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Jeff Johnson Cressen.JPG
© Fantasy Flight Games

Title Maester at Dragonstone
Allegiance Citadel
House Baratheon (formerly)
House Baratheon of Dragonstone
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]


At some point, Cressen and Walgrave knew each other.[3]

Maester Cressen served as the maester of Storm's End. When Lord Steffon Baratheon and his wife Cassana Estermont died in a shipwreck, Cressen raised the Baratheon children. His favorite was Stannis, who needed Cressen more because he lacked the charm of his brothers. Cressen came to regard Stannis as the son he never had.[4]

Following Lord Steffon's shipwreck, Cressen helped identify the deceased. When the fool Patchface washed ashore three days after the shipwreck, Ser Harbert, the castellan of Storm’s End at the time, insisted the fool be put to death, but Cressen refused to agree. In the end, Cressen won the argument.[4]

Cressen was at Storm's End when it was besieged during Robert's Rebellion. When Ser Gawen Wylde and three other knights were caught trying to sneak out a postern gate to surrender, Stannis, who held command, prepared to have them hurled at the Tyrell host via catapult. Cressen convinced him instead to imprison the men, pointing out that the garrison might at some point be forced to eat their dead, and the four knights were "good meat".[5]

When Stannis was named Lord of Dragonstone by his brother, King Robert I Baratheon, Cressen followed him to the ancient stronghold. In 297 AC, Cressen fell and broke his hip. In 298 AC, when Cressen fell ill, Stannis requested the Citadel to send him a replacement for Cressen. In response, Maester Pylos was sent to Dragonstone.[2]

As a result of his long service to Stannis, Stannis always confided in Cressen.[6]

Recent Events

A Clash of Kings

Cressen receives Shireen Baratheon and Patchface when they come to see the white raven the Citadel has sent to the island to announce the end of summer. He attempts to sooth her worries about being eaten by a dragon, and discusses the red comet with her.[4]

After Stannis Baratheon 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. Cressen advises Stannis to ally with the Starks and the Arryns, Stannis insists that those crowning Robb Stark are committing treason. Stannis's queen, Lady Selyse Florent, urges Stannis to rely solely on R'hllor and says that according to the priestess Melisandre, Renly will die soon. Cressen thinks that Selyse is suggesting fratricide, and is shocked when Stannis dismisses him to listen to Selyse's counsel. Blaming Melisandre and her "madness", he plans to kill her. That evening at the feast, Cressen is ridiculed upon his arrival, but is eventually seated beside Ser Davos Seaworth. He puts the Strangler, a potent poison, in Davos's cup of wine, shaking off the knight's hand and protest. Instead, he invites Melisandre to drink the cup of wine with him. Apparently aware of Cressen's plan, Melisandre suggests he can still spill the wine, but Cressen insists that they share the cup. Melisandre drinks the majority of the wine and remains unaffected. When Cressen drinks the final sip, the poison kills him.[2]

After Cressen's death, the gossip on Dragonstone is that Cressen had challenged R'hllor and been struck down for his impiety.[7]

When Davos Seaworth meets with Stannis after the burning of the wooden statues of the Seven, Stannis admits that he had not wanted Cressen at the feast, and despite his anger on the maester's bad counsel had not wanted the old man dead.[7]

A Storm of Swords

Aboard the Bountiful Harvest Davos Seaworth wonders if Melisandre can be killed by mortal weapons, recalling how Cressen slipped poison into the wine, but when they both drank from the poisoned cup Melisandre was fine, but Cressen died from it.[8]

When climbing up the narrow twisted steps of Sea Dragon Tower, Davos Seaworth is reminded of Cressen, who had a lot of trouble climbing the steps of the tower after he had broken his hip.[6]

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.[6]


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.[4]

—Cressen's thoughts on Robert, Stannis, and Renly Baratheon

There are too many steps in this castle, and it seems to me they add a few every night, just to vex me.[4]

—Cressen's thoughts on his old age

I'd hoped he might be granted a few years of ease and comfort. He had earned that much, at least, but... but he died.[7]

Stannis Baratheon on Cressen's death