Ianto Jones was an ex-member of the ill-fated Torchwood One and a member of Torchwood Three, initially serving as more a “support man” or “tea boy”, but later took a more active role in missions. He first approached Captain Jack Harkness with enthusiasm about joining the team, eventually winning him over. Ianto soon became integral to the group, though his attempts to shroud his past impacted them in a bad way. He later fell in love with Jack and become his romantic partner.
However, Ianto met an early demise as part of a mass murder instigated by the 456 ambassador when it spread a deadly virus through Thames House. Following Ianto’s death, the after-effects would leave Jack riddled with guilt and grief, ultimately spelling the end of Torchwood Three.
Ianto was born on 19 August 1983 in Cardiff. (Fragments, From Out of the Rain) Ianto’s father worked in Debenhams, but Ianto often told people that he was a Master Tailor. (Children of Earth: Day Five) Ianto told the team that his father enjoyed taking Ianto to the cinema, (From Out of the Rain) though his sister Rhiannon implied that their relationship was not as strong as he made out. Rhiannon and Ianto recounted that his father pushed him too hard on the swings in his childhood and broke his leg. (Children of Earth: Day Two) He was brought up to never speak ill of the dead. (Something Borrowed)
Ianto’s father died in hospital, waiting in vain for a call from his son and Ianto left soon after for university. His sister said he “couldn’t wait (to leave)”. (Children of Earth: Day One)
He had no criminal record apart from one minor conviction for shoplifting in his teens. An able, but not exceptionally gifted, student, Ianto took a series of temporary jobs, eventually ending up a Junior Researcher at Torchwood One. (Fragments)
As an adult, he seemed to be on good, if distant, terms with his sister, though he wasn’t as friendly towards her husband. (Children of Earth: Day Two)
Ianto supported the main team. He staffed the mock tourist information booth above the Hub and in general worked to “clean up their shit… no questions asked”. (Cyberwoman) He hacked into Gwen Cooper’s computer and erased a document containing information about Torchwood. (Everything Changes) Though not precisely one of his duties, he also kept a detailed journal of day-to-day operations. (Adam)
Ianto and Lisa had a very close relationship and he risked a lot to keep her alive. Pain over her death still lingered. (Countrycide) He explained he would not use a second resurrection gauntlet. (They Keep Killing Suzie) An apparition of Lisa, in her human form, convinced Ianto to side with Owen against Jack and open the Rift. (End of Days) Lisa’s death affected Ianto deeply. He promised that if he ever got the chance he would leave Jack for dead. The two men later developed a sexual and romantic relationship. (They Keep Killing Suzie)
In an attempt to show he had put the incident behind him, Jack tried to be friendly and even patted Ianto on the back. (Small Worlds), although the conversation about the team’s last kisses reveals that there was still some lingering tension between the two over the incident. (Countrycide) Gwen caught on to the relationship between Jack and Ianto and Ianto explicitly referred to being bisexual.
Owen made remarks about the sexual nature of Ianto and Jack’s relationship and, after believing Jack was dead, a distraught Ianto breathed in the scent of his coat. The two kissed upon reunion. (Captain Jack Harkness, End of Days)
When Jack returned to the Hub, he asked Ianto out on a date, which Ianto accepted (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang) This was followed by another kiss between the pair. (To the Last Man) The existence of the relationship was confirmed verbally in a conversation Ianto had with Martha Jones (Reset) and in another conversation Ianto had with Owen Harper. (A Day in the Death) The first public display of Ianto and Jack’s relationship was when they danced together at Gwen’s wedding. (Something Borrowed)
Gwen accidentally walked in on Jack and Ianto in a decidedly sexual scene when she stormed into the Torchwood greenhouse, angry about the secrets Jack was keeping from her. After their conversation, Jack called Ianto back into the greenhouse to finish what they had started. (Adrift) Later, Ianto expressed a little jealousy when Jack mentioned having learned about Project Indigo by meeting a soldier in a bar; Jack had to reassure Ianto that it was strictly business. (The Stolen Earth)
When his sister confronted him about rumors that he was gay, he reluctantly acknowledged his relationship with Jack. He tried to explain that Jack was the first man he has ever taken to in this way, and also that he was insecure about the exact status of his relationship with Jack. His brother-in-law, Johnny, took a more simplistic view of Ianto’s sexual ambiguity, crassly concluding, “Ay ay, gayboy.” (Children of Earth: Day One) After Ianto collapsed from the virus the 456 released, Jack cradled him in his arms and the two cried. Ianto then told Jack, “I love you”. (Children of Earth: Day Four)
After Ianto’s death at the 456, Ianto and Jack reunited one more time with Ianto as a spirit. Jack confessed that he wanted to be trapped in the rift forever as he couldn’t bear to live in a world without Ianto. Before Ianto’s spirit disappeared forever, the couple confessed their love for each other for the first and last time.
Ianto was at first quite distant and reserved in the company of the other Torchwood members, with a quiet and dutiful nature like a butler. However, when the discovery of his girlfriend was made, Ianto revealed a tormented and passionate side that would do anything to help and save Lisa even if it destroyed him. His behavior during a conversation with Doctor Tanizaki about Torchwood One suggested that there was some mental scarring from the incident, as he quickly and abruptly changed the subject. A sign of this scarring appears to be an occasional lapse in speech during a conversation, and also the odd “twitch” before he continued speaking, usually in a different tone and in a manner that changed the subject. (Cyberwoman)
Conversations with his sister about their parents suggested that their relationship had been or became difficult. One such conversation about Ianto breaking his leg in an accident showed Ianto perceived his father as someone who always pushed him. His sister pointed out that his father had cared about him and had been only trying to bring out the best in him; maybe Ianto should have “held on tighter” instead of buckling. The results seemed to have caused more problems than solutions. (Children of Earth: Day Two)
When Tosh received the mind pendant from Mary, she caught a glimpse into his mind, revealing that he was in pain, but, because of his withdrawn nature, he kept it to himself. Ianto gradually came out of his shell a bit, showing a quick and humorous wit, usually at serious moments. Despite this, it was hinted that there was a darker side within him. (Greeks Bearing Gifts)
Ianto had difficulty expressing himself emotionally, being reserved and stiff in conversation. He was uncomfortable around emotional people; he went rigid around his brother-in-law when he greeted him with a large bear hug and a slight tease about being gay. (Children of Earth: Day One) When he did lose control of his emotions, the outbursts were quite intense and he later seemed to regret his actions and behavior. When the team chided him about Lisa, he angrily and venomously told them that they had no idea what his life was like and how he put up with cleaning up their mess without question because that was how they liked it. (Cyberwoman) After the incident he was very apologetic and tried to avoid the team whenever possible. When he got into an argument with Owen over whether or not to open the Rift, a more commanding part of Ianto took over and he ended up having to shoot Owen to stop him. This shocked both of them. It also hinted at his dark side when Owen joked afterward that he was glad Ianto was a bad shot; in response Ianto stared at him darkly, saying, “I was AIMING for your shoulder”, implying that if he’d wanted to kill Owen, he would have. (Captain Jack Harkness)
–Greeks bearing Gifts
–They Keep Killing Suzie
–Out of Time
–Captain Jack Harkness
–End of Days