Part I - First Impressions Together.
It's tough to say if Marisa and Asriel loved each other. They both had the passion and child right? Well maybe there might be more on them then some thought. It's strange to think that maybe they are in love, because how selfish they both can be sometimes, that's true. John Faa and Farder Coram tell the story of Lyra's parents. Mrs. Coulter and Lord Asriel met at the Royal Arctic Institute, some time ago. They fell in love as soon as they met. Could they both be in love? Or was this one of Marisa's manipulate tricks to play off with someone when her husband wasn't around? Or did something happen to them both; like fall for each other in a romantic way of cheating? But they had a child and it wasn't Marisa's husband's but Asriel's.
We first see Lyra's parents together in the ending of The Golden Compass/Northern Lights. Lord Asriel has killed Lyra's best friend Roger to open up the new lands of different worlds. Lyra sees them together for the first time, she calls it more like cruelty then love. They both embrace so passionately together as their daemons would play in the snow. Does this look like lust? Maybe, and maybe not. But we can't tell yet for sure. They both talk about exploring the other worlds together and all sorts of other things, and they both kiss with much greed and passion. But the thing is Asriel wanted Marisa (We later learned Mrs. Coulter's name) to go with him, and try to build a republic of heaven. She refuses to go with him, and he goes off into the sky. She later cries (and her tears were real.) and leaves the top, Lyra watches her coldly and joins her father.
Part II - But is it Love?
If you think about it for a second, it seems to be love. It's a love that doesn't make sense. It's like putting something together without much dialogue. Well, their souls cannot resist each other, they kiss and they both just seem like its a power ride rather than the companion type of love. It's just the two of them don't realize that they do in fact love one another, but its like they cannot resist due to the fact that they don't see each other; instead, they see power and not the fulfillment of what love is in general. Marisa does learn later on what love is in 'The Amber Spyglass'; itÃs changed her into more of a human with as much fate as every one. She gets captured by Asriel's forces, in which Marisa just kept Lyra asleep and imprisoned in a cave where the Authority couldn't find the two of them. She cries and yells at the top of her lungs and says that Lyra was safe with her until Asriel had captured her.
Asriel talks mainly about the fact his daughter was a brat with dirty fingernails and he says that he could care nothing of Lyra. He talks how Lyra hasn't had a gift; instead, she was greedy, dishonest, impulsive and also not at all clever. Marisa disagrees telling him that she is clever, brave, generous, and loving. They both kept arguing back and forth on how their their daughter was (although Marisa eventually won). Asriel interrupts her by telling her that she was softened by Lyra, and how Lyra has been drawn by her poison. Marisa later spits in his face, which is very much what Lyra would have done.
We later see them together when Marisa was saved by Asriel. After we see she is sleeping on his bed. Wait! His bed? Did something happen? Or was it just kindness?. He was talking in another room and she moved in the bed. It was the sound of his voice over the particular words coming out. (The Amber Spyglass, pg - 340.) He walks into the room, after the speech was done with the other men. She awakes and gets up, and she asks him what will happen to them all. He is turning a map and not bothering to move a muscle. She asks him if anyone has heard of Lyra. Then she says one of the most shocking thing that she said to him yet. She says they both should have gotten married and raised Lyra as their own. (She loves him, it seems that she kind of has more of the loving feeling toward him then he shows her. She definitely shows her love for him. But as readers we kind of know he loves her too.)
Later is the last time we see them together, the last time we see two complex people together in this story. Marisa goes to Clouded Mountain where there dwells Metatron. Marisa manipulates, and lies to him by telling him that she was going to betray Lyra and Asriel altogether. She later sees Asriel and climbs down the mountain crying. (The thing I loved about this part of the story is how these two characters can show some love by their body language. He hugs and supports her like a gentleman and any kind of person would do to someone they care about. You can definitely see there is love between them there.) He holds her tight to his chest as she sobbed quietly, he asked what she told him. She told him she had lied to him by telling him she was going to betray him and Lyra. She said she loved Lyra, and wondered where that love had came from. He kissed her and she felt as light in his arms as when Lyra was conceived 13 years before. (The Amber Spyglass - Pg 362) He told her to go for him as his 'love'. She did and out of the open they both charged at Metatron with all their might fighting them with everything they had inside of them. They fought until Asriel was going to fall, and Metatron would escape.
He cried out her name as loud as he could she could hear the roar of his daemon beside her, she got up and hurled herself onto the angel, her daemon and her lover, with all bravery. Now I say this all the time, if she didn't love him or cared at all for him then she wouldn't have jumped, for Lyra, or him.
I say they were definitely in love Not at first but maybe.