Jon Connington - by Marc Fishman ©
Lord of Griffin's Roost|
Hand of the True King
House Targaryen (King Aegon VI)
A Storm of Swords (Mentioned)|
A Feast for Crows (Mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (POV)
Lord Jon Connington, Lord of Griffin's Roost, was the head of House Connington and for a time Hand of the King. He was one of the few close friends of Rhaegar Targaryen. He had no brothers. It is also implied that Connington was in love with Rhaegar, as he refers to Rhaegar as his "Silver Prince." Connington's love for Rhaegar is supported by his dislike for Rhaegar's wife, Elia of Dorne.
Character and Appearance
Connington is clean shaven with leathery skin and crow's feet at the corners of his eyes, his greying red hair is dyed blue when under the alias of "Griff". 
In his youth he was described as bold, energetic, reckless, and thirsty for glory and 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. 
Jon Connington is the only surviving son of Armond Connington, Lord of Griffin's Roost, and his wife. He served as a squire in King's Landing along with Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. He danced with Ashara Dayne at the Tourney at Harrenhal. and was unhorsed at a tourney held at Storm's End by Ser Barristan Selmy.
Due to his connections with the royal family, and because he was a noted warrior, Aerys II chose him as Hand of the King after the dismissal of Owen Merryweather. Aerys wanted someone young and vigorous to match the rebelling Robert Baratheon's youth and vigor. After the Battle of Ashford, Connington took over the pursuit of Robert Baratheon from the Tyrell army. In the Riverlands, near the town of Stoney Sept, he caught up with Robert who was hiding in the town. Connington's soldiers began a house-to-house search after failing to find him, but they didn't located Robert Baratheon before his allies arrived at Stoney Sept to oust Connington and his forces.
At this point the Battle of the Bells began. The rebel army under the joint command of Eddard Stark, Jon Arryn and Hoster Tully immediately began attacking the royal army. Connington fought back fiercely where he personally killed Arryn's nephew and heir, Denys Arryn, and wounded Lord Tully. Robert nearly killed him on the steps of the sept but he managed to escape and was able to retreat in good order. Jon Connington's retreat was quite a feat considering the fierce fighting and the location (town, house to house fighting) would make it hard to hold the army together.
Connington could easily have had Stoney Sept surrounded and then set the whole town ablaze, killing Robert (and ending the rebellion) before the relief force of Eddard Stark and Hoster Tully arrived. Connington's critics have said Tywin Lannister would have done so, despite the fact it would have meant the deaths of many innocent men, women and children. Connington chose a more honourable course of action, wanting the glory of slaying Robert for himself.
King Aerys II held Connington responsible for this defeat and exiled him, stripping him of his lands, wealth and titles. While in exile Connington joined the Golden Company and served with them for several years. It was said he was kicked out after being caught attempting to steal from the company's war chests. It was also claimed that Connington drank himself to death a year later.
A Dance with Dragons
The story of Connington stealing from the Golden Company and then drinking himself to death was a fabrication created by Varys, in order to hide Jon's true purpose. After some investigation, Tyrion Lannister learns that Connington changed his name to Griff and adopted Rhaegar's son Aegon (whom many falsely believed to be dead) with the intention of eventually conquering Westeros and placing the boy on the Iron Throne. They plan to join their strength to Daenerys Targaryen in Volantis. Connington is infected with Greyscale during the journey to Volantis when rescuing Tyrion Lannister from drowning, but keeps it a secret.
Upon learning that Daenerys remains in Slaver's Bay, the Golden Company, under Aegon's direction, decide to attack Westeros instead because the time is ripe. Connington, Aegon and the Golden Company land in the Stormlands and take several castles, including Connington's ancestral keep Griffin's Roost. They next plan to take Storm's End, where Aegon will raise the standard of House Targaryen above the battlements.
Connington is plagued by guilt over the Battle of the Bells and hears the tolling of the bells every time he closes his eyes. He knows that with the Greyscale death is coming for him, but hopes to live just a few more years to end the usurper's line and restore Aegon VI to the Iron Throne. Jon Connington believes if he can achieve this it will finally stop the tolling of the bells and he can die content in his home of Griffin's Roost.
I rose too high, loved too hard, dared too much. I tried to grasp a star, overreached, and fell.
- Jon Connington, on his younger self
"I failed the father, but I will not fail the son".
References and Notes
- The Winds of Winter, Arianne sample chapter
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 8, Daenerys I.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 27, Jaime III.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 5, Tyrion II.
- A Dance with Dragons, Epilogue.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 24, Bran II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 67, Jaime VIII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 29, Arya V.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 61, The Griffin Reborn.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 18, Tyrion V.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 24, The Lost Lord.