© Fantasy Flight Games
|Born||In 219 AC or 220 AC|
|Died||In 299 AC, 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|
- 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.
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.
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.
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. 
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 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.