|Countess Von Marburg|
|Cause of Death||
|“||A true queen is not made. She is born in the Earth's womb, and destined to rule forever.||”|
— Countess Marburg
Countess Palatine Ingrid Von Marburg is the current identity of a very ancient witch who has crept in the higher ranks of the aristocracy to add power and wealth to her boundless wickedness. Main villain of the second season, her goal is to bring the Devil on Earth, with no problems dethroning Mary Sibley.
|“||Did you never wonder what happened to the witches of the other old lands the Scythians, the Magyars, the Roma? Only a handful of the old breeds survive, hidden in Burrows or scattered like dust on the wind. What happened to them? Not witch hunters, but her.||”|
— Tituba about Countess Von Marburg
Countess Von Marburg is the last of what she likes to call "true witches". As attested by herself throughout the centuries she has assumed various identities including Hecate, Medea and Bathory, three names quite renowned for their connection with Witchcraft. Two of them date back to the classical period thus we can infer that the Countess is very old. Tituba tells Mary that the way the hag kissed her is the Countess' signature and that the Countess was the end of the Scythians, the Magyars and the Roma from the Old World. Only a handful of the old breeds survive, hidden in burrows or scattered like dust on the wind.
It was later revealed by Increase Mather that the Countess is quite possibly one of the oldest witches alive, considering she was a young girl during the time Lucifer fell. According to various legends, the Countess was one of the first who made a pact with the Devil, his first lover and worshiper, and thus one of the first witches in history. Her only known weakness is a wooden coffin where her remains, as well as a vital part of her soul were stored, enabling her infinite life.
Countess Marburg is a beautiful woman who appears to be in her late 40's. She has a slim and tall physique with long dark brown hair, glacial blue eyes, and a pale complexion. As Mary Sibley, she wears clothes of rich fashion, with rich fabrics and adorned with jewelry and accessories that highlight the high social status.
She has a burn in the shape of hand on the left shoulder, which was left by Increase Mather when the hunter sank his hands in the Hell's pitch to stop the Marburg witches' attempt to complete the Grand Rite.
The original body of the Countess is kept in a sacred sarchophagus hidden in a parallel dimension. It is a mummified corpse and over the centuries the Countess took several physical aspects, even if the current one seems to be her original appearance.
|“||Legends say Countess Ingrid Palatine von Marburg was already alive when Lucifer fell, and she was one of the first to call him lord, to kiss his infernal lips, to make herself his bride, and that still she dreams of the return of her lover and works ceaselessly to that end. There is nothing she would not do, no one she would not kill - men, women, children, even witches - to bring the devil back.||”|
— Increase Mather describe the witch to Mary Sibley.
Manipulative, cunning and deeply luxurious, the Countess has a strong personality, as befits a true witch. Her cruelty is unmatched; she was the first spouse of Satan, the first witch to implement spells of pure perfidy and malice. Seductive and libidinous, wearing sophisticated and refined clothes, sometimes bizarre, as befits the clothing of the nobility of the 17th century. The Countess has a co-dependent relationship with her son Sebastian, with whom she shares even incestuous gestures.
Throughout the Salem Series
Powers and Abilities
As an ancient and powerful witch, having been alive during Lucifer's fall, the Countess is in control of sophisticated abilities and powers far greater than those practiced by the Essex witches. Her own magic is much more superior due to her advanced age and she is arguably one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful witch that has appeared on the show thus far, which is proven by the fact that she was once worshipped as the mythological goddess Hecate in ancient times and a pagan siren in 17th century Germany, throughout her various identities.
In terms of her control over the elements, the Countess has demonstrated an affinity for water, using it several times as her conduit to achieve her own goals. This was first seen when she killed Sir Elliot by causing him to drown from within. She would later kill George Sibley in the same manner. She also used water as a conduit in order to attack Mary Sibley in her home in the form of a specter. She achieved this feat by seemingly placing a random girl under some kind of semi-possession, through which she gained entrance to the Sibley house. She is powerful enough to assume complete control over the weather, as seen when she invoked a storm over Salem, alerting Mary of her presence. Though she has also shown an incapability of doing so when trapped within the place that serves as a source of power for another witch, as seen in her fight with Mary, when the latter attempted to burn the church. It is unknown if Mary's allegations of the Countess requiring tears to invoke rain are true or just an assumption on her part.
The Countess Ingrid is also capable of high-level telepathy, which allows her to invade other people's minds as well as read their thoughts. She usually performs such a feat through a blood kiss, allowing her to penetrate the minds of her victims and see their secrets. She is capable of creating dream-like states within the human mind, which she achieves either through physical contact, as seen with Anne or by using water as a conduit when her target is at a large distance, as seen with John Alden. This is an advanced form of dream walking that the Countess calls meddling within the soul. She is also highly psychometric and can even detect the presence of a spirit nearby, as well as roughly determine the location of a person from a distance, as seen when she felt Little John's presence while chasing after him. She also easily detected Mercy as a rebel witch of the Essex hive, using her to her own ends.
However, her most noteworthy ability is to continue living after each death. This is possible only due to the fact that her original body was stored in an ancient sarcophagus, thus preserving a vital part of her soul and protecting her from truly dying, making her an immortal of sorts. However, if any harm comes to her original body, the Countess herself will be rendered mortal and killable. It is not yet clear on how her resurrection works, whether upon each death she possesses a new body or if the process is more long-lasting, such as an actual reincarnation into a new entity. She is also skilled in blood magic, knowing how to preserve a youthful and healthy appearance by bathing in blood of the young.
Main Article: Countess and Sebastian
|“||Don't be a greedy boy.||”|
— Countess to Sebastian
She seems to share an incestuous relationship with her son. Sebastian is totally in love with the mother, but at the same time knows that he himself is essential to the woman, playing well in a twisted emotional relationship.
- Main article: Countess and Mary
|“||Well, you can put a crown on a sow's head and it doesn't make it a queen. A true queen is not made. She is born in the Earth's womb and destined to rule forever.||”|
— Countess to Mary
The antagonistic relationship between the two women comes from the fact that the Countess can not stand that a simple half-blood witch has managed to complete the Grand Rite and Mary Sibley does not tolerate anyone undermining her authority as Queen of the Night.
- Countess Von Marburg (to Anne Hale): Oh, my dear, I have had so many names. Hecate, Medea, Bathory are just a few. I'm the Swallower of Souls, she who flowers from her own wounds. I'm the last of the first, I am the last of the true witches.
- -- Blood Kiss
- Countess (to Anne Hale): Oh, do not lie to me. Ever. There could be no greater error than that.
- -- Blood Kiss
- Countess Von Marburg (to Anne Hale): We must all murder our fathers and mothers. This is the way.
- -- Blood Kiss
- Countess Von Marburg (to Sebastian Von Marburg): We're not all as obvious as you, my dear son. Unlike men, women keep their most sensitive parts hidden within. And our beautiful Mary Sibley... now, she has more and deeper secrets than most.
- -- The Wine Dark Sea
- Countess Von Marburg (to Mary Sibley): You're like the foot of a pyramid. But you will make a fine and mighty base for one more naturally designed to rule.
- -- The Wine Dark Sea
- Countess (to Mary Sibley): Well, you can put a crown on a sow's head and it doesn't make it a queen. A true queen is not made. She is born in the earth's womb and destined to rule forever.
- -- The Wine Dark Sea
- Countess: We all make sacrifices, Mary, and in these courageous acts, legends are born.
- -- Til Death Do Us Part
- Countess: Men long for the freedom of their chains. To them, slavery is freedom!
- Mary Sibley: You are no better than the ones I sought to destroy.
- Countess: You've not lived nearly long enough to judge me or the forces that drive me.
- -- Til Death Do Us Part
- Countess: Were you there to hear the screams of thousands of children sliced apart by crusaders? Have you smelled the human flesh searing to the red-hot irons of the inquisition? I consecrate this land on behalf of the millions I watched suffer! And their temples destroyed, their people slaughtered! You began this rite to end all of this. How can you turn your back on us now?
- Mary Sibley: I wanted it passionately. But I hadn't tasted passion until I became a mother.
- -- Til Death Do Us Part
- Countess Von Marburg (to Anne Hale): Behold, the symbol of Mary Sibley's kindness; The reward for serving her faithfully. And you would prefer Mary Sibley to your own mother?
- Tituba: How did I not see? You are as much serpent as she.
- Countess Von Marburg: And what of it? The first and best of women, our mother Eve, followed the Serpent. And ever since, small-minded men have tormented us. Did you never ask yourself what kind of a God plants a tree bearing the fruit of true knowledge, only to forbid his creation to partake? When I look around this dismal chamber, I see three powerful women who all serve the same cause, whether they know it or not.
- -- in Midnight Never Come
- Ingrid: from the Old Norse name Ingríðr meaning "Ing is beautiful", derived from the name of the Germanic god Ing, combined with fríðr "beautiful". A famous bearer was the Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman.
- Von Marburg which in German means literally "from Marburg", a German town.
- Hecate: in reference to an ancient deity of Thessaly, then incorporated in the Greek pantheon. Hecate was the mistress of darkness and sorcery and ruled on the three kingdoms: earth, heaven and sea and for that reason she was represented with three heads and honored at crossroads. Hecate was a Titaness who helped Zeus in the conquest of Olympus and also the nurse of Persephone, the queen of the Underworld.
- Medea: a legendary sorceress of Greek mythology, daughter of King Aeëtes of Colchis, niece of Circe, granddaughter of the sun god Helios, and priestess of Hecate. She helped Jason in his heroic deeds but when he left her, blinded by anger Medea killed their children and provided them for the meal to Jason.
- Bathory: Countess Erzsebet Bathory was a bloodthirsty Hungarian noblewoman who was tried and jailed for life for the practices of witchcraft and ritual murders. She used to bathe in the blood of young virgins and was known for her brutal cruelty.
Status and Rank
- Countess, the female equivalent of the title Count, or in Britain of the title Earl. The word count came into English from the French comte, itself from Latin, meaning “companion”, and later “companion of the emperor, delegate of the emperor”, an appropriate title to Countess Von Marburg if we consider the Devil as the witches' Emperor. The manner to which she was designated countess in European aristocracy is unknown.
- Palatine, from the Palatini (Latin for "palace troops") were elite units of the Late Roman army mostly attached to the imperial escort armies.The Palatine of Hungary (German: Landespalatin) was the highest-ranking official in the Kingdom of Hungary from the beginning of the 11th century to 1848. A famous family member of this élite was the Bathory family, from which the most known member is Erzsebet Bathory, of whom the Countess Von Marburg is a fictional representation.
|Book of Shadows||Absent|
|The Wine Dark Sea||Appears|
|Ill Met by Moonlight||Appears|
|The Beckoning Fair One||Appears|
|Wages of Sin||Appears|
|Til Death Do Us Part||Appears|
|On Earth as in Hell||Appears|
|Midnight Never Come||Appears|
|The Witching Hour||Appears|
|After the Fall||Voice Only|
|The Heart Is A Devil||Absent|
|Night's Black Agents||Absent|
|The Commonwealth of Hell||Voice Only|
|The Man Who Was Thursday||Absent|
|Saturday Mourning||Voice Only|
- On January 14, 2015, it was announced that Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess, Battlestar Galactica, Spartacus, Parks and Recreation) would join the cast of Salem as Countess Marburg, the last in an ancient line of German witches.
- Her first name is still unknown, we only know her title of nobility, that is Countess.
- In a WGN special, in a scene with Anne, she reveals that she's had many names over the centuries: Hecate, Medea, Bathory, just to name a few.
- According to Zap2it, her current name seems to be Countess Palatine Ingrid Von Marburg.
- "Lucy Lawless' character is going to shake things up," says Braga. "She plays a Germanic, very bad witch who wants what Mary has accomplished. And seeing them go head-to-head is really exciting."
- She may be part of the witch faction mentioned by Increase Mather in the episode "Ashes Ashes", about a witch coven in Marburg, Germany.
- It was confirmed in Cry Havoc, when she described the origin of her scars to her servant.
- In the episode 'Dead Birds', Increase Mather reveals that, much like Lord Voldemort's Horcruxes from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter, the Countess possesses an item of great magical power that has granted her seemingly endless life. According to Increase, this object was once the coffin which housed her remains, although it now appears to be the Countess' ship itself.
- In Til Death Do Us Part, the Countess told to Mary Sibley that once she met "the other Mary", describing her as weak woman mourning her son sacrificed on the cross.
- On April 6th, 2016 Lucy Lawless has released a videochat on her official Facebook page stating that she would not be present in the third season (and informs us that she had read the script - which according to her is incredible - and that is jealous of not being part of it).
- She, however, was present as a voice-over in the course of the whole season. Lucy Lawless's initial denial of being part of the third season can be attributed to the desire to don't spoil the surprise.
- ↑ Her fate is unknown as she was transformed again into a mummy by an unknown transfer of bodies spell. Since Mary was sentient inside the Relic, it is possible that when Mary acquired vitality subtracting it from the body inhabited by the Countess, the latter simply became withered as the Relic.