|“||A true queen is not made. She is born in the Earth's womb, and destined to rule forever.||”|
— Countess Marburg to Mary Sibley[src]
Countess Palatine Ingrid Von Marburg  was one of the numerous identities of a primordial witch who had crept into the higher ranks of the aristocracy to add power and wealth to her boundless wickedness. As the primary antagonist of the second season, her goal was to bring the Devil on Earth and dethrone Mary Sibley as Queen of the Night.
Countess Von Marburg was portrayed by Lucy Lawless.
|“||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
As revealed by Increase Mather, the Countess Von Marburg was actually one of the oldest witches alive — she was already alive when Lucifer fell and was one of the first who made a pact with him, becoming his first lover, worshiper, and one of the very first witches in all history. Her greatest strength, as well as her greatest weakness, was an elaborate sarcophagus where her remains were stored, for within that first body she had inhabited was a vital part of her own soul, enabling her to be resurrected each and every time she was killed. However, if her relic was destroyed, then she herself could be permanently killed.
Unfortunately for the Countess, despite her utter devotion to her master, the Devil, and her ruthlessness in her efforts to truly bring him to Earth, all her attempts were futile. Over the millennia, she came to assume various identities, including Hecate, Medea, and Bathory — three names notorious for their connection to witchcraft. According to Tituba, the Countess had been the end of the Scythians, the Magyars, and the Roma from the Old World, with only a handful of the old breeds still surviving, but were also either in hiding or scattered across the world. Hence, she was the last of what she liked to call "true witches".
Due to her first original body being a mummified corpse, and her numerous self-resurrections over the millennia, it was never specifically revealed or confirmed as to what the Countess' first original appearance was.
However, in her last incarnation, the Countess was a beautiful woman who appeared to be in her late 40's, with long dark brown hair, glacial blue eyes, a pale complexion, and a tall and slim physique. Just like Mary Sibley, her sense of fashion and adornments were perfectly appropriate to her high social status — stylish robes of rich fabrics, fine furs, with precious jewelry.
Despite this, she had a burn in the shape of a hand on her left shoulder, which was left by Increase Mather when he sank his hands in the Hell's pitch to stop the Marburg witches' attempt to complete the Grand Rite.
|“||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 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 one of the first original witches in history, and having been taught witchcraft by Lucifer himself, the Countess was one of the most powerful witches in the entire series, if not the most powerful - in ancient times, she was once worshipped as the Goddess Hecate, and as a pagan siren in 17th Century Germany. Even Mary Sibley, the most powerful witch of the Essex Hive, also once acknowledged the Countess to be stronger than any witch she had ever seen.
For instance, unlike most witches, the Countess did not require any tools to astral project, and could even remain conscious in both her astral and physical forms. Mary herself once described this as magic she had never tried before, and it required all her strength to maintain it when she did so.
In terms of her control over the elements, the Countess had demonstrated an affinity for water, using it numerous times as her conduit to achieve her own goals — she killed Sir Elliot and, later, George Sibley by causing them to drown from within. She attacked Mary in her own home in the form of a specter. She was also shown to be powerful enough to assume complete control over the weather — Mary was alerted to her presence by the storm she invoked over Salem. However, she seemed incapable of doing so when trapped within the place that served as a source of power for another witch, as demonstrated by her fight with Mary when the latter attempted to burn the church. It was also never specifically confirmed as to whether Mary's allegations of the Countess requiring tears to invoke rain were true, or just an assumption on her part.
The Countess was also capable of telepathy, but to an extraordinarily high level — through only a blood kiss, she could penetrate the minds of her victims, and read their thoughts and see their secrets. Her dream walking skills, which she herself called meddling within the soul, were highly advanced as well — through either physical contact, or by using water as a conduit, she could create dream-like states within the human mind. Where psychometry was concerned, she could detect the presence of a nearby spirit, as well as roughly determine a person's location from a distance, as when she sensed John Sibley's presence while chasing after him. She also easily sensed Mercy as a rebel witch of the Essex Hive, and used her to her own ends.
However, the Countess' most noteworthy ability was self-resurrection: as explained by Increase, her first original body - which contained a vital part of her soul - was stored in a sarcophagus, and so, with each and every time she died, she would eventually come back to life, making her an immortal of sorts. Unfortunately for her, this was also her greatest weakness — if her original body was harmed or destroyed, then she herself would be rendered mortal and, in Mary's words, "could be run through with a dull blade". It was never specifically revealed or confirmed as to how exactly her resurrection worked, and whether upon each death, she possessed a new body, or if it was an actual reincarnation into a new entity. Through her and Mary's conversation during their battle at the church, and later on, it was still revealed that this process of self-resurrection was not instantaneous, and would take some time. Last but not least, the Countess is also skilled in blood magic, knowing how to preserve her youth, beauty, and health by bathing in the blood of the young.
- Main article: Countess and Sebastian
|“||Don't be a greedy boy.||”|
— Countess to Sebastian
- 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
- Main article: Countess and Lucifer
Countess was one of the first to worship the Devil, and love him as her husband. For centuries this ancient witch has moved Heaven and Earth to reunite with her beloved, only to discover that she has no role at the side of the Dark Lord.
- Main article: Countess and Anne
|“||I already killed one mother. Who's to say I won't kill another one?||”|
— Anne to her mother
Countess Von Marburg has high regard for her daughter, so much she has talked profusely with Sebastian, triggering the jealousy of the latter towards his half-sister. Although Countess Von Marburg has great plans for Anne, her narcissism and blind love for the Dark Lord are unmatched. It is because of this that the Countess found death by her daughter's hand.
- Main article: Countess and Mercy
- 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 Von Marburg (to Anne): "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 Von Marburg (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 Von Marburg: "Do not be blinded by the light of your dreams, Mary Sibley, for these are not the last but merely the first of the sacrifices it will take to achieve our new world."
- Countess Von Marburg (to Mary Sibley): "There are other cities to conquer, other empires to fell. And all the while, we must wear our mask of respectability."
- — Ill Met by Moonlight
- Countess Von Marburg "We all make sacrifices, Mary, and in these courageous acts, legends are born."
- — Til Death Do Us Part
- Countess Von Marburg "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 Von Marburg "You've not lived nearly long enough to judge me or the forces that drive me."
- — Til Death Do Us Part
- Countess (to Mary Sibley): "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?"
- — 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 ever 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."
- — Midnight Never Come
- Countess Von Marburg (to Mary Sibley): "For two thousand years, they have tried and failed to build the Kingdom of God here on Earth. Now it is our turn."
- — The Witching Hour
- Sebastian Von Marburg "Wise mother, was this your plan? Did you know what the Devil intends? Do you plan to rule a kingdom of death and dust?"
- Countess Von Marburg "All comes from dust. And all returns. The end he brings is a new beginning."
- — The Commonwealth of Hell
- Countess Von Marburg (over the Dark Lord's corpse): "No. I waited eternities for you. Waded through centuries of blood and for what? To lose you now? With eons of evil and ecstasy spread before us and oceans of blood to bathe in and a world at our feet for the taking..."
- — Black Sunday
- Countess Von Marburg (her last words, to Anne Hale): "I should have drowned you in my womb or strangled you on my breast or... Forgive me! I was in shock. Now I understand. I always knew you were my special one. Whilst it is indeed a bitter thing to have victory snatched from me, I am proud of you. You are a true Marburg. I will happily accept my new role, not as Queen, but as Queen-Mother."
- — Black Sunday
- 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 fed them 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 in 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||Voice Only|
|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.
- During the advertising for the second season, she was simply known as "The Countess." She was finally listed as Countess Palatine Ingrid Von Marburg, while in a clip featured in Salem Special: Witch War she presented herself as having many names, with Hecate, Medea, Bathory being just a few.
- Her surname, Von Marburg, is often mistakenly reduced to Marburg, losing the German meaning of the name "Of Marburg" or "From 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 Mary Sibley that once she met "the other Mary", describing her as a weak woman mourning her son sacrificed on the cross.
- On April 6th, 2016 Lucy Lawless 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.
- When asked to talk about the character, Lucy Lawless described the Countess as "the soul of violence. She is very charming and very funny and very witty, so you do not really see it coming,"  adding that the best part about playing a witch is 'delicious subterfuge.' 
- Lucy Lawless has also expressed disappointment in labeling characters as "villains," preferring a deep characterization and all-around approach. She admitted to having had hesitations about some aspects of the Countess, but was eventually able to separate her own personal opinions from the character's ones, adding that the best way for portraying a character is trying to understand its actions and beliefs. Precisely about this characterization, Lucy Lawless has praised the writers' work and research, claiming that she did not base her acting on a particular character, but "cherry-pick some of those terrible stories and feed them into my character." Lucy Lawless has also expressed great enthusiasm about the representation of witchcraft and the great research work carried out by Adam Simon and Brannon Braga, surprised by the fact that the more something sounds absurd and truculent, the more likely it is a historical fact or belief. 
- The name of the current incarnation of this witch is Countess Palatine Ingrid Von Marburg, as presented by Cotton Mather in "Blood Kiss," and by Captain Braun in "Ill Met by Moonlight." In "The Beckoning Fair One," Increase Mather mispronounced her name as Countess Ingrid Palatine Von Marburg. However, Palatine is not a given name, but a high noble title, that of the Counts Palatine.
- After linking herself to Mary and stealing her body, Anne switched them back. As the Countess withered to a sentient mummy, Mary regained her appearance, flourishing from the Relic she was trapped in.
- Brannon Braga & Adam Simon (writer) & Allan Arkush (director). July 13, 2014. "Blood Kiss". Salem. Season 2. Episode 2. WGN.
- Joe Menosky & Adam Simon (writer) & Allan Kroeker (director). July 13, 2014. "Book of Shadows". Salem. Season 2. Episode 4. WGN.
- Brian Peterson & Kelly Souders (writer) & Nick Copus (director). July 13, 2014. "Ill Met by Moonlight". Salem. Season 2. Episode 6. WGN.
- Donna Thorland & Adam Simon (writer) & Joe Dante (director). July 13, 2014. "The Beckoning Fair One". Salem. Season 2. Episode 7. WGN.
- Kelly Souders & Brian Peterson (writer) & Tim Andrews (director). July 13, 2014. "Til Death Do Us Part". Salem. Season 2. Episode 10. WGN.
- Joe Menosky & Adam Simon (writer) & Nick Copus (director). July 13, 2014. "On Earth as in Hell". Salem. Season 2. Episode 11. WGN.
- Donna Thorland & Adam Simon (writer) & Alex Zakrzewski (director). July 13, 2014. "Midnight Never Come". Salem. Season 2. Episode 12. WGN.
- Adam Simon (writer) & Brannon Braga (director). July 13, 2014. "The Witching Hour". Salem. Season 2. Episode 13. WGN.
- Brannon Braga & Adam Simon (writer) & Nick Copus (director). November 2, 2016. "After the Fall". Salem. Season 3. Episode 1. WGN.
- Adam Simon (writer) & Nick Copus (director). December 7, 2016. "The Commonwealth of Hell". Salem. Season 3. Episode 5. WGN.
- Brian Peterson & Kelly Souders (writer) & Jennifer Lynch (director). January 4, 2017. "The Man Who Was Thursday". Salem. Season 3. Episode 7. WGN.
- Brian Peterson & Kelly Souders (writer) & Jennifer Lynch (director). January 18, 2017. "Saturday Mourning". Salem. Season 3. Episode 9. WGN.
- Adam Simon (writer) & Brannon Braga (director). January 25, 2017. "Black Sunday". Salem. Season 3. Episode 10. WGN.
- Entertainment Weekly, Lucy Lawless says the magic of 'Salem' is nothing like 'Harry Potter'
- TIME, Lucy Lawless Explains the Gruesome History Behind Salem's 'New Kind of Horror'
- SALEM: Lucy Lawless Talks Season 2, ASH VS. EVIL DEAD, and More