Jon Connington

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House Connington.svg Lord
Jon Connington
Golden Company.svg
Jon connington.png
‎Jon Connington - by Filipe Ferreira

Aliases
  • Griff[1]
  • The dancing griffins Hand[2]
  • The lord of griffins[3][4]
  • Young Lord Connington[5]
  • The griffin[6]
Titles
Allegiances
Predecessors
Successors
Culture Stormlander
Born In 260 AC or 261 AC[10]Griffin's Roost[11]
Father Lord Armond Connington
Books

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.[12] He served for a short time as Hand of the King to Aerys during Robert's Rebellion.[2]

Appearance and Character

In his youth, Jon's hair and beard were fiery red.[13] Now nearing forty, Jon is clean shaven with a lined, leathery face.[13][7] He has crow's feet at the corners of his pale blue eyes.[7][14] When disguised as the sellsword "Griff", he dyes his hair blue, though his eyebrows are still red and his red roots show.[7][14] Jon's hair has turned grey,[13] though when he grows a beard, it is still mostly red, with ash showing here and there.[12] While pretending to be Griff, Jon prefers to wear a red wolf-skin cloak.[7][14][15][13]

Jon Connington and Rhaegar Targaryen
Art by yakuzafish

Jon is a capable warrior and commander. He was described in his youth as proud, arrogant, energetic, reckless, and thirsty for glory.[16] However, his years spent in exile have made him more cautious, dangerous, and experienced.[16][14] Though Griffin's Roost is sworn to Storm's End, the humorless[14] Jon disliked serving Lord Robert Baratheon.[9] Jon is haunted by his failure at the Battle of the Bells, and the sound of bells ringing greatly disturbs him. He often dreams of bells, and of the battle.[13]

George R.R. Martin has confirmed that Jon Connington is gay.[17][18] It is implied that Jon was in love with Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. Jon refers to Rhaegar as "my silver prince" when he reminisces about him,[13] and Jon believes Rhaegar's wife, Princess Elia Martell, to have been unworthy of him.[12] Jon also thinks very fondly of the late Ser Myles Toyne, remembering that his ugly features did not matter "when he smiled at you".[13]

History

Jon Connington - by mustamirri ©

Early life

Jon Connington was the only son of Armond Connington, Lord of Griffin's Roost, and his wife.[19] Jon served as a squire in King's Landing, first alongside Prince Rhaegar Targaryen,[15] and later for the crown prince.[9] Jon was considered to be one of Prince Rhaegar's dear friends.[5] Some felt Jon was the most headstrong of the young lordlings who had gathered around Rhaegar, seeking his favor.[16]

During a time when Jon's father was still alive, Rhaegar was returning from a trip to Dorne, and visited Griffin's Roost for a fortnight. At the welcoming feast, Rhaegar played a song on his harp that made every woman in the hall cry, but per Jon's recollection, none of the men. Rhaegar visited the tallest tower of the castle with Jon, and complimented the beauty of the Connington lands.[12] After Armond died, Jon inherited the rule to Griffin's Roost. When Jon left to serve at King's Landing, he named his cousin, Ser Ronald Connington, as castellan.[12] In 280 AC, Jon was present for the wedding of Rhaegar to Princess Elia Martell of Dorne.[12] In 281 AC, Jon was present at the tourney at Harrenhal, where he danced with Ashara Dayne.[3] In a tourney at Storm's End, he was unhorsed in a joust by Ser Barristan Selmy of the Kingsguard.[20]

Robert's Rebellion

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.[21] 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.[16][22] Lord Tywin Lannister, a former Hand to Aerys, considered Jon to be too young and impetuous.[16]

Jon promised King Aerys he would deliver Robert's head,[16] 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. Jon offered rewards and put hostages in crow cages,[12] while his 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.[23] Jon was nearly slain by Robert at the town's sept,[12] and retreated when he saw that the Battle of the Bells was lost.[23]

King Aerys held Jon responsible for his defeat at Stoney Sept. The king exiled Jon, stripping him of his titles, lands, and wealth, and passing the rule of Griffin's Roost to Ser Ronald Connington.[19][12] After Jon's exile, Prince Rhaegar Targaryen was killed by Robert at the Trident, and Aerys was killed in the Sack of King's Landing. Jon felt that both losses were his fault, as the Battle of the Trident would never had been fought had he killed Robert in Stoney Sept.[13]

Exile

Jon and Myles Toyne, before the golden skulls of the Golden Company. Art by Amuelia ©

After the war, the new king, Robert I Baratheon, was not willing to recall Jon from exile, since he had been among Rhaegar's closest friends.[24] Robert allowed Ronald Connington to keep his castle, but he took away the lordship from House Connington, making them a house of landed knights. Robert also kept the Connington wealth in the treasury, and took away nine-tenths of the Connington lands, distributing them to his more loyal supporters.[19][12]

The exiled Jon joined the Golden Company,[11][13] and rose 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.[13] When Jon reflected on the Battle of the Bells in his first year of exile, he defended his actions, telling Myles that Tywin Lannister himself could not have done more. Myles replied that Tywin would have not bothered searching for Robert; he would have burned down Stoney Sept, burning everything and everybody within the town to kill Robert, despite the civilian casualties.[12]

After Jon had served with the Golden Company for five years, he 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.[11] In order to remove Jon from the Golden Company, they concocted a plan where Jon was driven from the company in disgrace after he was allegedly caught stealing from the war chest. Afterwards, news was spread that Jon drank himself to death in Lys. The remainder of the Golden Company was left unaware of the truth, so that they could not divulge anything.[13]

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, and felt that the lie would help people forget Jon's existence.[13] The rumors of Jon's disgrace and death eventually reached Westeros, and convinced everyone that he was dead.[25][26] Jon focused on raising and protecting "Young Griff" in the guise of his father, "Griff", for twelve years.[13]

Recent Events

A Clash of Kings

Tyrion Lannister tells Petyr Baelish that Jon Connington was one of two recent Hands who died landless and penniless in exile.[25]

A Storm of Swords

Barristan Selmy, in disguise as the squire "Arstan", tells Daenerys Targaryen that Jon Connington was one of her brother Rhaegar's dear friends.[5]

The Kingsguard Jaime Lannister recalls that Jon was one of a series of Hands of the King for Aerys who served so briefly that he remembers their heraldry better than their faces.[2][27]

At Stoney Sept, Harwin tells Arya Stark about the Battle of the Bells.[23]

A Feast for Crows

Jaime Lannister meets Ser Ronnet Connington at Harrenhal, and discusses Jon with him.[19]

A Dance with Dragons

Griff and Young Griff. By Steamey ©

Griff and Young Griff have dyed their hair blue, supposedly in memory of Young Griff's mother, a Tyroshi woman. They travel on the Shy Maid alongside Haldon, Rolly Duckfield, Lemore, Ysilla, and Yandry.[7] 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.[28] Illyrio Mopatis sends them Tyrion Lannister, who has fled Westeros after he killed his father Tywin and was unfairly condemned for the death of King Joffrey I Baratheon.[7][28] While Illyrio informs Jon of Tyrion's identity, the secret is kept from the rest of the company, who only know him as "Yollo" or "Hugor Hill".[7]

While the Shy Maid journeys down the Rhoyne, Jon forbids Tyrion from drinking wine after the latter becomes drunk during one of his first nights on the ship, and orders him to write down everything he still recalls from his extensive reading about dragons.[14] 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.[1] 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.[1][15] Jon contracts greyscale in his right hand while rescuing Tyrion, but he keeps it a secret for fear he would be left to die.[13]

The company soon reaches Selhorys, where Jon sends Haldon with Tyrion to learn about rumors that Daenerys has not yet left Meereen. Tyrion is kidnapped by Jorah Mormont,[15] but Jon believes Tyrion simply escaped to drink and plot some new infamy. Although it is true that Daenerys is still in Meereen, Jon decides to continue their journey to Volon Therys, where the Golden Company is currently stationed.[13] 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.[13]

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 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. He is also glad that Ronald's son, Red Ronnet, is away. Jon has his remaining family members taken into custody. When he tries to get to know his young cousins, their fear and anger make him quickly give up on that plan, and they are returned to their guarded rooms. Jon 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.[12]

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.[12]

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.[12] News of Jon and Aegon arrives in King's Landing not too much later. Red Ronnet tells Tommen's small council that he is intent on retaking his seat, but they are in doubt about his loyalty. Ser Kevan Lannister, Tommen's regent, realizes that Jon could be a dangerous threat.[16]

The Winds of Winter

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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.
Jon Connington with the skull of Myles Toyne, by wodania ©

Ser Addam Whitehead is among a group of men from the Weeping Town who seek out Jon at Griffin's Roost.[6] 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.[9] 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 Arianne reaches Griffin's Roost, Haldon informs her that Jon and Aegon have taken Storm's End, where Arianne is awaited.[6]

Quotes by Jon

Jon: Tywin Lannister himself could have done no more.
Myles: There is where you're wrong. Lord Tywin would not have bothered with a search. He would have burned that town and every living creature in it. Men and boys, babes at the breast, noble knights and holy septons, pigs and whores, rats and rebels, he would have burned them all. When the fires guttered out and only ash and cinders remained, he would have sent his men in to find the bones of Robert Baratheon. Later, when Stark and Tully turned up with their host, he would have offered pardons to the both of them, and they would have accepted and turned for home with their tails between their legs.[12]

—Jon and Myles Toyne, about the Battle of the Bells

I understand hate well enough.[7]

—Jon, to Tyrion Lannister

Seventeen years had come and gone since the Battle of the Bells, yet the sound of bells ringing still tied a knot in his guts. Others might claim that the realm was lost when Prince Rhaegar fell to Robert's warhammer on the Trident, but the Battle of the Trident would never have been fought if the griffin had only slain the stag there in Stoney Sept. The bells tolled for all of us that day. For Aerys and his queen, for Elia of Dorne and her little daughter, for every true man and honest woman in the Seven Kingdoms. And for my silver prince.[13]

—Jon's thoughts

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.[13]

—Jon's thoughts

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.[13]

—Jon's thoughts

I rose too high, loved too hard, dared too much. I tried to grasp a star, overreached, and fell.[12]

—Jon's thoughts

I failed the father, but I will not fail the son.[12]

—Jon's thoughts

Quotes about Jon

The Griffin, by Jroahn

Too soon. Connington is too young, too bold, too eager for glory.[16]

Tywin Lannister, on Jon being named Hand of the King

He has supped on hate himself, this one. It has warmed him in the night for years.[7]

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.[13]

Varys to Jon

Send me against my uncle, and I will bring you back his head, and the head of this false dragon too.[16]

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.[16]

Mace Tyrell, to the small council

If this is indeed Jon Connington, he will be a different man. Older, harder, more seasoned ... more dangerous.[16]

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.[9]

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.[6]

Family

Lord
Connington
 
Unknown
wife
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Armond
 
Unknown
wife
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jon
 
 
 
 
Ronald
 
Unknown
wife
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unknown
woman
 
Ronnet
 
Raymund
 
Alynne
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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.[29]

References

  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 2.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 11, Jaime II.
  3. 3.0 3.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 24, Bran II.
  4. "The Citadel: FAQ, entry 6.2.6- Who were the different people in Meera's story?" (2007)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 8, Daenerys I.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 The Winds of Winter, Arianne II
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 7.9 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 8, Tyrion III.
  8. A Dance with Dragons, Appendix.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 The Winds of Winter, Arianne I
  10. See the Jon Connington calculation.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Jon Connington.
  12. 12.00 12.01 12.02 12.03 12.04 12.05 12.06 12.07 12.08 12.09 12.10 12.11 12.12 12.13 12.14 12.15 12.16 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 61, The Griffin Reborn.
  13. 13.00 13.01 13.02 13.03 13.04 13.05 13.06 13.07 13.08 13.09 13.10 13.11 13.12 13.13 13.14 13.15 13.16 13.17 13.18 13.19 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 24, The Lost Lord.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 14, Tyrion IV.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 22, Tyrion VI.
  16. 16.00 16.01 16.02 16.03 16.04 16.05 16.06 16.07 16.08 16.09 16.10 A Dance with Dragons, Epilogue.
  17. So Spake Martin: Union Square Signing (July 14, 2011).
  18. Union Square Signing transcript
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 27, Jaime III.
  20. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 67, Jaime VIII.
  21. So Spake Martin: Young Lord Connington (August 26, 2000).
  22. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 14, Brienne III.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 29, Arya V.
  24. So Spake Martin: Knights and Lords (March 2, 2002).
  25. 25.0 25.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 3, Tyrion I.
  26. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 24, Cersei V.
  27. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 37, Jaime V.
  28. 28.0 28.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 5, Tyrion II.
  29. Westeros.org, "The ASOIAF wiki thread"