, where he will be safe, but the boy protests. Tyrion Lannister reveals that he is aware of Jon's true identity, and informs him that he should be lucky that Varys is part of their conspiracy, as the name "Griff" would never have fooled the spymaster.[1] Tyrion also reveals that he is aware of the true identity of "Young Griff". When the stone men attack the company on the boat, Jon rescues Lannister when the latter is knocked into the water.[1][14] It is later revealed that Jon has contracted greyscale by rescuing Tyrion, which he keeps a secret from everyone else, knowing he'll be left to die if his secret is discovered.[11]

The company soon reaches Selhorys, and Jon sends Haldon with Tyrion into the city to learn the truth about the rumors claiming that Daenerys Targaryen has still not yet left Meereen.[14] Despite the fact that these rumors are confirmed to be true, Jon decides to continue their journey to Volon Therys, where the Golden Company is currently stationed.[11] Jon presents the young Prince to the Golden Company and reveals the boy's true identity, but to his dismay, none of the highest-ranking officers are surprised, and Jon realises Harry Strickland, the commander of the Golden Company, had already revealed the secret to them earlier. The officers of the Golden Company are in dismay about the fact that Daenerys Targaryen continues to stay at Meereen, and voice their opinions on the constantly changing plans of Illyrio Mopatis. It is Prince Aegon who eventually suggests they go to Westeros themselves, where they will begin their rebellion, reasoning that, once Daenerys learns of their purpose, she will come west and join them. Aegon's proposal is met with great enthusiasm, and Jon later reflects on his satisfaction with the plan, impressed with the side Aegon showed that day. As the greyscale he has contracted is beginning to spread across his hand, Jon hopes he will live long enough to seat Aegon on the Iron Throne.[11] Additionally, Jon is still plagued by guilt over the outcome of the Battle of the Bells and hears the tolling of the bells every time he closes his eyes. He knows that with greyscale his death is coming for him, and believes that if he can achieve seating Aegon on the throne, the bells will finally stop tolling and he can die content in his home of Griffin's Roost.[11]

Jon Connington deals with his greyscale. ©FFG

The journey of the Golden Company to Westeros is difficult, due to the autumn storms. The ships are scattered, and the Volantene have dropped them off on multiple different locations, leaving them with a smaller host. Despite this, Jon leads a group of men to conquer Griffin's Roost, his own former seat, which they do successfully. Once in the castle, Jon reminisces over the time Rhaegar Targaryen visited Griffin's Roost, and reflects on how he was unable to stop Robert Baratheon, how Aerys II Targaryen exiled him, and how his lands were mostly taken away by Robert. Jon is glad that his cousin Ronald, who had received rule over Griffin's Roost after Jon's exile, is dead, as it means he will not have to fight him, as well as that Ronald's son Ronnet is away. Jon has his remaining family members taken into custody, and tells Haldon to prepare a letter to Prince Doran Martell of Dorne, telling him his sister's son is still alive, stating that gaining the support from the Prince of Dorne is essential. When Haldon discusses rewards to hand out to lords in order to convince them to join Prince Aegon's cause, Jon refuses to marry Aegon off, insisting he must be free to marry Daenerys once she returns to Westeros. He also refuses to present himself as a marriage candidate, for fear of having his greyscale become known.[7]

When Prince Aegon arrives four days later, Jon recalls how he had disagreed with Aegon's decision to name Rolly to the Kingsguard, as he hoped to fill the Kingsguard with younger sons of important lords to bind them to their cause. Jon informs the prince that they are planning to take Storm's End in ten days, having previously refused the suggestion of making an alliance with Stannis Baratheon. Aegon agrees with Jon's plan, but demands he leads the troups himself.[7]

Jon wishes to let the Iron Throne believe that the invading force is simply an exiled Lord attempting to retake his old seat, and even plans to write the King to ask for a pardon to support the ruse.[7] News of Jon arrive in King's Landing not too much later (though news of Aegon has reached them as well), and Jon's cousin Ronnet Connington is intent on retaking his seat, though the small council is in doubt about his loyalty. Kevan Lannister, recalling Jon from the past, realises that he could be a dangerous threat.[9]

The Winds of Winter

Jon's letter has reached Prince Doran Martell, who sends out his daughter Arianne to seek out Jon and Aegon.[4]

Quotes by Jon

I understand hate well enough.[12]
– Jon, to Tyrion Lannister

Let me live long enough to see the boy sit on the Iron Throne, and Varys will pay for that slight and so much more. Then we'll see who's soon forgotten.[11]
– Jon's thoughts

I rose too high, loved too hard, dared too much. I tried to grasp a star, overreached, and fell.[7]
– Jon's thoughts

I failed the father, but I will not fail the son.[7]
– Jon's thoughts

Quotes about Jon

He has supped on hate himself, this one. It has warmed him in the night for years.[12]
Tyrion Lannister's thoughts

Send me against my uncle, and I will bring you back his head, and the head of this false dragon too.[9]
Ronnet Connington, to the small council

What victories has he ever won that we should fear him? He could have ended Robert's Rebellion at Stoney Sept. He failed. Just as the Golden Company has always failed. Some may rush to join them, aye. The realm is well rid of such fools.[9]
Mace Tyrell, to the small council

Too soon. Connington is too young, too bold, too eager for glory.[9]
Tywin Lannister, on Jon being named Hand of the King

If this is indeed Jon Connington, he will be a different man. Older, harder, more seasoned ... more dangerous.[9]
Kevan Lannister's thoughts

Arianne: What sort of man was he? Honest and honorable, venal and grasping, proud?

Daemon: Proud, for a certainty. Even arrogant. A faithful friend to Rhaegar, but prickly with others. Robert was his liege, but I've heard it said that Connington chafed at serving such a lord.[25]

Arianne Martell and Daemon Sand


Ronald Storm

Behind the scenes

The Appendix of A Dance with Dragons lists Jon Connington as a previous lord of Storm's End. This has been confirmed to have been a mistake, and should have been "Lord of Griffin's Roost" instead.[26]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 18, Tyrion V.
  2. 2.0 2.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 11, Jaime II.
  3. A Dance with Dragons, Appendix.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 The Winds of Winter, Arianne I
  5. See the Jon Connington calculation.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Jon Connington.
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 61, The Griffin Reborn.
  8. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 8, Daenerys I.
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 A Dance with Dragons, Epilogue.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 27, Jaime III.
  11. 11.00 11.01 11.02 11.03 11.04 11.05 11.06 11.07 11.08 11.09 11.10 11.11 11.12 11.13 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 24, The Lost Lord.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 12.8 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 8, Tyrion III.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 14, Tyrion IV.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 22, Tyrion VI.
  15. So Spake Martin: Union Square Signing (July 14, 2011)
  16. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 24, Bran II.
  17. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 67, Jaime VIII.
  18. So Spake Martin: Young Lord Connington (August 25, 2000)
  19. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 14, Brienne III.
  20. 20.0 20.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 29, Arya V.
  21. So Spake Martin: Knights and Lords (March 02, 2002)
  22. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 3, Tyrion I.
  23. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 24, Cersei V.
  24. 24.0 24.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 5, Tyrion II.
  25. The Winds of Winter, Arianne I
  26., "The ASOIAF wiki thread"

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