Donella Hornwood

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House Manderly.svg Lady
Donella Hornwood
House Hornwood.svg
Katherine Dinger Donella Hornwood.jpg
Donella, by Katherine Dinger © Fantasy Flight Games

Alias Donella Manderly
Title Lady of the Hornwood
Culture Northmen
Born or before 257 AC[1]
Died 299 AC
Issue Daryn Hornwood

Donella Hornwood is the Lady of Hornwood, wife of Lord Halys Hornwood, and mother of Daryn Hornwood. Originally from House Manderly, she is a cousin of Wyman Manderly, Lord of White Harbor.[2]

Appearance and Character

The gentle and modest Donella is past her childbearing years, yet still comely.[2]


Donella did not receive much attention from men when she was a maid.[2]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Donella's husband Halys, Lord of the Hornwood, is killed in the battle on the Green Fork,[3] and her son Daryn is killed by Ser Jaime Lannister in the battle in the Whispering Wood.[4]

A Clash of Kings

Donella, by sir-heartsalot ©

Houses Flint, Karstark, and Tallhart are expected to compete for the grief-stricken Donella's lands, as they have Hornwood ties through the female line. Additionally, House Glover is fostering Halys's bastard, Larence Snow, and House Bolton has lands which adjoin those of the Hornwoods.[2]

When Lady Donella sends someone to ask Ramsay Snow about his massing men at the Dreadfort, Ramsay replies that no Bolton would be questioned by a woman. Donella loathes that Ramsay acts like he is a trueborn Bolton.[2]

After arriving at Winterfell for the harvest feast, Wyman Manderly, Lord of White Harbor, proposes that he or his son, Ser Wendel, could marry Donella.[2] Lady Donella arrives at Winterfell with only six men-at-arms. On Maester Luwin's urging, she promises that she will store a fourth of her harvest for winter in the future instead of a fifth as she has done until now.[2] She does not want to marry suitors such as the brutish Mors Umber and her large cousin, Wyman, but hints to Ser Rodrik Cassel that he himself would be a suitable candidate.[2]

Bran Stark urges Rodrik to marry Donella, but the knight thinks he is too old and points out that the Hornwood issue would arise again after his death. When Bran then suggests that Larence Snow should become the heir of Hornwood, answers that this would please the Glovers but upset Donella.[2]

Mors asks for leave to wed Donella.[2] Leobald Tallhart proposes that his younger son, Beren, could become Donella's foster child and ultimately heir of Hornwood, a proposal that might be acceptable to Donella because the boy's mother, Berena Hornwood, is Lord Halys's sister. Luwin proposes that Robb Stark, King in the North, might want Donella to marry someone from the riverlands, such as a Blackwood or a Frey.[2]

Bran sends salmon to a disinterested and wan Lady Hornwood during the harvest feast. Rodrik asks Donella to dance, but she declines and leaves the festivities.[5]

On her return to Hornwood from the harvest feast, Lady Donella is seized by Ramsay Snow and forcibly married to him that night. Lord Manderly then seizes her castle to protect her holdings from the Boltons.[6] After the wedding, Ramsay locks her in a tower and fails to feed her. She is eventually found dead, with blood around her mouth and her fingers chewed off. Ramsay's actions leads to fighting in the Hornwood between Boltons and Manderlys.[7]

A Dance with Dragons

Theon Greyjoy, a tortured prisoner in the dungeons of the Dreadfort, thinks of Lady Hornwood whenever he closes his eyes.[8]

Wylla Manderly reminds the Merman's Court of Ramsay's mistreatment of Donella.[9]

Ramsay, Lord of the Hornwood, weds "Arya Stark" (actually Jeyne Poole) so he can claim Winterfell.[10] Within the crypts of Winterfell, Barbrey Dustin, Lady of Barrowton, tells Theon that the Hornwood men who are at Winterfell for Ramsay's wedding have not forgotten how Ramsay treated Lady Donella.[11]

Quotes by Donella

Bran: We are very sorry for all you have suffered, my lady. Winterfell will remember.
Donella: That is good to know.[2]

Bran Stark and Donella

Rodrik: You will be safe enough, my lady ... though perhaps in time, when your grief is passed, you may find it prudent to wed again.
Donella: I am past my childbearing years, what beauty I had long fled, yet men come sniffing after me as they never did when I was a maid.[2]

Rodrik Cassel and Donella

Rodrik: We shall try and find you a prospect more to your taste.
Donella: Perhaps you need not look very far, ser.[2]

Rodrik Cassel and Donella

Quotes about Donella

She was born a Manderly, you know. Perhaps, when her grief has run its course, she would like to be a Manderly again, eh? As it happens, I am a widower these past eight years. Past time I took another wife, don't you agree, my lords? A man does get lonely. Or if the lady fancies a younger lad, well, my son Wendel is unwed as well. He is off south guarding Lady Catelyn, but no doubt he will wish to take a bride on his return. A valiant boy, and jolly. Just the man to teach her to laugh again, eh?[2]

She was a pale husk of a woman, every line of her face etched with grief.[2]

—thoughts of Bran Stark

Mors: Who better to protect the widow's lands than an Umber, and what Umber better than me?

Luwin: Lady Donella is still grieving.

Mors: I have a cure for grief under my furs.[2]

And do you imagine the Hornwood men have forgotten the Bastard's last marriage, and how his lady wife was left to starve, chewing her own fingers? What do you think passes through their heads when they hear the new bride weeping?[11]




Preceded by Lady of the Hornwood
298299 AC
Succeeded by