Jon Connington - by Filipe Ferreira
The dancing griffins Hand
Lord of Griffin's Roost
Hand of the King
Hand of the True King
|Born||In 260 AC or 261 AC, at Griffin's Roost|
The World of Ice & Fire (mentioned)|
A Storm of Swords (mentioned)
A Feast for Crows (mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (POV)
The Winds of Winter (mentioned)
Jon Connington, also known as Griff, was the Lord of Griffin's Roost, the head of House Connington, towards the end of the reign of King Aerys II Targaryen, and he served for a short time as Hand of the King to Aerys during Robert's Rebellion. Jon was one of the friends of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, and served at the court of King's Landing during the years before he became Hand. After failing to defeat Lord Robert Baratheon during the Battle of the Bells, Jon was sent into exile to Essos, where he is believed to have drank himself to death.
Appearance and Character
In his youth, Jon's hair and beard were fiery red. Nearing forty, Jon is clean shaven with a lined, leathery face. He has crow's feet at the corners of his pale, blue eyes. When disguised as the sellsword "Griff", he has dyed his hair blue, though his eyebrows are still red and his red roots show. Jon's hair has turned grey, though his beard is still mostly red, with ash showing here and there. While pretending to be Griff, Jon prefers to wear a red wolf-skin cloak.
A capable warrior and commander, Jon was described in his youth as proud, bold, energetic, reckless, and thirsty for glory. His years spent in exile have made him more cautious, dangerous, and experienced, however. Though Griffin's Roost is sworn to Storm's End, the humorless Jon disliked serving Lord Robert Baratheon.
George R.R. Martin has confirmed that one of the POV characters in A Dance with Dragons is gay, 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 Jon believed Rhaegar's wife, Elia Martell, to have been unworthy of him.
Jon Connington was the only son of Armond Connington, Lord of Griffin's Roost, and his wife. Jon served as a squire in King's Landing, first alongside Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and later for the crown prince. Jon was the most headstrong of the lordlings around Rhaegar.
During a time when his father was still alive, Rhaegar visited Griffin's Roost upon returning from a trip to Dorne, and visited the tallest tower of the castle with Jon. 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. In 280 AC, Jon was present for the wedding of Rhaegar to Princess Elia Martell of Dorne. In 281 AC, Jon was present at the tourney at Harrenhal, where he danced with Ashara Dayne. In a tourney at Storm's End, he was unhorsed by Ser Barristan Selmy of the Kingsguard.
During Robert's Rebellion, King Aerys II Targaryen dismissed his Hand of the King, Lord Owen Merryweather, believing him ineffectual and suspecting foul play by Owen in favor of the rebels. To match Robert Baratheon, Lord of Storm's End and one of the leaders of the rebellion, Aerys wanted someone young and vigorous as his next Hand, and so named Jon to the office. Lord Tywin Lannister, a former Hand to Aerys, considered Jon too young and impetuous.
Jon promised King Aerys he would deliver Robert's head, and he led an army into the field. After the Battle of Ashford, Jon took over the pursuit of Robert from the Tyrell army and tracked him to Stoney Sept in the riverlands. Offering rewards and putting hostages in crow cages, Jon's soldiers began a house-to-house search for Robert. They were unable to locate him before his rebel allies, Lords Eddard Stark and Hoster Tully, arrived at Stoney Sept to oust Jon and his forces. Lord Connington fought back fiercely, killing Lord Jon Arryn's nephew and heir, Ser Denys Arryn, and wounding Lord Tully. Nearly slain by Robert at the town's sept, Jon retreated when he saw that the Battle of the Bells was lost.
King Aerys held Jon responsible for his defeat at Stoney Sept and exiled him, stripping him of his titles and passing the rule of Griffin's Roost to Ser Ronald Connington, who had been Jon's castellan. Prince Rhaegar Targaryen was then killed by Robert at the Trident and Aerys was killed in the Sack of King's Landing.
After the war, the new king, Robert I, took nine-tenths of the Connington lands, distributing them to more fervent supporters. He also took away the lordship from House Connington, making them a house of landed knights. Once on the Iron Throne Robert was not willing to recall Jon from exile, since he had been among Rhaegar's closest friends.
The exiled Jon joined the Golden Company and served with them for five years, rising quickly in the ranks to a place of honor at the right hand of Ser Myles Toyne, the company's captain-general. Jon believes that, had his exile gone otherwise, he might have been the successor to his friend Myles instead of Harry Strickland. When he reflected on the Battle of the Bells in his first year of exile, the proud Jon defended his actions. Myles argued that Lord Tywin Lannister would have burned down Stoney Sept to kill Robert, despite the civilian casualties.
After a few short years in the company, Jon and Myles were approached by Illyrio Mopatis and Lord Varys, who informed them that Prince Rhaegar Targaryen's infant son, Aegon, had survived the Sack of King's Landing during Robert's Rebellion. 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 driven from the company after being caught stealing from the company's war chests. Afterwards, news was spread that Jon drank himself to death in Lys.
While Jon went along with Varys's scheme for Prince Aegon's sake, he believed it a dishonorable slight and resented the shameful lie of his death. Varys, however, was adamant about the need for secrecy. The rumors of Jon's disgrace and death eventually reached Westeros and convinced everyone that he was dead, enabling him to focus on raising and protecting "Young Griff" in the guise of his father, "Griff", during the past twelve years.
A Dance with Dragons
Jon Connington, having dyed his hair blue, goes under the name "Griff" and has been raising his claimed son, "Young Griff", secretly Prince Aegon. Jon is still haunted by his failure at the Battle of the Bells, now feeling he should have burned Stoney Sept instead of being honorable and seeking glory.
Griff and Young Griff travel on the Shy Maid alongside Haldon, Rolly Duckfield, Lemore, Ysilla, and Yandry. Jon plans to meet with Daenerys Targaryen, Queen of Meereen, 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. Illyrio Mopatis sends them Tyrion Lannister, who has fled Westeros after killing his father Tywin and being condemned for the death of King Joffrey I Baratheon. While Illyrio informs Jon of Tyrion's identity, the secret is kept from the rest of the company.
While the Shy Maid journeys 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 dragonlore. When they reach the Sorrows, Jon orders Young Griff to safety below deck, but the boy protests. Tyrion reveals he is aware of Jon's true identity and states he should be lucky that Varys is part of their conspiracy, as the name "Griff" would never have fooled the spymaster. Tyrion also reveals that he is aware of the true identity of Young Griff. When stone men attack the company in Chroyane, Jon rescues Tyrion after the latter is knocked into the water. Jon contracts greyscale while rescuing Tyrion, but he keeps it a secret for fear he would be left to die.
The company soon reaches Selhorys, where Jon sends Haldon with Tyrion to learn about rumors that Daenerys has not yet left Meereen. Although these are true, Jon decides to continue their journey to Volon Therys, where the Golden Company is currently stationed. Jon reveals the identity of the young Prince Aegon to the Golden Company, but the highest-ranking officers have already been informed by Harry Strickland, their captain-general. The officers are dismayed that Daenerys stayed in Meereen, and voice their opinions on the constantly changing plans of Illyrio. Aegon 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. As the greyscale is beginning to spread across his hand, Jon hopes he will live long enough to seat Aegon on the Iron Throne.
The journey of the Golden Company to Westeros is difficult, due to the autumn storms. The ships are scattered, and the Volantene fleet drops them off on multiple different locations, leaving the landing of the Golden Company with a smaller host. Despite this, Jon leads a group of men in the successful taking of Griffin's Roost, his own former seat. Jon reminisces over Prince Rhaegar Targaryen visit to Griffin's Roost, his defeat in the Battle of the Bells, his exile by King Aerys II Targaryen, and the taking of his lands by King Robert I Baratheon. 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, Red Ronnet, is away. Jon has his remaining family members taken into custody, and tells Haldon to prepare a letter to Doran Martell, telling the Prince of Dorne that his sister Elia's son, Prince Aegon, is still alive. When Haldon discusses rewards to hand out to lords in order to convince them to join 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.
When Prince Aegon arrives at Griffin's Roost four days later, Jon recalls how he had disagreed with the boy's decision to name Rolly to the Kingsguard, as Jon had hoped to fill the White Swords 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 lead the attack himself.
Jon wishes to let the Iron Throne believe that the invading force is simply an exiled lord attempting to retake his old seat, and he plans to write King Tommen I Baratheon for a pardon to support the ruse. News of Jon and Aegon arrives in King's Landing not too much later, and Red Ronnet is intent on retaking his seat, though Tommen's small council is in doubt about his loyalty. Ser Kevan Lannister, Tommen's regent, realizes that Jon could be a dangerous threat.
The Winds of Winter
|| Warning |
This information has thus far been released in a sample chapter for The Winds of Winter, and might therefore not be in finalized form. Keep in mind that the content as described below is still subject to change.
Ser Addam Whitehead is among a group of men from the Weeping Town who seek out Jon at Griffin's Roost. Jon's letter reaches Doran, who sends his daughter, Princess Arianne, to seek out Aegon and Jon, who calls himself the Hand of the True King. Arianne learns that Jon has marched from Griffin's Roost, and that he has forbidden the sellswords of the Golden Company from raping during their invasion. Lady Mary Mertyns is skeptical of their conduct, however. Once at Griffin's Roost, Haldon informs the princess that Jon and Aegon have taken Storm's End, where Arianne is awaited.
Quotes by Jon
I understand hate well enough.—Jon, to Tyrion Lannister
Death, he knew, but slow. I still have time. A year. Two years. Five. Some stone men live for ten. Time enough to cross the sea, to see Griffin's Roost again. To end the Usurper's line for good and all, and put Rhaegar's son upon the Iron Throne. Then Lord Jon Connington could die content.—Jon's thoughts
I rose too high, loved too hard, dared too much. I tried to grasp a star, overreached, and fell.—Jon's thoughts
Quotes about Jon
He has supped on hate himself, this one. It has warmed him in the night for years.—Tyrion Lannister's thoughts
We want no songs about the gallant exile. Those who die heroic deaths are long remembered, thieves and drunks and cravens soon forgotten.—Varys to Jon
—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.—Mace Tyrell, to the small council
Too soon. Connington is too young, too bold, too eager for glory.
If this is indeed Jon Connington, he will be a different man. Older, harder, more seasoned ... more dangerous.—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.
Melons or maidenheads, it’s all the same to your sort. If you want it, you take it. If you should see this Lord Connington, you tell him that I knew his mother, and she would be ashamed.
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.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 18, Tyrion V.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 11, Jaime II.
- A Dance with Dragons, Appendix.
- The Winds of Winter, Arianne I
- See the Jon Connington calculation.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Jon Connington.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 61, The Griffin Reborn.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 8, Daenerys I.
- A Dance with Dragons, Epilogue.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 27, Jaime III.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 24, The Lost Lord.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 8, Tyrion III.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 14, Tyrion IV.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 22, Tyrion VI.
- So Spake Martin: Union Square Signing (July 14, 2011)
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 24, Bran II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 67, Jaime VIII.
- So Spake Martin: Young Lord Connington (August 25, 2000)
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 14, Brienne III.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 29, Arya V.
- So Spake Martin: Knights and Lords (March 02, 2002)
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 3, Tyrion I.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 24, Cersei V.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 5, Tyrion II.
- The Winds of Winter, Arianne II
- Westeros.org, "The ASOIAF wiki thread"