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Jeff Johnson Cressen.JPG
© Fantasy Flight Games

Title Maester
Born In 219 AC or 220 AC[1]
Died In 299 AC[1], at Dragonstone
Book(s) A Clash of Kings (POV)
A Storm of Swords (mentioned)
A Feast for Crows (mentioned)

Played by Oliver Ford
TV series Season 2
Oliver Ford Davies as Maester Cressen at Dragonstone (TV Show)

Cressen is a maester of the Citadel in service to Stannis Baratheon at Dragonstone. In the television adaptation Game of Thrones he is portrayed by Oliver Ford.


See also: Images of Cressen

At nearly eighty years old, Cressen is frail with a bad hip, causing him to have trouble walking. He has wrinkly, thin skin and trembling hands.[2]


Maester Cressen used to be maester of Storm's End. When Lord Steffon Baratheon and his wife Cassana Estermont died in a shipwreck, Cressen more or less raised the Baratheon children. Stannis was his favourite as he needed Cressen more because he lacked the charm of his brothers. Cressen came to regard Stannis as the son he never had.

During the Siege of Storm's End some men of the garrison tried to open the gate. Stannis had wanted to place them on the catapults and send them to the enemy, but Cressen advised against it. He pointed out that they did not have much food and that hunger might force them to eat the prisoners.

When Robert Baratheon gave Dragonstone to Stannis, Maester Cressen followed him to the ancient stronghold. As a maester is sworn to advise and serve a specific castle, regardless of changes in control of that holding, this is very uncommon.

Some time before the War of the Five Kings Stannis asked for the Citadel to send him a replacement for Cressen as he began to age, so they sent Pylos.[2]

It is implied that Maester Cressen worked with Walgrave in the past.[3]

Recent Events

A Clash of Kings

After Stannis declares himself king he unsuccessfully sends messengers to gather support for his claim, with only the vassals of Dragonstone supporting him. The lords of the stormlands support Stannis's younger brother, Renly Baratheon, who has claimed the throne as well.

Maester Cressen advises Stannis to ally with the Starks and the Arryns. Stannis says that those crowning Robb Stark are committing treason. Stannis's queen, Lady Selyse, urges Stannis to rely solely on R'hllor and says that according to Melisandre, Renly will die soon. Cressen thinks that Selyse suggested that Stannis have Renly assassinated and is shocked because Stannis seems to listen to this advice. He blames Melisandre for this and plans to kill her.

At dinner Cressen poisons Melisandre's wine. She seems to sense this and suggests to Cressen to throw the wine away, but Cressen insists that they share the cup. Melisandre drinks the majority of the wine, but is unaffected. Cressen drinks the final sip, and dies.[2]

A Storm of Swords

Aboard the Bountiful Harvest Davos Seaworth wonders if Melisandre can be killed by mortal weapons. He is not certain she can be, as he had seen old Maester Cressen slip poison into Melisandre's wine with his own eyes and when they both drank from the poisoned cup it was the maester who had died, not the red priestess. [4]

Climbing up the narrow twisted steps of Sea Dragon Tower Davos Seaworth is reminded of Cressen. He finds himself missing the old man and he thinks Stannis must as well. He thinks that the old man had been with Stannis so long, until he ran afoul of Melisandre, and died for it.

When meeting with his the small group of king's men, just before Edric Storm is secretly shipped away, Davos reminds them that when Maester Cressen attempted to kill Melisandre she knew at once.[5]


When a maester donned his collar, he put aside the hope of children, yet Cressen had oft felt a father nontheless. Robert, Stannis, Renly: three sons he had raised after the angry sea claimed Lord Steffon.


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