At the age of twenty, Ging Freecss returned home to Whale Island for the first time in eight years carrying his infant son, Gon. When questioned about the child's mother, Ging simply mentions that the pair had separated. While Ging tries to leave Gon in his grandmother's care for a little while, Ging's cousin Mito is infuriated at Ging's parenting and gets custody through the courts. Ging leaves Whale Island, never to return.
Since his early youth, due to his father's absence and Mito's dislike of Ging, Gon had been told that his parents died in an accident when he was a baby. But at the age of nine, Gon is rescued from an angry mother foxbear by a man named Kite — a professional Hunter and a student of Gon's long lost father. Kite is looking for Ging as a final test before his master will consider him to be a true Hunter. Kite's admiration of Ging awakens in Gon a lifetime goal of meeting his father. In order to find and meet Ging, Gon is driven from that moment to obtain a Hunter's License. He sights a desire to know what would cause Ging to choose his profession as a Hunter over being a parent as his motivation for becoming a Hunter.
Gon is an athletic, rustic, and friendly boy. Having spent a lot of time in the woods as a child, he is very good with animals. Gon is an Enhancer, who are known for being simple-minded and determined. This determination and talent leads to both potential allies and potential enemies trusting in him and taking his side. He has inhuman senses; Gon has a heightened sense of smell and sight, as well as very keen taste. Gon wants to become a Hunter because he wishes to find out the depths of an occupation that would cause a father to choose the profession over being with his own son.
Simultaneously, his flaws lie in his temper and impulsive nature. Gon sometimes fails to think things through and such actions lead to him suffering. His will is stronger than most and he can be very level-headed, but this clear mind can also make him very cold at times. Though possessing talent far beyond the norm for his age, anytime his abilities are challenged he feels as if he has to prove his antagonist wrong. He continually strives to obtain greater power, often becoming exceptionally stronger in his anger. But Gon's anger also leads to extremely reckless tendencies. When his emotions are ignited, Gon becomes irrational and completely oblivious to anything else.
Gon is extremely confident in his abilities. Sometimes, he does not realize when the opponent is far stronger or even after he knows the opponent is stronger than him; regardless, he will continue to fight. He refuses to accept himself as inferior to any opponent that he disagrees with, including those clearly stronger than him. Togashi initially portrays this as naïveté. Aside from becoming a Hunter and finding his father, Gon desires strength above all else. Gon's greatest insecurity lies in his own weakness and not being able to protect those close to him.