|Alias||Donnel the Delayer|
|Born||In or before 17 AC|
|Died||In 59 AC|
Martyn Hightower was lord of House Hightower at the beginning of Maegor the Cruel's reign. He later died in unspecified circumstances, so that by the end of Maegor's reign, Donnel had succeeded him as lord of House Hightower. Donnel's exact relationship to Martyn has not been stated.
When Septon Moon and his followers appeared at Oldtown in 48 AC, Lord Donnel closed his gates against them. Moon and his followers remained outside the city's walls, but Donnel refused to take up arms against them. Many believed Donnel was not willing to battle against Lords Torgen Oakheart and Rickard Rowan, who had joined Septon Moon. Due to his reluctance, Lord Hightower was dubbed Donnel the Delayer by the maesters of the Citadel. Most of Moon's followers fled after his death. By the time less than four hundred men remained of the original host of five thousand, Lord Donnel rode forth and killed those who had remained behind.
Ser Orryn Baratheon traveled to Oldtown to seize the novice Rhaella Targaryen in 50 AC. He was arrested by Donnel, however, despite the fact that the High Septon had heard Orryn's confession and had forgiven him for his intended crime. Donnel sent a full account of what transpired to King's Landing.
In 54 AC, following the death of the High Septon, King Jaehaerys I Targaryen and Queen Alysanne Targaryen traveled to Oldtown on their dragons, disregarding the small council objection to their traveling alone. Donnel wished for one of his relatives serving the Faith to be elected as the new High Septon, to which Jaehaerys had no objection, as long as they spoke in favor of the king's Doctrine of Exceptionalism. When the king and Donnel reached an agreement, they sealed it with a large feast. Septon Alfyn was eventually elected, but as he was quite old, it seemed likely that he would die sooner rather than later. It was expected Alfyn would be succeeded by a Hightower, provided the Hightowers aligned themselves firmly with the Exceptionalists. Alfyn was eventually succeeded by Donnel's brother.
In 56 AC, Donnel received summons from King Jaehaerys to arrest Lady Elissa Farman, now going by the name of Alys Westhill, commanding him to take her into custody and deliver her to King's Landing. Either the ravens did not reach Oldtown in time, or Donnel delayed on purpose, but Alys had already taken ship by the time Donnel moved against her. He sent a dozen of his swiftest ships after her and his two grandsons, Eustace and Norman, who had joined her. None of Donnel's vessels were able to capture them, however.
When Ser Eustace turned up in Oldtown on the seventh day of 59 AC, Hightower knights escorted him to Donnel in the high hall of the Hightower, where the lord listened to his grandson's tale. Later that same year, Lord Donnel died from the Shivers.
Lord Donnel is a schemer and a sulker. I do not trust him. Nor should you. He does what he thinks best for himself, his house, and Oldtown, and cares not a fig for anyone or anything else. Not even for his king.
- Fire & Blood, Prince into King - The Ascension of Jaehaerys I.
- See the Donnel Hightower calculation.
- Fire & Blood, The Long Reign - Jaehaerys and Alysanne: Policy, Progeny, and Pain.
- Fire & Blood, The Year of the Three Brides - 49 AC.
- Fire & Blood, A Surfeit of Rulers.
- Fire & Blood, Birth, Death, and Betrayal Under King Jaehaerys I.
- Fire & Blood, Jaehaerys and Alysanne - Their Triumphs and Tragedies.