Ianto and Jack
Much of Ianto's character development is centred on the character's relationship with Captain Jack. On the character's evolution from minor character to romantic interest, Gareth David-Lloyd has commented that "To have a storyline where you're involved with the leading character for any actor is awesome." On the character's development, David-Lloyd has said that through Jack's relationship, "he's found his meaning and ... he's happier." Asked what it is that Ianto receives from Jack, David-Lloyd responds "Support, meaning. I think he lost meaning. He was tortured and Jack gave him that meaning back. And reliability that he'll always be there, I think." John Barrowman and Gareth David-Lloyd have also opined that Jack's relationship with Ianto has however brought out Jack's empathy, and helped to ground him, with John Barrowman reported as saying that Ianto "brings out the 'human' in him, it brings out more of the empathy because he's actually fallen for someone and he really cares about somebody. So, it's really great and I think that's what makes him warm to other people. It makes him more approachable." In the same interview, Gareth David-Lloyd said of the relationship and his character that "I think Ianto's always made him care and that is really the heart of the show. Ianto's always bearing his emotional side and vulnerable side and keeping his feet on the ground. I think of all the characters, he's the one who tries to keep everyone else's feet on the ground. He brings everyone back to reality, often with a dry, witty remark or taking a dig at somebody just to sort of bring people back down."Comparing Jack's relationship with Ianto to his romantic tension with Gwen, David-Lloyd states "I think [there are] different sorts of love or lust, as it might be, and I think that's an ongoing thing ... At the moment, I think there's two different sorts of love going on there." He also states that he feels that Ianto's relationship with Jack is his first same-sex relationship, and doesn't feel that Ianto would be a "labelist", but were he, he would identify as bisexual, but that he "wouldn't regard himself the same way as Jack does because they're from different times." Author Stephen James Walker feels sorry for Ianto, perceiving his relationship with Jack as a one-sided one. To him, Ianto views the relationship as "serious and committed", as seen in "A Day in the Death" where he tells Owen that it is not just about sex. However, from dialogue in "Something Borrowed", Walker believes that Jack appears to equate his relationship with Ianto to nothing more than a "recreational activity". Walker also notes how important it was for Ianto when he cut in to dance with Jack, as this is the first time that his relationship with Jack is presented before the rest of the crew. The novel The House that Jack Built includes a scene where Gwen tries to clarify whether Ianto understands the nature of his relationship with Jack, saying "You do know he's ...", which Ianto finishes "Just a shag?" before adding "Yes I know. I can't help it, though. I've never been much good at casual." In radio play "The Dead Line", set just prior to series three, Ianto expounds his insecurities to Jack, who refutes them, confirming that his feelings for Ianto are real. When asked if the relationship will continue in series three, executive producer Julie Gardner replied, "Yes, I like seeing them as a couple", while director Euros Lyn stated that "the love story between Captain Jack and Ianto [would continue] to unfold" in the third series. While Gareth David-Lloyd feels that the love story between Jack and Ianto was not fully resolved, which is "part of the tragedy", the character and his relationship with Jack had been sufficiently explored in the third series for David-Lloyd to be "happy to walk away from it."