Jon Connington was the former head of House Connington and Lord of Griffin’s Roost right towards the end of the reign of King Aerys II Targaryen. He served for a short time as the Hand of the King. On losing the Battle of the Bells to the Demon of the Trident, he got exiled by Aerys. As one of the friends of Rhaegar Targaryen, the crown prince, he got haunted by his inability to stop Robert from taking over the seven kingdoms.
Summary of Known Information
- Name: Jon Connington.
- Year of Birth: 260 AC in Griffin’s Roost.
- Allegiances: House Targaryen, House Connington, Golden Company.
- Father: Lord Armond Connington.
- Culture: Stormlander.
- Aliases: Griff, The Lord of Griffins, Young Lord Connington, The Griffin, The Dancing Griffin’s Hand.
- Titles: Ser, Lord of Griffin’s Roost, Hand of the King, Hand of the True King.
- Hair Color: Grey.
- Eye Color: Blue.
- Personal Character Traits: Humorless.
- Friends: Rhaegar Targaryen.
Jon is a middle-aged man with grey hair, blue eyes, and an ash-stained red beard. When he was younger, his hair was a striking red. It perfectly blended with his red eyebrows and beard, which complimented a leathery-looking face. Though he has aged, he still wears a blue dye to mask his identity while working in the Golden Company, a sellsword company on the continent of Essos. To go along with the guise of being a sellsword, he wears a red wolf-skin cloak and uses the alias Griff.
After getting into exile, Jon became a much more capable warrior and commander than he ever was. His never-dying thirst for glory made him join a sellsword company, and he rose in the ranks to become one of the most revered fighters ever seen.
Background and History
As a young boy and the only son of his father, Lord Armond Connington, Jon served in King’s Landing as a squire alongside Rhaegar. He later became a squire for the prince, making their friendship soar. Jon quickly rose among the ranks to become one of the finest soldiers. After Rhaegar visited Griffin’s Roost from Dorne, he and Jon traveled to the Castle’s tallest tower.
When Armond died, Jon inherited the title of Lord of Griffin’s Roost and chose Ser Ronald Connington, his cousin, to be the Castle’s Castellan. He left for King’s Landing. A year after Rhaegar’s wedding to Elia Martell, he attended the tourney at Harrenhal hosted by Lord Walter Whent and danced with Ashara Dayne, Arthur Dayne’s sister.
When Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna Stark and traveled south, her brother, Brandon Stark, and Lord Rickard Stark traveled to King’s Landing demanding justice. However, they got killed, sparking a rebellion from Lord Robert Baratheon. With the conflict getting intense, Aerys Targaryen removed his acting Hand, Lord Owen Merryweather, believing that he was incapable and supported the rebels. Seeking a young, hot-blooded warrior to lead his troops, he named Jon Connington to become the second in command, a decision disapproved of by Tywin Lannister.
Hungry for glory, Jon promised Robert’s head and led an army to war against him. After the Battle of Ashford, he pursued Robert Baratheon to Stoney Sept in the Riverlands. Offering to reward those who put the hostages in crow cages, he searched from house to house. However, the rebel hid in a brothel long enough for Eddard Stark and Lord Jon Arryn to arrive. With the arrival of Eddard and Lord Jon Arryn, a fierce battle called the Battle of the Bells ensued. Though Jon killed Lord Jon Arryn’s nephew, Ser Denys Arryn, and injured the lord himself, he lost the battle and retreated when he saw the Battle of the Trident swerved in favor of the rebels.
Upon returning to King’s Landing, King Aerys held Jon responsible for the defeat and banished him to Essos, granting his lordship to Ronald Connington, Castellan of Griffin’s Roost. Aerys got killed, and Robert stripped the Conningtons of their lordship and lands.
After leaving Westeros for Essos, an exiled Jon traveled to the Free Cities. In the first year of exile, he joined the Golden Company and rose among the ranks becoming Ser Myles Toyne’s second in command. After serving for some years in the company, he got approached by Illyrio Mopatis and Lord Varys, the Magister of Pentos and master of whisperers on the small council.
Varys informed Jon that Rhaegar’s son, Aegon, had survived the Sack of King’s Landing. He agreed to Varys’s plan to remove the Usurper’s line and restore the true heir to the throne. He framed himself and got sent away from the Golden Company for stealing the Company’s war chests, and news of his death from drinking in Lys started spreading. The news of his death reached Westeros and with everyone convinced he was dead, he began his true mission, protecting and training Young Aegon.
Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire
A Dance with Dragons
After taking up the role of training Aegon Targaryen, Jon dyes his hair blue and assumes the name Griff, while Prince Aegon becomes Young Griff. When Illyrio hands Tyrion Lannister to Haldon, they board the Shy Maid and meet Griff and his son. Traveling with others, Jon hides his identity from everyone and learns of Tyrion’s status from Illyrio. He plans to travel to meet Daenerys Targaryen, the queen of Meereen.
While the ship journeys down the Rhoyne, Jon bans Tyrion from drinking wine. On reaching Sorrows, he orders Young Griff below the decks, but he protests, and Tyrion reveals that he knows his true identity as Varys had told him. Some stone men attack the Shy Maid, and Tyrion gets knocked into the water. Jon saves him but gets infected with greyscale. He hides his infection from everyone for fear of getting abandoned.
After reaching Selhorys, a city in Volantis, Jon sends Tyrion to learn about Daenerys’s movement. When the latter does not return, he continues the journey to Volon Therys, where the Golden company is. Using the advice from Tyrion, he reveals to the Golden Company that Young Griff is Aegon Targaryen, the true heir to the Iron Throne. When the high-ranking officers express their lack of enthusiasm for marching to Westeros, Aegon reasons with them, stating that once they move west, Daenerys will march on the continent in support; this sways the officers in Aegon’s favor, and they agree to march on Westeros.
When Jon arrives in Westeros with Aegon, he reminisces on how he disagreed with the young prince after he named Rolly a member of his kingsguard. He begins raiding the small castles and spreading the word of the return of Aegon Targaryen. He informs the prince of the plan to capture Storm’s End in ten days after refusing to ally with Stannis Baratheon.
Word of Jon and Aegon’s arrival and Red Ronnet, the Landed Knight of Griffin’s Roost, wanting to retake his seat, reaches the small council and Ser Kevan Lannister holds a meeting to discuss the new threat, which could lead to further conflict in the seven kingdoms. Though the loyalty of the landed knight gets doubted, the small council tries to deliberate on how to handle Jon. However, Kevan and maester Pycelle get killed by Varys.
Omission from Adaptation
Though Connington is a crucial element in ‘A Dance with Dragons,’ he got removed from HBO’s Game of Thrones. Many speculate his omission is the yet-to-be-completed ‘Winds of Winter.’ If Jon got added to Game of Thrones, the series would have revealed secrets in the yet-to-be-released novel by George R. R. Martin.
Jon Connington: A Lord from a Time Past
Jon Connington is an exquisitely defined character created by George R. R. Martin to fill the mystery left behind by Robert’s Rebellion. Though Martin’s novel shies away from adding miraculous elements to help characters, Jon is an exception. His character creates anticipation for what is to come, and with the revelation of Aegon’s survival, more complexity seeps into an already complex Westeros. Though Jon is a lord from a time past, his appearance in A Song of Ice and Fire creates a new direction never thought possible by many lovers of the series.
Did Jon Connington love Rhaegar Targaryen?
According to some sources, Jon loved Rhaegar romantically and blamed himself for not fighting well enough to prevent his death.
Why was Lord Connington removed from the Game of Thrones Series?
If Connington had been in HBO’s Game of Thrones, he would have spoiled many events that are to come in the future novel, ‘Winds of Winter.’
Why was Jon Connington never revealed to be alive until A Dance with Dragons?
Jon was an elusive character in the first books of A Song of Ice and Fire because he had to fake his death to train AegonTaragreyn, who survived the Sack of King’s Landing. After traveling to Essos, he joined the Golden Company and later met Varys, who explained how Aegon got switched before the Sack of King’s Landing; this made him fake his death to train the young prince.
Will Lord Connington have a crucial role in Winds of Winter?
Yes, because Jon and Aegon have arrived in Westeros, it is safe to say that he will be one of the primary characters in the next novel of A Song of Ice and Fire.