Donella Hornwood

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Donella Manderly
House Hornwood.PNG
Donella Manderly.jpg
art by sir-heartsalot

Title Lady of Hornwood
Allegiance House Manderly
Died In 299 AL, at Hornwood
Spouse Lord {Halys Hornwood}, 1st
Ramsay Snow, 2nd
Book(s) A Clash of Kings (Appears)
A Dance with Dragons (Mentioned)

Lady Donella Manderly, better known as Donella Hornwood, is the Lady of Hornwood after the death of her husband and son during the War of the Five Kings. She is past her childbearing years, yet still comely. She is the cousin of Lord Wyman Manderly.[1]


After the death of her husband and son, she 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.[1]

Recent Events

A Clash of Kings

The fact that House Hornwood has no direct heir anymore poses a possible threat to the peace in King Robb's realm as many parties might haggle over control of Lady Donella's lands, a development that has already started with her having more suitors now, as a widow beyond her childbearing years, than when she was a maid, among them Mors Umber and her cousin Wyman Manderly.[1] Maester Luwin thinks that the Tallharts, Karstarks and (unspecified) Flints could raise claims as well because of their ties to the Hornwoods through the female line. Other candidates include the Glovers who are fostering the late Lord Halys' bastard son, Larence Snow, at Deepwood Motte. However, they probably all would have to contend with Roose Bolton who doesn't have any direct claim but whose lands border the Hornwoods', creating an opportunity that Lord Bolton, in Luwin's eyes, is unlikely to overlook.[1]

Lady Donella learns that the Bastard of Bolton is massing men at the Dreadfort, raising her 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 was a trueborn Bolton.[1]

Lady Donella is expected for the harvest feast at Winterfell. Before her arrival, Lord Manderly betrays his aspirations to bring Hornwood unter the control of his house, proposing to Rodrik Cassel, Maester Luwin and Bran Stark that he or his son Wendel could marry Lady Donella.[1] When Lady Donella arrives, she brings only six men-at-arms in dusty clothes with her.[1] On Maester Luwin's urging, she promises that she would store a fourth of her harvest for winter in the future instead of a fifth as she has done until now.[1]

She warns Luwin, Rodrik and Bran about what Ramsay Snow might be up to, referring to his slynees and cruelty as well as to horrible stories about him and his servant Reek going hunting together but "not for deer", tales that almost defy belief, even for a Bolton. She is wary that Ramsay is hungry for her lands. Rodrik Cassel promises her that she will be safe, referring to the dire retribution that would await Ramsay if he was going after her.[1]

In the same meeting with Lady Donella, Rodrik brings up the idea that in time she should marry again, but she is not impressed by any of her suitors, referring to the fact that Mors Umber is older than her father and describing him as a drunken brute while considering 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.[1] This idea is being discussed in Lady Donella's absence, with Bran urging Rodrik to go through with it, a thought that embarrasses Rodrik as he thinks that he is too old and that the Hornwood issue would arise again after his death. Bran then suggests that Larence Snow should be the heir of Hornwood. Maester Luwin thinks that this can't be ruled out, expecting that the Glovers would be pleased while Lady Donella would be upset.[1]

On her return to Hornwood from the winter 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.[2] 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.[3]



References and Notes