When the cast and creators of “His Dark Materials” appeared in a panel for the 2019 summer Television Critics Association press tour, star Dafne Keen said there is a moment in Philip Pullman’s series where Ma Costa (Anne-Marie Duff) says to Lyra, “You’re not water, you’re marsh fire,” which Keen said is the “perfect description” of her character. 

Co-star Ruth Wilson immediately chimed in with, “My [character’s] description was ‘cesspit of moral filth.'”

That flippant remark is actually a fairly accurate summary of Wilson’s Mrs. Marisa Coulter, but there are so many facets to the character beyond just “bad guy.” Mrs. Coulter is a layered, captivating woman — and one of the most compelling villains on television right now. Here are three reasons why we love to hate-watch Mrs. Coulter.

 

**Spoilers ahead for the first season of “His Dark Materials.”**

 

She is Utterly Enthralling