35 (1962 — 1997)
|Also known as||
Dæmon (settled as a golden monkey)
Head of the G.O.B.
Marisa Coulter (1962 — 1997) was the head of the General Oblation Board and a long-time agent of the Church before she defected. Her dæmon was a strangely reticent golden monkey whose name is unknown to us. She had short black (blonde in the film) hair and black eyes (blue in the film).
Mrs. Coulter was married to a politician named Edward Coulter, but had an affair with Lord Asriel which resulted in a baby girl; a girl who would be named Lyra Belacqua. Her husband found out about the affair after Lyra was born, and was killed by Lord Asriel in a duel. The child was then given by Lord Asriel to the scholars at Jordan College to raise.
Years later, the widowed Mrs. Coulter arrived at Jordan College in a fancy Magisterate dirigible, where she met her daughter Lyra. Lyra accepted Mrs. Coulter's offer to take Lyra with her. Lyra was later warned by the Master that under no circumstances whatsoever should Mrs. Coulter find out that she has the Alethiometer.
Lyra at first enjoyed her time with Mrs. Coulter, who satisfied Lyra's craving for a mother (Lyra did not know that Marisa Coulter was her mother). But when Mrs. Coulter demanded complete respect and obedience from her own daughter, even having her daemon capture and tightly hold Pantalaimon, Lyra ran away, taking only Pan and her Alethiometer. Mrs. Coulter understandably was not happy that Lyra escaped with the infamous "golden compass".
Mrs. Coulter eventually visited Bolvangar, followed by a group of Bolvangar nurses whom Lyra had a chance to eavesdrop upon. Lyra dived under a table just in time. When the nurses were talking about how cruel Mrs. Coulter previously was to other children, a disturbed Lyra shifted and accidentally made a chair move. The scientists heard the chair moving and found her hiding under the table, where they immediately carried her to the Intercision Room and put her and Pan into the Silver Guillotine. The Silver Guillotine literally splits a child and his/her daemon apart, permanently. Lyra screamed at them to release her, but they began to operate the bank of switches to cut her away from her daemon.
Before the intercision was completed, Mrs. Coulter burst in and rescued Lyra before she was cut away from Pan. She brought Lyra into her own lavish quarters and laid Lyra gently on her bed.
Audio book AdaptationsEdit
Emma Fielding played Mrs Coulter in the BBC version of His Dark Materials. Alison Dowling played her in the Chivers Children's Audio Books version. Author Philip Pullman narrated the latter with a full cast.
On July 14, 2006, it was announced that actress Nicole Kidman would play Mrs Coulter in The Golden Compass, the film adaptation of Northern Lights, with Daniel Craig joining her as Lord Asriel. Philip Pullman had previously indicated that he would like to see Kidman play the role, although he had no role in the casting procedure. He also decided that he had been "wrong" and the character should be blonde instead of black-haired after seeing her performance.
- Mrs. Coulter came third in the BigBadRead poll after Lord Voldemort and Sauron.