If wyman is an ambitious man, why is his son wylis married into a vassal house of the manderlys ? Thank you
Thanks for the question, Anon.
Unfortunately, we know very little about Lady Leona or House Woolfield, which drastically limits to what extent we can answer why Lord Manderly married his elder son to her. Maybe there were no available Northern matches for Wylis - or none Wyman particularly liked - about the time he was coming of age, and Wyman thought it better to start producing Manderly heirs of the next generation quickly. Maybe, if House Woolfield is from in or around the Sheepshead Hills, Wyman thought it essential to firm up his northern border against the Boltons, or thought the Sheepshead Hills would be a nice launching-off point for an eventual takeover of the Hornwood (especially since he or his father had probably arranged that marriage between Donella Manderly and Halys Hornwood). Maybe, like Doran and Mellario, Ser Wylis simply fell in love with her and wed her, and - being that she was of acceptable family - Wyman felt obligated to allow the match. Or maybe something completely different.
But keep in mind, Wyman Manderly is still a feudal overlord: if his conversation with Davos can be believed, he commands “a dozen petty lords and a hundred landed knights”. In as much as Stark lords have traditionally wed daughters of vassal Houses to Winterfell - your Glovers, Karstarks, Manderlys, and others - so their own bannermen might be expected to replicate that on a smaller scale (we see something similar in Houses Farman and Rowan, where daughters of the liege Houses marry sons of vassal Houses). By marrying his heir to a daughter of one of his own bannermen, Lord Manderly shows an invaluable sign of favor to House Woolfield, which both honors the Woolfields and encourages the other Manderly bannermen that their liege House does not disdain them. This is possibly an even more important point for the Manderlys, given that they are, in the words of Godric Borrell, “no northmen, not down deep”. For all that they have been in the North for a thousand years, the Manderlys are still outsiders - Seven-worshipers in the lands of the old gods, knights in a land without southron chivalry, reacher transplants now beyond the Neck. If the Woolfields are native northmen, and I think it stands to reason they are, then a marriage between a Manderly and a Woolfield might have seemed a natural move to further integrate the Manderlys into the North, mixing the blood of White Harbor-area natives with these former reachlords to make suitably northern heirs.
The Queen Regent (NFriel)