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" when he reminisces about him. Connington's love for Rhaegar is supported by his dislike for Rhaegar's wife, Elia of Dorne, he thinks to himself that Elia was never worthy of him - frail and sickly from the start and left even weaker by childbirth. His love for Rhaegar and may also have been confirmed by semi-canon sources .
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. Not wanting to be branded a murderer, 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.
Once exiled Jon Connington joined the Golden Company and served with them for five years. He rose in the ranks to a place of honor at Myles Toyne’s right hand. Years later he thinks to himself that he might have been a successor to Toyne if his exile had gone otherwise. He thinks had he stayed it might well have been him the men turned to for command after Myles died, instead of Harry Strickland.
It was said that Connington was kicked out of the Golden Company after being caught stealing from the company's war chests. It was also claimed that Connington died, that he drank himself to death in Lys a year later. The shame of the lie still sticks in Connington's craw, but Connington recalls that Varys had insisted the lie was necessary, tittering in his mincing voice,
We want no songs about the gallant exile, those who die heroic deaths are long remembered, thieves and drunks and cravens soon forgotten.
Exactly when Connington became aware of Rhaegar’s son’s survival is not mentioned. He went along with the Spider’s scheme for Prince Aegon’s sake but he never liked it. The rumors of his disgrace and death reached Westeros and successfully convinced everyone involved in the game of thrones that he was dead and gone, enabling him to focus on raising and protecting Young Griff in the guise of his father "Griff". Connington recalls that Varys was adamant about the need for secrecy.
Connigton also recalls that the plans that Varys and Illyrio Mopatis had made with Myles Toyne had been known to them alone. The rest of the Golden Company had been left ignorant. What they did not know they could not let slip.
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.
When he reveals to the high commanders of the Golden Company that the young man with him is actually Prince Aegon Targaryen the men greet his announcement with silence. Connington immediately realizes that they already know, Harry Strickland had told them already.
Upon learning that Daenerys Targaryen remains in Slaver's Bay, the Golden Company, under Aegon's direction, decide to invade 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".
"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".
- Jon Connington, reflecting on the besmirching lies Varys insisted he go along with
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.
- http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/5457/ So Spake Martin July 14, 2011 , UNION SQUARE SIGNING
- 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.