Illustrated by Katherine Dinger. © Fantasy Flight Games
|Title||Lady of Hornwood|
|Born||In or before ~249 AC|
|Died||In 299 AC, at Hornwood|
1st: Lord Halys Hornwood|
2nd: Ramsay Snow
A Clash of Kings (appears)|
A Dance with Dragons (mentioned)
Donella Manderly, also known as Donella Hornwood, is the Lady of Hornwood, wife of Lord Halys Hornwood, and mother of Daryn Hornwood. She is past her childbearing years, yet still comely. Originally from House Manderly, Donella is the cousin of Lord Wyman Manderly.
- See also: Images of Donella Hornwood
After the death of her husband and son, Donella is a pale husk of a woman, her features etched with grief. She thinks that all the beauty she once had has long gone, while Rodrik Cassel considers her gentle and not uncomely for her years.
A Game of Thrones
A Clash of Kings
With no direct heir after Daryn's death, Hornwood poses a possible threat to the peace in King Robb Stark's realm as many parties have started competing for Lady Donella's lands, most notably houses Umber, Manderly and Tallhart, with the Karstarks, (unspecified) Flints, Glovers and Boltons as likely other contenders. In this context, Lady Donella has already received a couple of marriage proposals, although she is still in grief and beyond her childbearing years.
Lady Donella learns that the Ramsay Snow, the Bastard of Bolton, is massing men at the Dreadfort. Since the Boltons' lands are bordering hers, this raises Lady Donella's suspicions about his intentions. When she sends someone to ask him about them, he replies that no Bolton would be questioned by a woman. She loathes that Ramsay acts like he is a trueborn Bolton.
The future of House Hornwood becomes a major issue at the harvest feast in Winterfell when several houses, in meetings with Rodrik Cassel, Maester Luwin and Bran Stark, betray their aspirations to bring Hornwood under their control and ask for King Robb's support. Lady Donella's cousin, Wyman Manderly, is first in this, proposing that he or his son Wendel could marry her.
When Lady Donella arrives, she brings only six men-at-arms in dusty clothes with her. On 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. She is alarmed that Ramsay Snow might be hungry for her lands, referring to stories she heard about his slyness and cruelty. Rodrik promises her she will be safe because of the dire retribution that would await Ramsay if he were to go after her.
Rodrik brings up the idea that in time she should marry again, but she is not impressed with any of her suitors. Mors Umber is older than her father and she describes him as a drunken brute, while she considers her cousin Wyman Manderly too fat. However, she is ready to marry again if King Robb commands it and hints that Rodrik himself would be a suitable candidate. This idea is discussed in Lady Donella's absence, with Bran urging Rodrik to go through with it. Rodrik thinks he is too old and points out that the Hornwood issue would arise again after his death. Bran then suggests that Larence Snow, the late Lord Halys's bastard son fostered by the Glovers in Deepwood Motte, should be the heir of Hornwood. Maester Luwin thinks that this cannot be ruled out, expecting that the Glovers would be pleased while Lady Donella would be upset.
Mors Umber asks for leave to wed Donella, referring to the fact that his nephew, Greatjon Umber, is King Robb's strong righthand man. Luwin, knowing about Donella's disdain for the man, points out that she is still grieving, to which Mors makes the crude suggestion that he could chase away her grief with his manhood. In another meeting, 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' sister. Considering this in Leobald's absence, Luwin thinks a blood relation might be the best solution to the Hornwood issue while Rodrik is hesitant, considering Beren too young to hold his own against men like Mors Umber and Ramsay Snow. Luwin proposes that the decision might depend on which of the lords in the Riverlands Robb wants to tie most to the northern cause and suggests that the king could wish for Lady Donella to marry a Blackwood or a Frey.
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. 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.
A Dance with Dragons
Within the crypts of Winterfell, Lady Barbrey Dustin tells Theon Greyjoy that the Hornwood men who are at Winterfell for Ramsay's wedding and its upcoming siege have not forgotten how Ramsay treated Lady Donella.
- Bran Stark to Donella