Ser Rodrik Cassel is a knight and the Master-at-arms of Winterfell. He is Jory Cassel’s uncle and a member of House Cassel, a small house that serves the Starks. When King Robert Baratheon travels to Winterfell, he asks Lord Eddard Stark to become the new Hand of the King, and he agrees. Eddard leaves for King’s Landing with his daughters, and Rodrik stays behind to help Robb stark, the new Lord of Winterfell.
Personal Details about Rodrik
- Name: Rodrik Cassel.
- Allegiance: House Cassel, House Stark.
- Children: Beth Cassel and others.
- Year of Birth: Around 248 AC.
- Year of Death: 299 AC at Winterfell.
- Culture: Northmen.
- Religion: Unknown.
- Titles: Ser, Master-at-arms at Winterfell, Castellan of Wintefell.
- Hair Color: White.
Appearance and Personality
Rodrik is a large man with white hair and whiskers, which he frequently strokes. He wears a hooded dark cloak and ringmail for armor and wields a longsword as his primary weapon, with a dagger for support. He owns a red dog and rides a horse.
Rodrik is kind and skeptical. He strictly believes in swordsmanship and dislikes seeing boys do anything other than fight with swords. His love for the blades gives him a distaste for music. He also dislikes tourneys and religiously speaks of the gods, though it is unknown if he worships the Old Gods or the Seven.
Though there is little information on Rodrik Cassel’s childhood, he has served the Starks as a loyal servant all his life. His mother died more than four decades before Robert’s Rebellion, and he married three times and had a daughter Beth.
Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire
When Jon and Robb discover a litter of direwolf pups, they give them to Rodrik’s dog for weaning. King Robert Baratheon arrives at Winterfell and his son, Joffrey, comes alone. During the sparring session, Rodrik watches Bran Stark and Prince Tommen Baratheon’s spar and refuses to allow Prince Joffrey Baratheon and Robb to spar with real steel.
When Bran discovers Cersei Lannister and her brother Ser Jaime Lannister, he gets thrown off a tower and almost dies. Eddard agrees to become the Hand of the King and leaves for King’s Landing with Arya Stark and her sister, Sansa Stark. Later, an assassin tries to kill Bran with a Valyrian Steel dagger but fails. To learn more about the event, Catelyn Stark decides to travel to meet her husband, and Rodrik accompanies her. As Cately journeys by sea, Rodrik gets seasick and cuts off his large white whiskers after soiling them with vomit.
Upon reaching King’s Landing, Rodrik shows the dagger the assassin tried to use on Bran to Ser Aron Santagar, the master-at-arms of the Red Keep. Later, Lord Petyr Baelish reveals that the blade initially belonged to him, but he had lost it to Tyrion Lannister in a bet. When Catelyn travels home, she stops at the Crossroads Inn and meets Tyrion. She then takes him into custody and heads for the Vale of Arryn to meet her sister, Lysa.
As they journey through the Mountains of the Moon, Rodrik and Catelyn get attacked by members of the mountain clans. In one of the fights, Rodrik gets injured and barely makes it to the Bloody Gates of the Vale. He gets treated, and Catelyn asks him to return to Winterfell as Castellan. After Osha gets captured for trying to kidnap Bran, Rodrik orders that she gets freed from her chains.
With Robert Baratheon and Eddard Stark dead, Westeros plunges into chaos. Robb becomes the King in the North and calls all Northern men to arms. With Robb now King, Bran becomes the lord of Winterfell and Rodrik gains command of Winterfell on his behalf. He begins training Big and Little Walder Frey, Catelyn’s wards and recruits new men to defend the castle.
The Harvest Feat arrives, and many bannermen of Winterfell attend. Rodrik asks Donella to dance with him, but she declines his request. After the feast, Ramsay Snow, the Bastard of Bolton, captures Donella, and Rodrik chases after him. He and his men kill Ramsay and capture his servant, Reek. However, Donella died of starvation.
When Robb sends Theon Greyjoy to Pyke to seek an alliance with his father, Balon rejects his offer and declares himself the King of the Iron Islands. Balon orders the capture of Moat Cailin and Deepwood Motte. Theon joins his father’s cause, betraying Robb, and partakes in the harrying of the Stony Shore. He gets the name Theon Turncloak.
Jealous that his sister has the favor of their father, Theon convinces Dagmer Cleftjaw to attack Torrhen’s Square; this draws out Rodrik, who goes to fight the invasion. Theon slips into Winterfell, sizes it, and takes Bran and his brother as hostages. When they escape, he later frames two boys as the Stark princes and claims they are dead.
After defeating Dagmer, Rodrik sends a raven to Cately, telling her of her son’s death. He then returns to the castle and lays siege. He negotiates with Theon, who threatens to hang Beth if he attacks. Maester Luwin advises Theon to give up, stating he will get spared and sent to the Wall. However, as Rodrik lays siege, Ramsay Snow arrives with some men and attacks Rodrik, killing him and taking his daughter to Dreadfort as a captive.
Lothar Frey discloses the news of Rodrik’s death to Robb and Catelyn. However, he skews the truth, stating that Ramsay had tried fighting Theon, and in the process, Rodrik got killed. At the Twins, Roose Bolton tells Robb that Ramsay took the survivors to safety, even though he was the one that burnt down the castle.
Lord Wyman Manderly and Robett Glover learn from Wex Pyke that Ramsay lied about Rodrik getting killed by Theon’s men on the battlefield. He reveals the truth to Davos Seaworth, Hand of the King of Stannis Baratheon.
Appearance in Adaptations
In HBO’s Game of Thrones, Rodrik Cassel’s character got portrayed by Fergus Leathem and Ron Donachie. He appeared in seasons 1, 2, and 6 and starred in 15 episodes of the tv series. He and his family served the Starks, and his brother got killed at the Tower of Joy during Robert’s Rebellion. He got beheaded by Theon Greyjoy.
Rodrik Cassel: The Man Who Served
Rodrik Cassel’s character invokes the feeling of loyalty and honor to the end. As a close adviser to Eddard, he served the Starks till his dying breath. Even though he was a soldier, he believed in showing compassion and kindness to his enemies, a rare trait peculiar to few in A Song of Ice and Fire.
Who killed Rodrik Cassel?
Rodrik Cassel got killed by Ramsay Snow. When Theon took over Winterfell, Rodrik returned from Torrhen’s Square and laid siege to Winterfell. He ordered Theon to surrender, and Ramsay Snow arrived at the castle. The Bolton bastard betrayed Rodrik and killed him.
Who killed Rodrik in Game of Thrones?
In HBO’s Game of Thrones, Rodric got killed by Theon Greyjoy after he took over Winterfell. However, Ramsay attacked and imprisoned Theon, turning him into Reek.
Who is Rodrik Cassel?
Rodrik is the master-at-arms for Winterfell and an adviser to Eddard Stark. He trains Eddard’s children and later becomes Castellan of Winterfell.
Was Rodrik a good man?
Yes. Rodrik Cassel was an honorable man who believed in treating others with compassion. He ordered Osha to get freed from her chains after realizing she had changed.