"I told the court that Robert was hiding in the Stoney Sept, but the Hand of the King spent too much time searching the city. Something about the glory of single combat."

Lord ​Jon Connington ​was the Lord of Griffin's Roost and Hand of the King to King Aerys II Targaryen.


During Robert's Rebellion he was tasked with capturing Robert Baratheon at the Stoney Sept. Connington insisted on engaging Robert in single combat and his army was defeated when Eddard Stark arrived to aid Robert with reinforcements, resulting in the Battle of the Bells, in which the crown was defeated.[1]

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Jon Connington was 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 was the most headstrong amongst the gaggle of young lordlings who would gather around Rhaegar competing for his royal favor. 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. According to Daemon Sand, Connington was a proud, even arrogant person, a faithful friend to Rhaegar, but prickly with others.

Due to his connections with the royal family, and because he was a noted warrior, Connington was chosen by King Aerys II as Hand of the King after the dismissal of Owen Merryweather. Aerys wanted someone young and vigorous to match the rebelling Robert Baratheon. When word of the king’s choice reached Tywin Lannister, he declared that the Handship had come too soon for Connington as he was too young, too bold and too eager for glory; the outcome of the Battle of the Bells proved Tywin was right. Because the traditional lords of the Stormlands, House Baratheon, were in rebellion to the crown, Connington was possibly titled Lord of Storm's End, although that castle was still held by Stannis Baratheon during the rebellion.

After the Battle of Ashford, Connington took over the pursuit of Robert from the Tyrell army. In the Riverlands, near the town of Stoney Sept, he caught up with Robert, who was hiding in the town. While Jon's soldiers were conducting a house-to-house search after Robert, his allies arrived at Stoney Sept. At this point the Battle of the Bells began. The rebel army, under the joint command of Lords Eddard Stark, Jon Arryn and Hoster Tully, immediately began attacking the royal army. Connington fought back fiercely, personally killing Jon Arryn's nephew and heir, Denys Arryn, and wounding Lord Tully. It was thought that Robert would have killed Connington, but in spite of the determination of both men to find each other in the chaos, they never crossed swords. When Connington saw that the battle was lost, he managed to escape and was able to retreat in good order. Connington's retreat was quite a feat considering the fierce, urban fighting would have made it hard to hold the army together.

Aerys held Connington responsible for this defeat and exiled him, stripping him of his lands, wealth and titles. Connington never questioned his punishment, for he blamed himself not only for the failure to capture Robert - but also for Rhaegar's death: had he slain Robert, the battle of the Trident would have never been fought.

Ser Myles Toyne, the former captain-general of the Golden Company, told Connington he could have ended the rebellion in a single stroke by burning Stoney Sept to the ground, killing Robert before his allies arrived to rescue him - and that was what Tywin would have undoubtedly done. It was not Jon's conscience that stopped him from destroying the entire town, but two rather selfish reasons: first, he wanted the glory of slaying Robert in a single combat; second, he did not want to gain the reputation of a butcher. On the other hand, as Varys comments in "Robert's Rebellion (Histories & Lore)", had Connington destroyed Stoney Sept (regardless if Robert managed to escape or not) - that would have led to many civilian casualties, thus would have severely shamed the royal side in the war; more lords might have gone over to the rebels in protest.

Griffin's Roost was awarded to Jon's cousin, Ronald Connington - who went over to the rebellion after the Battle of the Trident. After the war, most of House Connington's lands were distributed to more fervent supporters of the new king, Robert Baratheon, and the stripped of lordship, reducing the head of the family to the title of "Knight of Griffin's Roost". Once on the Iron Throne, Robert was not willing to recall Connington from exile, since he had been amongst Rhaegar's closest friends.

Connington lived out the remainder of his days as a sellsword in the Golden Company. It is rumored that he drank himself to death in Lys, after stealing from the company's coffers.

In A Dance with Dragons, it is revealed that Connington is alive; he is the guardian of Aegon Targaryen (son of Rhaegar and Elia), who was also presumed dead; to disguise themselves, they use the assumed names "Griff" and "Young Griff". Connington, who feels guilty for letting Rhaegar down, is determined to do everything in his power to help Rhaegar's son conquer Westeros and ascend the Iron Throne.

In his youth, Connington's hair and beard were fiery red. Nearing forty, he is clean-shaven with a lined, leathery face. He has crow's feet at the corners of his pale, blue eyes. When disguised as "Griff", he has dyed his hair blue, though his eyebrows are still red and his red roots show. His hair has turned grey, but his beard is still mostly red, with ash showing here and there.

Tyrion is assigned by Illyrio Mopatis to travel with Connington and Aegon to Volantis, where they are supposed to meet Daenerys; the Golden Company is already there, waiting for them. Connington is displeased, to say the least, of the arrangement, not just because Tyrion is a Lannister - but also because he is a kinslayerkingslayer (allegedly) and betrayer. He acts hostilely toward Tyrion right from the beginning; yet, he is the one who saves Tyrion from drowning during an encounter with the Stone men, and as a result he (not Jorah Mormont) contracts the greyscale. No one tells Tyrion the true identities of "Griff" and his "son", but he figures that very quickly.

When Aegon and Connington arrive at Volantis (without Tyrion, who has been kidnapped by Jorah Mormont at Selhorys) and join the Golden Company, they find out that Daenerys is still in Meereen, and due to the siege - they cannot reach her. Aegon suggests what Tyrion advised him earlier - that they should sail to Westeros instead; nearly all the officers agree. Connington does not think it is a good idea, but he has grown tired of prudence, sick of secrets, weary of waiting; he decides to go for it, hoping see Griffin's Roost again before he dies, and be buried in the tomb beside his father’s.

Connington knows that the greyscale will kill him within a few years at best, but accepts it stoically and does not seek a cure; the only thing that matters to him is to put Rhaegar's son upon the Iron Throne.

During the voyage, a storm scatters the fleet, and less than half the company makes it to Westeros, and without most of the elephants (much to Harry Strickland's dismay). Connington ignores Strickland's complaints and starts making plans of conquer. Even with reduced manpower and without elephants, the sellswords soon seize Griffin’s Roost and several more castles (Crow's Nest, Rain House, Greenstone, and Mistwood); Connington's next target is Storm's End.

Connington believes that it is crucial to enlist the support of Dorne; lesser lords may join their cause for fear of harm or hope of gain, but only the Prince of Dorne has the power to defy House Lannister and its allies. For that purpose, he sends a letter to Doran Martell, informing him that his nephew is alive, and requesting his assistance. Doran, cautious as ever, regards the contents of the letter dubiously, and sends his daughter Arianne to find out whether Aegon and Connington are really the people whom they claim to be.

Connington styles himself "Hand of the True King", although his ward has not been crowned yet.

When reports about the arrival of Connington and his "Targaryen pretender" reach King's Landing, Kevan discusses them with the small council members. He recalls Connington as arrogant, but able and energetic, and skilled at arms; Kevan muses that if this is indeed Connington, he will be a different man - older, harder, more seasoned... and more dangerous. Randyll Tarly, Pycelle and Mace Tyrell dismiss the people in question as adventurers who do not pose any serious threat, but Kevan has a strong (and correct) feeling that they must deal with Connington and his pretender without any delay.

See also


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Lord: Heir:
Seat: Griffin's Roost Lands: The Stormlands
Title(s): Knight of Griffin's Roost · Lord of Griffin's Roost
Deceased members:Jon Connington
Overlord:House Baratheon
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