'''''The Millennium Trilogy''''' is a series of [[GenreBusting crime fiction/psychological thrillers/dark conspiracy]] books by the late [[UsefulNotes/{{Sweden}} Swedish]] author Stieg Larsson, has won several awards and international acclaim -- but it was not meant to be a trilogy. Larsson [[AuthorExistenceFailure died]] before the first book saw publication, and he had completed two more books at that time. Rumors say he planned as many as ten books with the characters from the trilogy. These books became bestsellers in their home country, due in part to their international attention.

The first book, ''The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'' [[note]]Swedish title translates as ''Men Who Hate Women''[[/note]] (2005) begins with middle-aged reporter Mikael Blomkvist sentenced to prison for libel. While Blomkvist waits to serve his term, famous industrialist Henrik Vanger hires him to investigate a forty-year-old cold case: the disappearance and presumed murder of his then-sixteen-year-old grandniece, Harriet. Blomkvist's investigation brings him into contact with [[DarkActionGirl Lisbeth Salander]], the antisocial, borderline-disturbed, and brilliant researcher who Vanger hired as a private investigator to do a security check on Blomkvist. Salander dislikes authority and violently opposes any form of abuse against women, and when Blomkvist comes to her for help in his investigation, she becomes his unlikely aide as they zero in on the truth behind Harriet's disappearance, which appears to involve a serial killer and rapist...

The second book, ''The Girl Who Played with Fire'' (2006), has Blomkvist aiding two intrepid researchers the Swedish sex trafficking industry, which is linked to a mysterious criminal boogeyman known as "Zala". After the researchers begin digging more deeply into Zala's identity, they are found slain in their home, with Salander's prints on the murder weapon. While Blomkvist tries to track her down and discover the truth, Lisbeth herself begins a campaign against Zala, intent on revenge for more than just the researchers...

In the third book, ''The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest'' [[note]] Swedish title translates as ''The Air Castle That Was Blown Up''; the Scandinavian idiom "air castle" is roughly akin to the English idiom "pipe dream".[[/note]] (2007), Blomkvist discovers that a shadowy faction within the Swedish Security Service have manipulated the traumatic events of Lisbeth's past, including her history with the mysterious "Zala," and will stop at nothing to hide their decades-old deeds. Lisbeth's latest actions threaten to bust the conspiracy wide open, so the faction moves to clean up all evidence of their misdeeds - including Lisbeth herself...

The publisher has now hired author David Lagercrantz to write more books in the series, which will be entirely his own invention without any inspiration from Larsson's plans.

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[[TheFilmOfTheBook The (Swedish) Films Of The Books]], released starting in 2009, became huge successes in several European countries; with an all-star cast and a Danish director, ''Men Who Hate Women'' became the most-viewed Swedish film ''ever'' in several countries. (All three films eventually came into the United States via DVD and Blu-Ray releases, and all three featured their English-language titles.)

An American adaptation of ''Dragon Tattoo'' saw release in 2011; Creator/DavidFincher directed, Steven Zallan wrote the screenplay, and the team of [[NineInchNails Trent Reznor]] and Atticus Ross handled the music. The cast for the film included {{Rooney Mara}} as Lisbeth and current Film/JamesBond Creator/DanielCraig as Mikael. Despite the film's modest box office performance, Mara and Craig will return to their roles for ''Plays with Fire'' (though it remains unclear if Fincher will return to direct). Several rumors say ''Plays with Fire'' and ''Kicked the Hornet's Nest'' will film simultaneously, though these rumors remain unconfirmed.

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This series of books and films [[SimilarlyNamedWorks is not be confused]] with the various other works named ''{{Millennium}}''.

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!!The Millennium Trilogy contains examples of the following tropes:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:As a series]]
* AllMenArePerverts: The Swedish title, ''Men Who Hate Women'', wasn't lying. Every major antagonist of the books is male, and most of them are guilty of rape, child sex abuse and/or murder. The closest any female character comes to an antagonist is Isabelle Vanger, a callous and neglectful parent at her worst.
* AManIsNotAVirgin: Mikael.
* AmbiguousDisorder: Lisbeth. Mikael, on the subject of her photographic memory, pattern recognition skills, general brilliance and absolute sociality, thinks to himself, "Asperger's syndrome, or something like that. " He then goes on to state that for every trait that Asperger's would explain about Lisbeth, there are symptoms that don't fit at all - while Asperger's has a high memory rate for obsessions, that only applies to obsessions, and high-functioning Aspies tend to tune out a lot of stimulus. And her propensity towards what her boxing partner calls "Terminator Mode"(seemingly total passivity right until an arbitrary point is breached, followed by focused and unrelenting violence), sounds a lot like PTSD - again except the "passive" stage. In a stable environment Lisbeth would have eventually grown up to be... [[spoiler:''[[InTheBlood a damned good spy.]]'']]
* AntiHero: Lisbeth is a Type IV. Mikael is a Type II. While being a compassionate idealist, he doesn't shy away from bending several laws to expose corruption.
* AndThatsTerrible: Every few pages, leading the reader to wonder how everyone in Sweden isn't jaded beyond the point of no return.
* AuthorAvatar: Intrepid journalist and activist Mikael Blomkvist is a fairly obvious one for author Stieg Larsson, who was an intrepid journalist and activist. He's also a handsome playboy who [[ChickMagnet women constantly fall for.]] Go figure.
* AuthorExistenceFailure: Larsson died of a heart attack shortly after submitting the manuscripts for the three novels. Fortunately, the third book at least resolves most major active plot threads fairly well, so readers aren't left with a gigantic, unresolved cliffhanger as the ending. [[http://www.stieglarsson.com/the-4th-book A fourth book was partially written and some of ideas of a fifth and sixth book are recorded.]] It has been rumored that Larsson planned to write 10 books with these characters. [[spoiler: Major plot points left unresolved include the fate of Lisbeth's sister, which was intended to be the subject of the fourth book.]]
* AxCrazy: Lisbeth [[spoiler: tossed a Molotov cocktail on her father when she was 12]], and her absolute refusal to cooperate with anyone in the mental health profession lead them to classify her as this. When she's also portrayed this way by the media during [[spoiler: the manhunt to find her in]] ''Played With Fire'', she decides to make the most of it and interrogates a john while wearing an [[DarkIsEvil all-black outfit]] and seriously fucked-up face paint, just to mess with him. Becomes literally AxCrazy in the second book's conclusion when she [[spoiler: bludgeons her father in the face and leg with an axe after she is shot and buried alive.]]
* BerserkButton: Lisbeth only has a few people she really cares about, but attacking one of them presses this. Shooting yourself in the head will usually be less painful than what she'll do to you. And if you abuse a woman or child and Lisbeth finds out about it, she'll do everything in her power to ruin your life. And mentioning the name "Lisbeth Salander" to one particular guy [[spoiler: named Zalachenko]] guarantees a ''lot'' of fucked up shit will happen just so he can try and get revenge on her.
* BiTheWay: Lisbeth has two lovers she treats seriously, and one of them is a woman.
* BlackAndGreyMorality: Even the likeable characters come dangerously close to being {{Well Intentioned Extremist}}s at times, especially Lisbeth. However, the way the good guys are portrayed in the book makes it clear that Larsson sees them more of an example of...
* BlackAndWhiteMorality: ...good guys who've been mistreated (or are on the side of those who've been mistreated) taking revenge against their abusers.
** Lisbeth in particular possesses a ''very'' strong moral code (briefly: "PayEvilUntoEvil, leave everyone else alone") and has lines that she will not cross. Most people think she's [[BlueAndOrangeMorality batshit crazy]] (her tactics ''do'' tend to be... [[ViolenceIsTheOnlyOption unsubtle]]), but those who know her well have realized that she's actually TheFettered, and vouch for her integrity without question.
* BlindIdiotTranslation: The English translation takes huge liberties with the text, and only a few can be explained by HanlonsRazor.
* BoomHeadshot: Averted. [[spoiler: Lisbeth]] is shot in the head, but survives. However, the doctors speculate that if the round had been bigger than a .22, she wouldn't have.
* BreadEggsMilkSquick: One of the first things we learn about Lisbeth is that she once turned in a client report to Armansky that began with pages and pages of relatively normal stuff before, without changing tone at all, revealing him to be a pedophile. With pictures of him meeting a child prostitute. And an interview with her.
* BreakTheCutie: Happens to both Lisbeth and Mikael a lot.
* BrokenBird: Bordering on AxCrazy SociopathicHero; Lisbeth is fairly attractive, but to say that she has issues is putting it ''extremely'' mildly.
* BumpIntoConfrontation: Lisbeth gets into a rather nasty fight with street hooligans in a subway after she bumps into them.
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Lisbeth is given an extremely wide amount of leeway on her eccentric behavior due to getting results. She dresses completely inappropriately for an office, shows up when she wants, takes only cases that interest her, and generally breaks every role of professional etiquette.
* BuriedAlive: [[spoiler: Lisbeth just before the climax of the second book]].
* ColdBloodedTorture:
** [[spoiler: Gottfried and Martin Vanger's modus operandi when killing women is straight out of verses from Leviticus.]]
** Lisbeth isn't above it to get information she wants out of bad guys.
* CombatPragmatist: Lisbeth, not that she has much choice at 4'11" and 95 pounds.
* CompletelyDifferentTitle: To make sure all the titles could apply to Lisbeth, as only ''The Girl Who Played With Fire'' was that in the original Swedish, ''Men Who Hate Women'' became ''The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'' in English (most languages went for ''The Men Who Didn't Love Women'' instead) and ''The Air Castle That Was Blown Up'' was ''The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest'' (which had some adaptations such as ''The Queen of the Air Castle'' in Spanish\Portuguese, ''The Queen of the Castle of Cards'' in Italian... and another fitting example, ''Justice'' in Dutch). In German it's even worse: ''Verblendung'', ''Verdammnis'' and ''Vergebung'' - Blindness, [[DoomyDoomsOfDoom Doom]] and Pardon.
* CowboyBebopAtHisComputer: Not applicable to the author himself, but an article published in an Australian magazine labelled Larsson a Neo-Nazi. This is a classic research flub, as Larsson was a firm Marxist and was well-known for his work against far-right extremist and racist organizations in Sweden. Which ''included'' Neo-Nazis (who, in typical Neo-Nazi fashion, regularly sent him death threats). And of course, one of the series primary protagonists is the (Jewish) Inspector Bublanski.
* CrapsaccharineWorld: Sweden is portrayed as this in a subtle but chilling way. A seemingly sweet, nice and ultra-liberal society filled with lots of hidden abuse.
* CreepyChild: Lisbeth was teased and bullied in school for acting like one.
* DaChief: Ekström, as the prosecutor who is assigned Salander's case, is the one who gives orders to Bublanski and his team, and the one who demands results. Bublanski, as the leader of the investigation, also shows traits of this trope.
* DarkActionGirl: Lisbeth is definitely dark, and she's fully capable of the action.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Larsson said the character of Lisbeth was his version of a modern-day, grown-up PippiLongstocking, which accounts for her determination, anarchist spirit and red hair (she dyes it black). It also gets {{lampshaded}} in ''Dragon Tattoo'' when Armansky, Frode and Lisbeth are discussing Mikael and his nickname of "Kalle Blomkvist" comes up. Lisbeth says she understands why he hates the name and that she would punch anyone who ever referred to her as "Pippi Longstocking", causing Armansky to squirm because he's thought of her that way before.
** [[DoubleSubvertedTrope Double subverted]] with ''The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest''; while not as violently graphic as the other two books/movies, the themes are still considerably dark, if not darker.
* DeadManSwitch: Lisbeth sets up one on counselor Bjurman.
* DeathGlare: Lisbeth uses this a lot.
* DescriptionPorn: Exaggerated. Larsson feels compelled to describe in detail the looks of each character, height, weight, the appearance, brand and exact model of their clothes, their cars, homes, ''mobile phones''...
* {{Determinator}}: If you attack Lisbeth, she will attack you back. If you knock her down, she'll get back up. [[spoiler: If you BURY HER ALIVE, she will dig herself out.]] It doesn't matter how physically outmatched she is, she literally will not stop trying unless she's too badly beaten to move, and then she'll just come back and [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown even the score]] after healing up.
* DefrostingTheIceQueen: Lisbeth is cold and anti-social at the start of the series. She falls for Mikael and begins to open up but freezes again after witnessing him with Erika. However by the end of the third book she eventually opens up and comes to appreciate Mikael and all the others in her life. In the film series she defrosts much slower and is still rather socially challenged at the end.
* DepravedBisexual: Lisbeth is a rare sympathetic example.
* DoesNotKnowHowToSayThanks: Lisbeth. But she finally figures it out. ''After'' the person she's thanking has driven off. She does not learn this in the film series and Armansky calls her out on this. She eventually begrudgingly comes to appreciate others.
* DoorStopper: All three books are in excess of 500 pages. In paperback, they run over 600.
* DoubleStandard:
** Lisbeth is labelled a prostitute because she's been to a park late at with a man. Later, the media go into a frenzy over her lesbianism. Erika Berger is absolutely terrified of having her sex life exposed. At the same time, Mikael Blomkvist leads a very active sex life with multiple partners without giving it much thought - and no one seems to care. This is probably deliberate, given the books' strong anti-misogynist overtones.
* EmbarrassingNickname: "Kalle Blomkvist", the protagonist in a series of children's mystery novels by Creator/AstridLindgren[[note]]Mikael first rose to prominence by correctly deducing the identities of a squad of masked bank robbers, and the "plucky young detective" angle was too good to pass up[[/note]]. Lisbeth calls him this whenever she wants to tease him or he's annoying her, and she's the only one he lets get away with it. As an answer, however, Mikael sometimes uses "Pippi Longstocking" to refer to her.
* EthicalSlut: One of the main themes of the books. Lisbeth and Mikael both have a very open and relaxed view of sexuality. Lisbeth has many sexual partners and Mikael enjoys the fruits of an open relationship. They stand in contrast to the aggression of rapists and sexual deviants.
* EveryoneHasLotsOfSex: When publishing the first book, Larsson's editor asked him to put more sex scenes to appeal the audience. It shows. By the third volume, he didn't have to do this anymore. Thankfully, the slightly more tasteful film adaptations leave a couple unnecessary ones out.
* FeelNoPain: The blond giant of ''Played with Fire'' has a congenital condition. PlayedForDrama when he corners two trained martial artists (one in kickboxing, the other [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paolo_Roberto professional boxing]]) and ''he'' curb-stomps ''them'' because [[{{Determinator}} they simply cannot slow him down]].
* FieryRedhead: Lisbeth has red hair but dyes it black.
* FriendsWithBenefits: Lisbeth and Miriam Wu. This is also how Mikael and Erika treat their relationship.
* FunTShirt:
** Lisbeth is fond of wearing shirts with snarky slogans on them. One proclaims: "Armageddon was yesterday - today we have a serious problem."
** In the American film version of ''Tattoo'', the shirt she's wearing when [[spoiler:Blomkvist confronts her in her apartment and asks for her help]] says "Fuck you you fucking fucks".
* GenreBusting: A lot. The first volume, ''The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo'', is essentially a murder mystery. The second book, ''The Girl Who Played With Fire'', is a psychological horror-thriller. The third one, ''The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest'', is a political conspiracy thriller. A planned future volume was supposed to venture into science-fiction.
* GoodPeopleHaveGoodSex: The sheer amount of women that hop in bed with Blomkvist, not to mention his steady relationship with a married woman that is fine with all parties concerned, must mean he's a perfect gentleman in a world full of woman-hating rapists. That, and [[spoiler:he and Lisbeth have perfectly good sex after working together for only a few days, just because she likes him.]]
* GovernmentConspiracy: [[spoiler:Alexander Zalachenko, a KGB turncoat, lives in Sweden on the government's dime for his Cold War assistance. He cannot be arrested without an international fiasco, so he's allowed to beat and rape as he pleases. When his daughter nearly kills him, she's shipped off to a madhouse with instructions to make her belong there.]]
* HarmfulToMinors: Lisbeth grew up watching her mother get constantly beaten by her father. It made an impression, let's put it that way.
* HollywoodHacking: Mostly averted by Lisbeth and her fellow hackers; for the most part it's extremely accurate. All of the members of Hacker Nation are good with computers, Lisbeth particularly. And not in the "take them out of the box and set them up" way, more in the "give her a high-level PC and a couple days and she'll get you the Pentagon's secret files" way.
* IAmNotPretty: Lisbeth is mentioned as being convinced that her extreme skinniness makes her "repulsive".
* ImpossiblyTackyClothes: Not outlandishly tacky, but Lisbeth doesn't really care about things like "style" or "coordinating". Her selection of clothing is described as "sloppy and rather tasteless."
* ImprobableWeaponUser: A golf club, house keys, a shovel, a crate, a tattoo gun...
* IntelligenceEqualsIsolation: Lisbeth is brilliant when it comes to mathematics, computer hacking, and a general ability to figuring things out. She even has photographic memory, which means everything she ever learns, she remembers. But she is completely asocial and has very few friends or acquaintances. Her lack of communication is the main reason that she is declared incompetent by psychologists.
** In the second volume [[spoiler: when Lisbeth is suspected of murder]], Mirium Wu, Armansky and Blomkvist all describe Lisbeth as one of the most intelligent people they know, to the surprise of Bublanksi and the other police officers.
* IWorkAlone: Lisbeth pretty much always. As an investigator for Milton Security she never comes into the office, or chats with her colleagues.
** In the second volume Blomkvist repeatedly offers help when [[spoiler: she becomes a suspect in a murder investigation]] and she denies him, because she chooses to look out for herself and accept help from no one else [[spoiler: as well as being hurt and angry over seeing him with Erika Berger and therefore finding it too painful to be near him]]. This leads to her [[spoiler: confronting Zalachenko and Niedermann alone, getting shot in the head and buried alive. She manages to climb out of her grave and is found nearly unconscious by Blomkvist, who calls an ambulance, which saves her life.]]
* MasterOfDisguise: Lisbeth. It doesn't hurt that she can fake accents and [[ThePowerOfActing method act]].
* MustHaveCaffeine: Just about all the characters, particularly the journalists and police officers (which is probably TruthInTelevision).
* MysteriousPast: Lisbeth usually clams up whenever someone asks her about her childhood. Mikael also has things that he won't discuss, [[spoiler: in particular some of what really happened while he was working for Henrik Vanger]].
* NoWomansLand: How a lot of Sweden is portrayed, except for the "good guy" characters such as Mikael, Bublanski, Palmgren, etc...
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Deconstructed with Lisbeth. She acts like this around the police or psychiatrists, but only because experience has taught her that they're not going to listen to anything she says, so why bother?
* OffTheRecord: Happens several times during Blomkvist's investigations. The greatest example is when at the end of ''Dragon Tattoo'', he decides not to publish anything about what he uncovered about the Vanger family.
* OlderThanTheyLook: Again, Lisbeth. At 25, she looks barely fifteen.
* OnlineAlias: Lisbeth goes by the hacker name "Wasp," which becomes a plot point as Mikael is able to track her down using it.
* EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette: Lisbeth, who is described as looking vaguely Asian in the books. In the films, she's played by a Pale Skinned Brunette actress.
* PayEvilUntoEvil: Lisbeth's basic ''modus operandi''. The tagline on the teaser posters for the American version of ''Tattoo'' is a variant on the trope name.
* PhotographicMemory: One of Lisbeth's talents. She gets upset when anyone calls attention to it, because she thinks it makes her weird.
* PoliceAreUseless: Not so much all police; most of them are shown to be conscientious and dedicated to their jobs. But there are several who have prejudices and hang-ups that make them useless at best and dangerous at worst. Officer Faste in ''Played With Fire'' and Inspector Paulsson of ''Hornet's Nest'' are perhaps the two worst offenders.
** PoliceBrutality: Oh, God. This series has one of the most disturbing examples ever put to paper, because it's not physical violence. It was partly this brutality that made the borderline insane Lisbeth the way she is.
* PrivateDetective: Lisbeth, who's so good that Armansky gives her all the tough assignments and only keeps one other PI on staff to run ordinary background checks and the like. Mikael is forced into the duties of one when investigating Harriet's disappearance.
* TheRainman: Lisbeth is unapologetically asocial, and if other people think she acts weird, she views this as their problem. The government even classifies her as insane and schizophrenic because she steadfastly refuses to cooperate with any of the tests they give her. They're so wrong it isn't even funny, but she is still introverted to an reclusive level and emotionally detached.
* RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil: Pretty much ''all'' the good guys are of the opinion that rape is worse than murder. Given Larsson's history, this is probably a case of AuthorOnBoard.
* ReasonYouSuckSpeech: Many characters are fond of this. Lisbeth uses on in the first film to defend herself when Mikael questions her about [[spoiler: Martin's death.]] and why he deserved to die. In the second film, Armansky gives one to Lisbeth when she says she didn't know why she never said good bye. "You don't care about anyone, you treat your friends like dirt. It's as simple as that." Which she is unable to disagree with.
* RebelliousSpirit: Lisbeth has pretty major issues with authority. It bites her in the ass a lot, most often at times when it's least convenient. Mikael even notes in ''Hornet's Nest'' that many of her problems are related to this.
* ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight: Lisbeth has it to an extent. She hacks into people's computers and, if necessary, reports them to the authorities for their illegal actions (this is her justification). She hacks into ''everybody's'' computers and pretty much lives on her computer, so even if she isn't going after someone she'll still be hacking people.
** Mikael has this attitude much more strongly.
* SelfInsertFic: Compare Larsson and Blomkvist: both are middle-aged Swedish journalists and both founded magazines devoted towards investigative reporting (albeit with different emphasis). Blomkvist, although a somewhat flawed character that goes through hell a few times, has a strong wish fulfillment element in him: he constantly gets good looking women with little to no effort and he's a respected journalist who's on top of his profession and has accomplished stuff akin to legends.
* SexIsEvil: Could be assumed, considering the high amount of rape in the first (they get considerably toned down in the later books/movies.)
** [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] with [[TheHero Mikael Blomkvist]], which all his relations [[GoodPeopleHaveGoodSex with women are pretty good.]]
* ShoutOut:
** All three books have homages to Swedish children's books, especially Creator/AstridLindgren's Pippi Longstocking and Kalle Blomkvist. The first one also has lots of homages to Agatha Christie, and name-checks Sara Paretsky and Sue Grafton.
** The girl's name in the first book, Harriet Vanger, seems like a ShoutOut to Harriet Vane, of DorothyLSayers' Lord Whimsey novels.
** "Frederik Clinton". Sir Frederick Clinton is head of the Department in AnthonyPrice's spy thrillers.
* SociopathicHero: Lisbeth, see really enjoys watching people suffer, in the first movie she watching with a smile on her face as [[spoiler: Martin]] burns. However she does these things to avenge herself or others.
* TheStoic: Unless it involves someone she cares about, Lisbeth tends to be very matter-of-fact about any given situation.
* TranquilFury: Outside of a harsh glare, Lisbeth rarely gives any indication that she's mad, even when she's contemplating stabbing people.
* UnfortunateName: The killer blonde giant is not given a name until late in the second book, at which point it's revealed to be the very unintimidating "Ronald Niedermann." (In German, his mother-tongue, his surname literally means "lower man".)
* WaifFu: She's no ninja warrior; as a fighter, Lisbeth is best at ''avoiding'' getting hit. When forced to actually fight, she usually gets the upper hand on her attackers because of four things: 1, her size causes her opponents to underestimate her; 2, she's quick; 3, she fights dirty; and 4, she ''[[GroinAttack really]]'' [[ImprobableWeaponUser fights]] [[ToThePain dirty.]]
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: Larsson wrote in his spare time as a way to relax, and only decided to try and get the books published after finishing the final draft of ''Hornet's Nest''; he then promptly dropped dead of a heart attack. His girlfriend Eva Gabrielsson is in possession of Larsson's computer, which has at least three-fourths of a fourth novel and is rumored to have detailed synopses on the fifth and sixth books as well, though what may come of this is anyone's guess.
** Part of the problem is that Larsson's father and brother are attacking his will, and Eva Gabrielsson, who is "only" his girlfriend, has almost no rights to his estate under Swedish law. (They remained unwed because [[ItsNotYouItsMyEnemies both of them were targets]] to Neo-Nazis and other radical conservatives, and Swedish law would have required them to publish their address if they married.)
* WriteWhatYouKnow: When he was 15, Larsson witnessed some other boys raping a girl. In RealLife, he was too scared to try and help her, and not only did she become the inspiration for Lisbeth (it was the girl's name), it's pretty easy to map a correlation between his unresolved guilt and the harsh treatment suffered by rapists in his novels.
** Though this was apparently [[http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/the-mystery-of-the-dragon-tattoo-stieg-larsson-the-worlds-bestselling-and-most-enigmatic-author-20110105 Larsson stealing someone elses story]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo]]
* ACupAngst: Lisbeth is a twenty-four year old woman with the bustline of a ten-year old girl. She's not too thrilled with that. In ''Played With Fire'', she solves this problem by getting a boob job.
* AbusiveParents: Most of the Vangers qualify, with husbands beating their wives [[spoiler: and fathers raping their daughters and sons and training the sons as serial killers.]]
* AloneWithThePsycho: In the book, Mikael makes the incredibly stupid mistake of trying to go over to confront [[spoiler: Martin Vanger]] when Mikael starts getting suspicious. Only a BigDamnHeroes moment by Lisbeth gets him out alive. In the Swedish movie, Mikael's not as stupid - he is completely unaware of what [[spoiler: Martin]] really is, until the tranquilizer syringe gets jammed into his neck. And [[spoiler: Martin]] was seemingly going to let him go[[spoiler: and probably try to pin everything on Harald]], had not Mikael made a slip in conversation.
** Then the American movie plays it straight again, playing the scene almost exactly as in the book, then making it even worse when Mikael actually manages to get out of the house, then comes back in when Martin offers him a drink. Martin himself points out Mikael's foolishness.
* AssholeVictim: Wennerström. Among his many crimes [[spoiler: (most notably, profiting from drug trade and gun running)]] was forcing a woman whom he got pregnant to have an abortion by half-drowning her until she agreed.
* AssShove: Lisbeth does this to her social worker when she rapes him, as payback for what he did to her. In both films, she even kicks the toy up there.
* BadassBookworm: Mikael is definitely this.
* BigDamnHeroes: [[spoiler:Lisbeth's rescue of Mikael at the hands of Martin Vanger.]]
* BigScrewedUpFamily: The Vanger dynasty. Most of them were either corrupt executives, [[spoiler: perverts]] or Nazis. It's easier to list the Vangers who are ''not'' evil: Henrik, Martin, Cecilia, Anita and Harriet. Then in the last chapters of the book, we find out that the most evil of them all was [[spoiler: Martin]].
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler: Lisbeth realizes she's fallen in love with Mikael, and decides to tell him. She buys him a Christmas present, and on the way to give it to him, [[ShipSinking sees him on the way to his apartment with his part-time lover Erika]]. She then walks away and tosses the present in a dumpster, berating herself for being so foolish as to fall in love]]. On the other hand, [[spoiler:a horrible serial murderer and rapist has been brought to justice and a long-suffering uncle has been reunited with the niece he thought was dead for thirty years. Also, Wennerström will never be a threat to anyone else again and Lisbeth is now a multi-millionaire.]]
* BrotherSisterIncest: [[spoiler: Martin and Harriet]].
* CatScare: Very subtly done. Upon returning to the cottage after spending the weekend back in Stockholm, Mikael finds the stray cat he's been feeding wandering around and wonders aloud how it got into the house, seeing as he left all the doors and windows locked, thus implying that someone's been snooping around. Later, [[spoiler: when the cat is brutally murdered and left outside the house, it's clearly meant as a warning to him]]
* ClearMyName: Mikael's reason for taking the Vanger job; Henrik claims he'll give Mikael evidence that proves his innocence if he does.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Wennerström, whose international corporate empire is based on very bad things, [[spoiler: like third-world drug cartels]].
* DefrostingIceQueen: Happens to Lisbeth toward the end. At least until the ShipSinking moment.
* DistressedDude: Mikael Blomkvist is captured by the mass murderer, locked in an underground torture room, chained, stripped naked, humiliated and explicitly threatened with rape, when Salander breaks in to save him, chase and destroy the villain. A precise gender mirror image of the classic DistressedDamsel tropes.
* FauxAffablyEvil: [[spoiler:Martin Vanger]] seems like a nice guy. At first. Then you find out what's in his basement...
* FriendlyEnemies: [[spoiler:Martin Vanger]], like every good murder-mystery villain, comes across as affable because he goes out of his way to help Mikael hunt down Harriet's killer. [[spoiler:Of course, this is a subversion, because ''he's not her killer'', and genuinely hopes Blomkvist can figure out what happened to her.]]
* GlassesPull: Mikael does a pretty good one in the American version of the film, when looking at the parade photos and realizing that Harriet saw something that frightened her.
* [[GuileHero Guile Heroes]]: Lisbeth is good at getting ridiculous amounts of info and getting the drop on people. Mikael is good at organizing and has his own respected media outlet to put her info in. When they team up to expose Wennerström, the combination proves unbeatable.
* {{Hackette}}: Lisbeth.
* HeroWithBadPublicity: Blomkvist becomes this due to retribution from Wennestrom.
* HiddenVillain: The serial killer [[spoiler: Martin Vanger]].
* InfantImmortality: [[spoiler: Averted. That poor kitty. . .]]
* IntergenerationalFriendship: Mikael and Lisbeth, who have an Intergenerational Friendship with benefits.
** Also Lisbeth and her legal guardian, Holder Palmgren, with a dash of adopted-dad for seasoning.
* KarmicDeath: Gottfried Vanger, drowned by [[spoiler: Harriet,]] the girl he'd been raping for several years. [[spoiler: Martin]] gets this in the movie, when Lisbeth walks away and leaves him to burn. This ties into his comment about how all his victims thought he would spare them, only to have their hopes brutally crushed. In short, he's denied the same mercy he denied his victims.
* KickTheDog: [[spoiler:Blomkvist's pet cat is discarded at his front door by the killer, beheaded and dismembered.]]
* KickTheSonOfABitch: Lisbeth's treatment of [[spoiler:Bjurman is so harsh that it borders on MoralEventHorizon.]] But it was so precise and ingenious that it could qualify as a {{Crowning Moment Of Awesome}}: [[spoiler:rather than killing the man, Lisbeth opted to make Bjurman suffer the ''exact same abuse'' he put her through, up to every little detail, including the rape and the blackmail, just to make him realize how it felt. However, leaving Bjurman alive left him free to make new plans against her,]] which might have ended very badly.
** In the second book, Lisbeth proved to be aware of this by hacking into Bjurman' email. Of course if she hadn't threatened him with his gun, said gun wouldn't have had her DNA on it in the first place.
* LockedRoomMystery: The mystery of Harriet Vanger's death in ''The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'' is approached like a very large example. The night of the Vanger family dinner, the bridge connecting Hedeby Island to the mainland was completely blocked by a spectacular auto accident.
* MayDecemberRomance: Mikael and Lisbeth's short-lived relationship.
* MinorCrimeRevealsMajorPlot: [[spoiler: Investigating disappearance of one rich heiress -> Family of serial killers]]
* MissingWhiteWomanSyndrome: Lisbeth protests that Harriet's case is given preference over [[spoiler:the many other foreign-born murder victims]].
* ModestyBedsheet: Lisbeth pulls this one twice; first when Mikael shows up at her apartment, and again when she decides to sleep with him.
* NaziNobleman: Three of Henrik Vanger's older brothers are this - Richard volunteered for the Nazis in the war and got killed, Harald is a demented old racist living in a huge mansion full of Nazi regalia, and Greger was connected with a politically ineffectual Nazi group. In addition, Richard's son Gottfried was a washed-up former Hitler Jugend member [[spoiler: who repeatedly raped his children]].
* NotStayingForBreakfast: Classic subversion; when Lisbeth wanders out of the bedroom, Mikael is cooking.
* NotWhatItLooksLike: In the novel, the previously-friendly owner of the Hedeby cafe becomes noticeably cool to Mikael after Lisbeth comes to town, and he realizes it's because it looks like a 40ish guy is shacking up with a teenager. The movie takes it even farther, with a muckraking reporter for the local newspaper trying to stir up controversy by focusing on the same thing.
* OhCrap: Lisbeth's reaction after seeing Mikael, who knows that she hacked his computer, at her house. However, Mikael isn't looking for any kind of payback, but for her help instead.
* ParentalIncest: [[spoiler: Gottfried to Martin and Harriet]].
* PolarOppositeTwins: Lisbeth's twin sister Camilla was a "normal" teenager, pretty much the antithesis of Lisbeth in every way (however, she seems to have taken the side of the father who badly abused her mother). She never actually appears onstage in the existing three books, and Lisbeth makes no effort to trace her. It seems likely that Larsson had in mind a role for her (possibly an unpleasant one) in one of the books he died before writing.
* RapeAndRevenge: Lisbeth's advocate Nils Bjurman lures her to his apartment, [[spoiler: where he sodomizes her with a sex toy, rapes and tortures her]], then orders her to come back a week later. She does so, but [[spoiler: stunguns, ties up and sodomizes ''him'', then tattoos "I am a sadistic pig, a pervert, and a rapist" on his chest and stomach]]. She also tells him that [[spoiler: she recorded his assault of her, and that]] he will be doing exactly what she says from now on, or he'll be going to jail for a very long time.
* RapeAsDrama: Happens to both [[spoiler: Harriet Vanger and Lisbeth]].
* TheReveal: [[spoiler:Anita Cochran, CEO of a large Australian conglomerate, is actually Harriet Vanger under an assumed identity]].
* RoaringRampageOfRescue: When Lisbeth rescues [[spoiler: Mikael from Martin]].
* SadisticChoice: a rare example of one being presented by the good guys. [[spoiler:After Lisbeth and Blomkvist get to the bottom of Martin's activities and uncover Harriet, they're asked not to go public. This will spare Harriet the media circus, but also deny justice and closure to Gottfried and Martin's (many other) victims. It also represents Blomkvist selling out and committing a TreacheryCoverUp, so he still feels dirty even after Lisbeth negotiates a [[TakeAThirdOption Third Option]].]]
* ScarsAreForever:
** Mikael doubts that the scar he got on his neck [[spoiler: while being almost hanged by Martin]] will ever fade, and it's mentioned as still being visible during ''Hornet's Nest'' almost two years later.
** Variant when Lisbeth gets a tattoo band [[spoiler: where a ligature bruise from her rape is still visible]] as a "reminder."
* SecretlyWealthy: Lisbeth manipulates Wennerström's holdings as his empire crumbles, and ends up stealing several billion kronor (several hundred million dollars). The authorities know that ''someone'' did it, but only Mikael realizes who it was.
* SerialKiller: [[spoiler: Martin Vanger]].
* ShowerOfAngst: Subverted by Lisbeth. While she does take a shower after being raped by Bjurman, she is not in any actual despair but instead is enraged and meticulously planning her revenge against him.
* SoundtrackDissonance: Used to great effect in the American film, with [[spoiler:Martin]] playing 'Orinoco Flow' by Enya [[spoiler: as he prepares to torture, rape and kill Mikael.]]
* StepfordSmiler: [[spoiler: Martin Vanger]]
* TangledFamilyTree: The Vangers. {{Lampshaded}} in the American film when Henrik is explaining to Blomkvist where each member of the family is and their relationship with each other. Blomkvist has a little trouble keeping up.
* TitleDrop: For the Swedish title, near the end of the book.
* ToplessnessFromTheBack: Lisbeth shows this off in the film versions, complete with a [[TitleDrop dragon tattoo]] that covers most of her back. Albeit, in the American version the first time we see it is distinctly un-sexy, being during a shower scene immediately after [[spoiler: she returns home from being raped by Bjurman.]]
* TortureCellar: One of the most frightening examples ever, used by [[spoiler: Martin]]. It even has a TV corner, flowers in vases, and a cozy kitchen (with a vivisection table).
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: Wennerström [[spoiler: and Martin Vanger]].
* WhyDontYouJustShootHim: {{discussed}} by Lisbeth in relation to [[spoiler:Harriet choosing to run away]]. To Lisbeth's mind, refusing to solve your own problems makes you a DirtyCoward.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:The Girl Who Played With Fire]]
* AllBikersAreHellsAngels: Justified in this case, as these bikers are trying to actually join the Hells Angels.
* AnAxetoGrind: [[spoiler: Lisbeth buries an axe in her father's head.]]
* ArtisticLicenseBiology: Niedermann's muscular frame is justified, as is his insensitivity to pain. Problem is, [[spoiler: when Lisbeth shocks him with a stungun, the electricity through his muscles should have immobilized him regardless of whether he felt it or not.]]
* AsHimself: Former WBC International Welterweight and Inter-Continental Welterweight champion Paolo Roberto, both in the novel and the film.
* AssholeVictim: Bjurman, [[spoiler: who sexually assaulted Lisbeth twice]],
* {{Badass}}: Paolo Roberto, who witnesses a kidnapping, tails the kidnappers, and then rescues the victim. And almost gets beaten to death for his trouble.
* BadCopIncompetentCop: Faste is a LawfulStupid version.
* BigBad: Alexander Zalachenko, former top-level Soviet intelligence operative [[spoiler: that defected to Sweden when he got in trouble with his bosses.]]
* BlondGuysAreEvil: Zalachenko's henchman Ronald Niedermann.
* BreakTheCutie: Teleborian tried to do this to Lisbeth while she was under his care in the psychiatric hospital.
* TheBrute: Niedermann is well over six feet tall and in the neighborhood of three hundred pounds, most of it pure muscle. (Picture Brock Lesnar with a German accent) And he can't feel pain. And is also [[spoiler: Lisbeth's half-brother]].
* [[spoiler:BuriedAlive]]: [[spoiler: This happens to Lisbeth Salander, after she was shot in the '''fucking head'''. She digs her way out with a cigarette case and then shoves an axe through the face of the man who put her there.]]
* CallBack: When communicating with Lisbeth on his hacked computer, Mikael calls her "Sally".
* ChekhovsGun:
** [[spoiler:Niedermann's paranoid hallucinations.]]
** [[spoiler: The cigarette case Lisbeth uses to dig herself out while BuriedAlive.]]
* DefrostingIceQueen: A very mild version for Lisbeth at the beginning of the book, which must be taken in context to how she normally acts. She appears to mature and consider how her behaviour (such as abandoning Palmgren and not contacting Miriam) made her appear selfish. The old Salander swings back into play the moment she finds out about Zala. Some readers find this a bad thing, as they think it changes Lisbeth from being a strong female character to a male appeaser.
* DisproportionateRetribution: When Lisbeth goes shopping for an apartment (with enough money to afford anything), her appearance causes a real estate agent to condescendingly dismiss her out of hand and pretty much shove her out of his office. She retaliates by hacking into his computer, finding a bunch of undeclared income, and reporting him to the tax authorities.
* DisabilitySuperpower: Niedermann has congenital analgesia, a genetic disorder that means he can't feel pain. In the book, Roberto only manages to momentarily stun him by hitting him in the back of the head with a two-by-four; after Miriam kicked him in the groin.
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler: Lisbeth has been shot three times and is near death, while still being the main suspect in three murders]].
* TheDragon: Niedermann for Zalachenko.
* {{Fanservice}}[=/=]GirlOnGirlIsHot: The only full sex scene in TheFilmOfTheBook (leaving out a rape and a Mikael / Erika morning after bit) is an extended sequence of Lisbeth and Miriam.
* FigureItOutYourself: Lisbeth tells only cryptic clues to Mikael while he is trying to investigate the murders she is accused of.
* AFriendInNeed: Mikael invokes this hard when Lisbeth is named the primary suspect in three murders. After she gives her word that she didn't do it, he devotes all of Millennium's resources to helping clear her name. Of course, she did save him from a very nasty death, so he owed her something...
* GovernmentConspiracy: It turns out that Lisbeth's entire crappy teen and adult life was engineered by a couple of [[CorruptBureaucrat Corrupt Bureaucrats]] and some SecretPolice to make sure she kept quiet about their deal with [[spoiler: Zalachenko]]. It works for a surprisingly long time, until Bjurman, trying to get free of Lisbeth's control, contacts his old buddy [[spoiler: Zalachenko]], which leads to Lisbeth's being framed for [[spoiler: Bjurman, Dag and Mia's murders.]] Then she finds out about Bjurman's involvement in the Conspiracy and [[TranquilFury gets angry]]. ''Then'' Lisbeth finds out that Miriam Wu, one of the few people she truly cares for, is being savaged in the press, and was kidnapped and almost killed by [[spoiler: Niedermann]]. [[UnstoppableRage Then she attacks.]]
* {{Hallucinations}}: Niedermann's AchillesHeel. Sometimes he sees things that aren't there, or his imagination takes things that are there and runs with them.
* HandicappedBadass: Niedermann.
* HeManWomanHater: Faste was this to an annoying degree. He also hates gay people.
* HiddenVillain: The reclusive mob boss, [[spoiler: Alexander Zalachenko]].
* InspectorJavert: Jan Bublanski.
* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique: Lisbeth does it to a john, involving a stungun and a noose around his neck. Pretty much on the edge of the MoralEventHorizon.
* {{Jerkass}}: Oi, where to begin? First, there's Officer Faste, who believes Lisbeth's nuts and refuses to accept any possibility of her innocence, because he's got issues with lesbians and thinks she is one. Then, Milton Security employee Hedstrom, who despises her for threatening to expose him for defrauding a client. Nils Bjurman, who sexually assaulted and threatened her, Dr. Teleborian, who had the 12 year-old Lisbeth tied up in the mental hospital whenever she defied him, and so this will stay a relatively short list, Prosecutor Ekström, who plays up the media frenzy surrounding her just because he likes being in the spotlight. Oh, and [[AntiHero Lisbeth]]
* KarmicDeath: [[spoiler: Nils Bjurman]], who is killed by [[spoiler: Niedermann]], the man he thought was going to help him.
* TheMafiya: Zalachenko is the boss of an Estonian crime ring who specialize in trafficking underage prostitutes.
* TheManBehindTheMan: Zalachenko behind Niedermann.
* MinorCrimeRevealsMajorPlot: [[spoiler: Triple homicide -> International sex trafficking conspiracy, a high-ranking Soviet defector, decades long cover-up.]]
* PintSizedPowerHouse: Lisbeth proves to be this. And Zalachenko before his accident.
* PragmaticAdaptation: Again, in TheFilmOfTheBook most of the important plot points are covered, while leaving out several minor subplots. There's no mention of Mikael and Harriet's relationship or Erika's job offer from SMP, Lisbeth's attempted kidnapping by Lundin and Niemenen is gone, most of the police's scut work in investigating Dag, Mia and Bjurman's murders isn't shown, a lot of foreshadowing about the depth of the Zalachenko conspiracy is left out and the ending is arbitrarily changed from a creepy nighttime sequence to happening in the full light of day.
* PrettyLittleHeadshots: Averted with the murders of [[spoiler: Bjurman, Dag and Mia]], all of whom are shot in the head with a Colt 1911 .45 pistol. When he finds [[spoiler: Dag's]] body, Mikael realizes he's standing in brain. Played more or less straight at the end; [[spoiler: Lisbeth]] is shot in the head, but by a .22, with the bullet lodging in her brain.
* PsychopathicManchild: Niedermann's bizarrely high pitched voice, cherubic face and [[{{Asexuality}} utter disinterest in sex]] hint towards him having never actually reached puberty. He also [[spoiler:has crippling hallucinations which grow more powerful when he is alone or under stress]].
* PunchPunchPunchUhOh: Paolo Roberto, real-life WBC boxing champion, versus a giant mob enforcer whose disease renders him unable to feel pain. Makes for one hell of a match.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Officer Bublanski, the cop in charge of Lisbeth's case. He's aware that there are things which don't add up, and when he's presented with the truth, he works to help clear her name.
** Dragan Armansky, Lisbeth's former boss, and Holger Palmgren, her former guardian - both of them try to act as father figures to her. Both tell her off when she really needs it but still go to extremes for her. Lisbeth counts them both among the few people she respects, and takes the initiative of visiting.
* TheReveal: Zalachenko is [[spoiler: Lisbeth's father.]]
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: After Miriam is rescued, Lisbeth basically says "fuck it" and heads off to finish things [[spoiler: with Zalachenko]] once and for all. Lampshaded as well, when Mikael realizes that Miriam's ordeal was "one provocation too many."
* [[spoiler: RussianGuySuffersMost: But he totally deserved it.]]
* [[spoiler:SanitySlippage: Niedermann.]]
* RuleOfThrees: Lisbeth zaps three men with her trusty stungun [[spoiler:but the third man is immune to its effects despite being hit in the groin.]]
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveConnections: This is the bulk of Zalachenko's attitude when Lisbeth confronts him. Really, it's what his entire speech boils down to.
* ShadowArchetype: Niedermann to Salander. She's tiny, he's huge. He's immune to pain, she's very vulnerable. He suffers hallucinations, whereas she describes herself as lacking imagination. They are ''both'' TheTerminator--Roberto even describes her as entering "[[AttackAttackAttack Terminator Mode]]" when she TurnsRed.
* ShowWithinAShow: There is an excerpt of Blomkvist's book ''The Knights Templar''.
* SuperpowerLottery: Won by Niedermann - he not only [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congenital_insensitivity_to_pain feels no pain]], he has [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myostatin-related_muscle_hypertrophy a gene which gives him]] an insanely muscular frame [[RequiredSecondaryPowers which keeps him from killing himself by accident.]] The first condition should have killed him in his twenties, the second is so rare only a handful of subjects have been identified. The two together essentially make him TheTerminator.
* TaserTagWeakness: Within the film, Lisbeth uses her taser repeatedly to even the odds between herself and her larger opponents. [[SelfDefenseless It has no effect on Niedermann]], probably being handwaved as due to his inability to feel pain, notwithstanding that tasers work by shorting out the electrical impulses to the muscles, not working through pain.
* ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight: Ironically, Niedermann can fight until he literally is too injured to move (and since he's MadeOfIron, that virtually never happens) but he's got some major psychological issues and sees shadow creatures and demons whenever he's alone.
* TwoPartTrilogy: The first book was a self-contained LockedRoomMystery involving a (believed to be) murdered heiress, bookended with an almost-MacGuffin-like investigation into a corrupt financier. This novel is about a RevealingCoverup, with the next revolving around dismantling the people behind it.
* UnstoppableRage: "Terminator Mode." Lisbeth will hurt you if you hurt anyone she cares about. You've got a gun? She'll get a bigger one.
* WhamLine: "Zalachenko is [[spoiler: her father]]." It's not quite the same, but for those who don't see it coming, this line has an impact comparable to a certain revelation in ''TheEmpireStrikesBack''.
* TheWorfEffect: Niedermann beating the living shit out of real-life boxer Paolo Roberto has shades of this. The novel, at least, justifies it by having Roberto narrate it out of his [[ShownTheirWork career's worth of experience at fisticuffs]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest]]
* AmazonChaser: When Monica asks Mikael if he is displeased by a woman of her build, Mikael replies that her well-toned body makes her sexier.
* AssholeVictim: [[spoiler: Zalachenko.]]
* BadCopIncompetentCop: Inspector Paulsson, again, the LawfulStupid version.
* BetterAsFriends: By the end of the book, [[spoiler:Lisbeth]] realizes that [[spoiler:she]] no longer loves [[spoiler:Mikael]], but decides they should continue their friendship.
* BreakTheHaughty: Teleborian's last testimony ought to qualify.
* CallBack: Lisbeth contacts Erika to tell her something, and when Erika demands that Lisbeth verify who she is, Lisbeth says that she knows how Mikael got the scar on his neck in ''Dragon Tattoo''.
* CIAEvilFBIGood: A roughly analogous situation, as the Constitutional Protection unit responsible for investigating constitutional violations are the good guys, while the CIA-esque "Section" are evil. Amusingly enough, though, they're both part of the Security Police.
* CharacterDevelopment: Lisbeth at the very end of the novel. She who vowed never to compromise accepts that, because she's finally achieved her legal majority, she can no longer be a Wo{{man Child}} and has to make ''a little'' compromise.
** NotSoDifferent: When she has her confrontation with Niedermann. He obviously deserves to die, but she realizes she can't be the one to do it because she'd forfeit the rest of her life. She then thinks back to [[spoiler:Harriet]], whom she once castigated for refusing to solve her own problems, and realizes that this judgment was unfair.
* CrazyPrepared: The Säpo branch called The Section for Special Analysis, which has access to government files and resources, extremely talented operatives, and a total willingness to [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveConnections use any means necessary to protect their own asses]]. Or the country. But mostly their own asses.
* DysfunctionalFamily: The [[DeadpanSnarker snarking]], [[IncrediblyLamePun punning]] inhabitants of Hacker Nation, the online community that comprises most of the people Lisbeth considers friends.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: The notoriously private Lisbeth has to reveal every detail of her personal life just to have a chance to do so.
* EpicFail: The Section launch an ambitious and well-thought out plan to silence Zalachenko, steal the evidence that proves Lisbeth's story, get her locked up in a mental institution for life, and murder Mikael after destroying his credibility by planting drugs and money in his apartment. And in the end, [[spoiler: they all end up arrested on a laundry list of charges]] because [[{{Irony}} they didn't realize that Mikael and his allies were even more Crazy Prepared than them]].
* FairCop: SIS Inspector Monica Figuerola, who except for having short hair is the stereotypical Swedish blonde, albeit with a badge and a gun.
* GambitPileup: Pretty much the bulk of the third volume, as all of The Section's actions and manipulations of the Zalachenko affair going back twenty-some years are revealed. Invoked in the other books to a lesser extent, but it's in this one that Larsson really went all out.
* HiddenVillain: The heads of The Section, [[spoiler: Evert Gullberg and Fredrik Clinton]].
* InternalAffairs: the Section. Founded during the Cold War to find {{Dirty Communist|s}} {{Deep Cover Agent}}s, it has since degenerated into a WhoWatchesTheWatchmen situation.
* KarmicDeath: [[spoiler: Alexander Zalachenko]], who tries to bully his way out of trouble one time too many. And [[spoiler: Neidermann]], killed by the members of Svavelsjö MC that he betrayed.
* LampshadeHanging: Edklinth is discussing the Section with Figuerola, sharing information he received from Armansky. As happens many times, the credibility of a source that can't be divulged is questioned, and Figuerola comments "It all sounds a bit...I don't know. Improbable?" to which Edklinth replies "I know. It's the stuff of a spy novel."
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: ''Dragon Tattoo'' was 90% narrated by Salander and Blomkvist, but the trilogy begins piling on {{Narrator}}s as the scope of the plot expands, culminating here with six or eight different ones.
* TheManBehindTheMan: Remember how Zalachenko is this to Niedermann? Turns out that [[spoiler: Fredrik Clinton]] is this to Zalachenko. Taking it even further: although [[spoiler: Clinton]] is the main orchestrator behind Hornet's Nest's events, he is loyally following orders set about by [[spoiler: his old boss, Evert Gullberg,]] who starts things off by [[spoiler: putting a bullet in Zalachenko and then himself,]] leaving [[spoiler: Clinton]] to take over.
* MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate: Teleborian, who, while undeniably talented (he had at one point helped talk a spy out of suicide and ''into'' becoming a double agent), also made horrendously irresponsible conclusions about Lisbeth's mental state based on the fact that she refused to acknowledge his authority over her. He was also drafted by The Section to oversee her care because they knew his view fitted with theirs.
** There is little, if not nothing, ambiguous about [[spoiler: a corrupt pedophile who tortures his patients.]]
* NoGuyWantsAnAmazon: The reason of why all of Monica's relationships failed. Averted once she hooks up with Mikael, who rather likes her athletic physique.
* NoSuchAgency: the Section may once have reported to the civilian government, but it doesn't anymore. Their entire organization consists of a few full-time employees, a larger stable of part-timers whom they "borrow" from other Säpo departments, and the help (and [[IWasNeverHere head-turning]]) of the head of personnel and the head of budget.
* NotSoDifferent: rare goodguy-to-goodguy usage. Lisbeth's lawyer, Annika Giannini, sees much of herself in Lisbeth's somewhat checkered past, and uses this to attack the DoubleStandard around Lisbeth's treatment.
* OutOfFocus: despite appearing in the second book and being intimately involved with the running of ''Millennium'' magazine, [[spoiler:Harriet Vanger]] is not present in this one and is mentioned maybe once.
** ForgottenFallenFriend: Dag and Mia, the slain journalists who kick off the previous novel's plot, are also mentioned maybe five times.
* PragmaticAdaptation: Once more, most of the important plot points are intact, with only a few minor subplots cut for the sake of time or clarity. Erika's never left ''Millennium'' (and has no stalker), Trinity and the rest of Hacker Nation are reduced to just Plague, and Wadensjöö's battle with Clinton for control of The Section is missing. However, there are a couple of head-scratching moment differences. Christer Malm inexplicably loses his nerve as it pertains to ''Millennium's'' work, Niedermann is reduced to just a GiantMook that shows up every half-hour or so to hurt or kill people (even at one point attemping to attack Lisbeth while she's at the hospital), much of Annika's [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome amazing legal work]] is gone, and the ending changes Lisbeth and Mikael's renewed friendship into an awkward "Um...okay...bye." deal.
* PrecisionFStrike: Just before Gullberg [[spoiler: shoots Zalachenko]], he says "You motherfucker."
* ProsecutorsFallacy: Prosecuter Ekström is guilty of this to an appalling degree, both from his disbelief that anyone in the government could have done what Lisbeth and Blomkvist accuse them of, and from being fed incorrect information by The Section because they're trying to use him to cover the whole thing up.
* RetIrony: The editor-in-chief of the daily newspaper SMP is about to retire. Before this, he decides to work together his successor [[spoiler: Erika Berger]] for two months. He dies after a few days.
* TheReveal: Ekström and Teleborian categorically deny that Bjurman ever mistreated Salander, with Teleborian going so far as to say its just a fantasy. Then [[spoiler:Gianinni plays the DVD Salander made of Bjurman's raping, sodomizing and torturing her]]. This does not [[OhCrap go over well with them]].
* RunningGag: Lisbeth has a habit of referring to Mikael as "Kalle Blomkvist" because she knows he hates it. So when he smuggles her Palm into her hospital room, he sets up the password as "Pippi", to her amusement.
* SecretPolice: The Section, which Blomkvist terms the "Zalachenko club" inside Säpo (the Swedish equivalent to the American CIA or British MI-6). Säpo is a known government entitity, subject to rules and oversight, but "The Section" is a seperate autonomous division that is outside of and above Säpo control. They were the ones who helped Zalachenko and screwed Lisbeth's life up to keep him safe.
* SequelHook: Lisbeth learns that her father's assets are to be divided equally between her and her twin sister Camilla, whom no one has seen in a decade. This was to set up the plot for the fourth novel which was three-quarters finished when Larsson died.
* ThanatosGambit: [[spoiler: Gullbert uses it in his efforts to keep the Section secret.]]
* TooDumbToLive: [[spoiler: Niederman becomes this, as his complete and utter lack of common sense and self-control is what leads to his well deserved KarmicDeath.]]
** In the third book, Inspector Paulsson. Blomkvist walks up to them and gives them his weapon, telling them that a big damn fight occurred and Lisbeth got shot in the head. They arrest him for possession of an illegal weapon ''before'' they call the ambulance. He then tells them where Niedermann, an extremely dangerous [[SuperStrength super-strong]], [[FeelNoPain pain-immune]] sociopath is restrained... and they send two fat drunk handlers to pick him up. When they bother to send more people to check on them, ''an hour later'', one of them has been [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown beaten within an inch of his life]], and the other is dead with a [[NeckSnap broken neck]]. Blomkvist first points out "IWarnedYou this guy is a monster", then repeatedly calls the arresting officer an imbecile. When actually-competent police arrive on the scene, they agree with his assessment.
* TheUnfettered: Lisbeth by the end of the book, legally a regular adult for the first time in her life. ''Really'' unfettered due to the several hundred million bucks she stole.
* VillainousBreakdown: Teleborian suffers this after [[spoiler:Gianinni rips his testimony to shreds]]. At the start he's rather smug, but when [[spoiler:Gianinni not only refuses to blindly heed him but actively discredits him]], Teleborian loses his cool and starts stammering. By the time [[spoiler:the police drag him away in Court for possessing child porn]], he can't even speak.
* YouAreNotAlone: Mikael puts a lot of effort into getting Lisbeth to realize this, and [[spoiler:he finally succeeds]]. On the last page of the last book.
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: Evert Gullberg does this to [[spoiler:Zalachenko]][[spoiler:, and then even on himself, as stated [[ThanatosGambit above]]]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Unique to the movies]]
* AbortedArc: The rare case of this happening in a film. In the Swedish version Janne Dahlmann, one of the ''Millennium'' editors, takes a payoff to feed info to Wennerström. When Malin discovers it, she and Erika decide to keep him on in order to feed disinformation. Except they never actually do it, and it's not mentioned again until Erika fires him at the end.
** It receives similar treatment in the book. The disinformation campaign is mentioned about twice, and Dahlmann's actual firing (which all this is building up to) is never shown.
* [[ActorAllusion Composer Allusion]]: A character in the US version is seen wearing a NineInchNails shirt - while [[PopStarComposer Trent Reznor]] is the co-writer of the score.
* AdaptationDyeJob: Both versions depict Harriet as a blonde, while the book has her as a brunette [[spoiler: who dyes her hair blonde when she goes into hiding.]]
* AdaptationExplanationExtrication: There was some complaint that, the couple times Blomkvist is shot at, he doesn't panic or lose his nerve the way a civilian would. But, as the books mention, Sweden has compulsive military service (or had; it was abolished in 2010), and Blomkvist has some military training.
* AgeLift: Besides Creator/DanielCraig, all actors who portrayed Mikael and Lisbeth were older than the written version's age.
* AstonishinglyAppropriateAppearance: Casting Creator/NoomiRapace as Lisbeth Salander obviously made things a lot easier for the costume department and the writers. Although finding a grown woman with all of Lisbeth's physical traits would be next to impossible, they got lucky in several regards. Noomi, like Lisbeth, is very small-breasted as well as dark-eyed with a naturally pale complexion, and in her late teens had numerous ear and facial piercings that she readily got repierced for the role. However, she's not as short as Lisbeth at 5'5" compared to 4'11.
* BondageIsBad: Changed between books and films; it's bad in ''Dragon Tattoo'' [[spoiler: when Bjurman ties Lisbeth up and rapes her]], but Lisbeth freely lets Miriam tie her up gently when they meet in ''Played With Fire''. In the ''Played With Fire'' movie, Lisbeth all but states that you would only be into bondage as a top if you were a sadistic pig and a rapist, but at the time she is talking ''to a rapist'', so it all evens out.
* CastingGag: For the American adaptation, Creator/DavidFincher cast [[Film/JamesBond Daniel Craig]] as Mikael. The gag doesn't pay off until the third in the trilogy, when Mikael spends the entire novel playing spy games vs. "The Section."
* TheDanza: In the Swedish movie, Mikael Blomkvist is played by Mikael Nyqvist.
** This trope is [[SubvertedTrope subverted in the movie adaptation.]] In the books, Mikael's sex life is no big deal. In the films, it is apparently front page material for not only tabloids but rival newspapers.
* DesignStudentsOrgasm: The U.S. film's opening credits. So, so much.
* DyeingForYourArt: According to director Creator/DavidFincher, {{Rooney Mara}} has dived headfirst into her portrayal of Lisbeth, chopping off her long brown hair to a dyed-black pixie cut, bleaching her eyebrows, getting both ears pierced (all together four times), and getting her eyebrow and one nipple pierced as well (nose and lip piercings were fake). Say what you will about her, she doesn't do things in half measures.
* FakeNationality: All over the American film version. The main cast is comprised of Brits, Americans, a Canadian, a Dutch man, a Croatian, and one lone Swede.
* TheImmodestOrgasm: Not a classic example in that there's no wailing or screaming, but in the film Lisbeth is very audibly enjoying herself the first time she and Mikael have sex.
* InJoke: In the American version of the film, all the characters say Lisbeth's name with English pronunciation, "Liz-bith" or "Liz-beth". But toward the end of the movie when Martin learns her name, he says it with Swedish pronunciation as "Leez-bit," which makes sense seeing as Martin is played by Stellan Skarsgård, the only actual Swede to have a major role in the movie.
* PlayingAgainstType: [[spoiler:Peter Haber]], cast as [[spoiler: monstrous serial killer and rapist Martin Vanger]], is known mainly for two roles. One being a ByTheBookCop named Martin Beck in twenty-something movies. The other, a role practically everybody born in Sweden during the 80's and early 90's identify him with, is the sweet bumbling Papa Rudolph in the immensly popular "Sune" series. To put it in terms for a more international audience, it's basically like seeing [[MisterRogersNeighborhood Fred Rogers]] playing a Complete Monster serial killer. And doing it superbly!
** DanielCraig (the current Film/JamesBond) as well; though Blomkvist has Bond's tenacity, intelligence and charm with women, comparing his combat ability to Bond's would be like comparing [[Anime/ZoidsNewCentury Bit Cloud's]] to Manga/InuYasha - [[spoiler:when the monstrous serial killer and rapist Martin Vanger captures and tortures him, Lisbeth has to rescue him.]]
* PragmaticAdaptation: Many of the characters have been changed from the books to the films for the sake of brevity. In addition many subplots were cut. For example in the book Lisbeth leaves Mikael because she catches him with Erika and is heartbroken. In the Swedish films Erika and Mikael do not have a physical relationship, instead Lisbeth simply leaves Sweden because she is afraid of falling in love. This happens less in the first American film, which is a few minutes longer (Mikael and Erika's physical relationship has been restored, for example), but still appears occasionally. The Mikael-Erika relationship does appear in the uncut TV version, though.
** TheFilmOfTheBook hits most of the high notes, but simplifies a few matters for the sake of streamlining the plot. Henrik's offer to give Mikael evidence about Wennerström and his buying a stake in ''Millennium'' are left out, as is Mikael's daughter being the one who figures out the "Leviticus" references, and Anita is killed off [[spoiler: instead of being Harriet's helper]]. Some events in the timeline are shifted around as well, and the various ''Millennium'' employees have maybe five minutes total screen time.
** The Creator/DavidFincher adaptation is a much stronger example of this, retaining much more of the novel's depth and detail while running only six minutes longer than the Swedish film. Notably included in this version but cut from the previous one are the bulk of the Wennerstrom subplot, Blomkvist's daughter, the original Vanger family configuration, and a fair amount of screen time for Erika Berger. Anita's still dead though.
** The change to ultimate fates of Anita [[spoiler:and Harriet]] were done mainly [[spoiler:so that the producers of both films could avoid the extra expense of going to Australia just to shoot two scenes.]]
* ProductPlacement:
** The movie is filled with this for Swedish companies, including an almost gratuitous promoting of SVT, the public service channel. There's a rather perverse ValuesDissonance to it since Larsson was a noted communist and it's highly unlikely he'd have approved. There's also a bit of a TakeThat to SVT in the book, when Mikael buys a small TV with a rabbit-ear antenna (to pick up the broadcast channel SVT) for his stay in Hedeby. His neighbors invite him over to their house if he ever wants to watch anything on ''real'' TV.
** The American version features the characters' [=MacBooks=] quite prominently--though really it would feature whichever brand of computer they used prominently given the nature of the story. [=Mcdonalds=] is also plainly visible.
*** All versions, including the novels, are very specific about Macs.
** For the nerdier types, the actual placement of Macs in the Fincher film is rather strange. The exact timeline of the film isn't clear, but it's either a present-day OS (Tiger, circa 2005) running on computers from the future (the unibody MacBook Pros from 2008, which came with Leopard), or computers of today running an OS from several years before they came out.
** In the American version Lisbeth enjoys chowing down on Happy Meals, even while staying at a posh luxury hotel.
* SpotlightStealingSquad:
** While the original books have Blomkvist and Salander as equal protagonists, the [[TheFilmOfTheBook Swedish movies]] go out of their way to make Salander the star. Her weaknesses are cut back (most notably her social awkwardness), portraying her as less of a flawed human and more of an invincible force of nature. Blomkvist suffers in that his intelligence and journalistic competence are lowered in order to make Salander more intelligent by comparison.
** Notably averted with the American films, which in keeping with the books put the two protagonists on a more equal footing.
* StarMakingRole:
** Creator/NoomiRapace was mostly a stage actress before being cast in the trilogy, which has brought her international acclaim.
** The American film seems to be this for {{Rooney Mara}} too.
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: The [[http://youtu.be/hrFgnizJ7qY second trailer]] for the US film is a loose summary of the ''entire story'' with the exception of the two ''really'' big plot twists ([[spoiler:Martin]] and [[spoiler:Harriet]]).
* TranslationConvention: Played oddly in the English film with visible text, which will be in English when it's relevant (e-mails, newspapers, the tattoo that Lisbeth draws on Bjurman) but in Swedish when it's not.
* VomitIndiscretionShot: Employed to rather distressing effect after [[spoiler: Bjurman forces Lisbeth to give him oral sex for money.]]
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