Awesome / The Millennium Trilogy

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo:

  • Mikael is tied up, slowly being hanged, and about to be sexually assaulted by Martin... then Lisbeth shows up, attacks Martin and saves Mikael.
  • Nils Bjurman, Lisbeth's replacement guardian, takes advantage of her financial situation by brutally raping her. Lisbeth gets her revenge by secretly taping the attack, torturing him and threatening to ruin him with the tape unless he gives her full control of her finances. This is actually one of the first moments we see of her, so it makes her all the more awesome.
    • Lisbeth's revenge is incredibly satisfying, particularly following the Humiliation Conga she gets put through; visiting Bjurman's apartment by surprise, he welcomes her in willingly after advising he 'feels bad about how things ended last time'. Lisbeth glibly replies with a "Me, too," and promptly tasers him in the neck. He then wakes up to be subjected to the very same manner of pain he inflicted on her, and is tattooed with a broad declaration of his being a rapist. To top it off, she visits him again at work because his reports covering her health and status weren't satisfying enough for her, and threatens him to stop looking at tattoo removal sites; he's visibly afraid of her.
  • Lisbeth effortlessly cleaning out Wennerström of his ill-gotten funds, leaving him to get killed by some of the criminals with whom he was associated. And the best part is that she didn't even do it for the money or anything. She just wanted to help Mikael take the bastard down.
  • The opening credits of the American film, playing like the darkest nightmares of the people who makes the James Bond credits.

The Girl Who Played with Fire:

  • Paolo Roberto to "the blond giant" Niederman, right before rescuing Miriam Wu.
    Paolo: What do you say we find you somebody in your own weight class?
    • He then wins the fight by driving a plank into Niederman's skull. Niederman himself is shocked by this turn of events.
  • Miriam Wu is a Damsel out of Distress while this is going on. When kidnapped by Niederman, handcuffed and tortured, she demonstrates kickboxing training With My Hands Tied, and helps Paolo take down Niederman with a Groin Attack.
  • Do not accuse a competent female cop on an all-male police investigation of leaking articles to the press in front of Officer Bublanksi, without proof. He will find the real leak, expose him to the prosecutor, and arrest him for violating police confidentiality. Like another Officer Bubbles, this Officer demonstrates to Prosecutor Eckström and Hedström of Milton Security why You Won't Like Me When I'm Angry.
  • Lisbeth demonstrates more than her usual amount of badass moments.
    • First, rescuing an abused woman from her murderous Gold Digger husband Dr. Forbes in the middle of a hurricane in Grenada.
    • The reason why she was out in the hurricane? To warn her lover du jour George Bland and get him to a hotel shelter. Bland lives in a wooden shack and wouldn't have survived the storm. Doubles as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
    • Fends off Carl-Magnus Lundin, a ponytailed motorcycle gangster, twice when he attempts to kidnap her. The first time, she demonstrates how keys can serve as brass knuckles. The second time he tries, laughing at her, she maces him and shoots him in the foot.
    • Paolo Roberto knows Lisbeth because she managed to put up a challenging fight against him in the boxing ring after he laughed at her for wanting to sign up for lessons. A Groin Attack was involved, as was a Jerkass Realization on Paolo's part. In a Zig-Zagged version of Defeat Means Friendship, he apologized and started training her. They still spar at least once a year.
    • Lisbeth has been shot in the head and Buried Alive. She digs herself out with a cigarette case, and drives an axe into her father's head.
  • "Kalle" Blomkvist also gets a few moments
    • Intuits that Salander is innocent since Dag and Mia were doing work that she supported, and asserts to Bubblanski that he will find another explanation for the killing.
    • Figures out how to contact Salander on his hard drive, in an untracecable fashion: he makes a folder called Salander and leaves her Word documents with messages.
    • Makes a deal with Officer Björk to learn about Zala, planning to use Exact Words to expose him as a "john" (man who visits prostitutes). Björk gets Out-Gambitted when he tries to hide how Salander is involved.
      • When he finds the police report that Björk gave to Bjurman, which reveals how Björk covered up Zalachenko's abuse of Salander's mother he makes photocopies and has several mailed to Officer Bubbslanki. Bubblanski later mentions Björk will be taken into custody, which is a Moment of Awesome for the investigator as well when he realizes that Teleborian lied about Salander.
    • Doubles as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, but he phones his sister while on the train to find Salander, to explain that Xanatos Speed Chess with the police may get him arrested; however, he wants her to represent Salander in criminal court because Gianinni is "the most brilliant lawyer" he knows and someone that Salander will trust.
    • After a lucky guess gets him past Salander's apartment security, he finds the DVD of Bjurman raping Salander, and guesses in minutes what Bjurman did and how Salander is fighting back. The DVD becomes a Chekhov's Boomerang.
    • Demonstrates Chekhov's Skill when his military training comes in handy for incapacitating Ronald Niederman at the book's climax. The army teaches you how to tie knots, apparently.
  • Mikael Blomkvist arranges a meeting with a corrupt ex-cop, who is involved in trafficking of prostitutes, by telling him that he is conducting a consumer survey. When the cop has let him into his house, he produces three photos of Eastern European prostitutes that the cop has had sex with and asks him which one he preferred. When the cop then offers to spill the beans in exchange for being held out of the papers, Mikael agrees in good conscience - he'll just put him in the book instead.
  • Lisbeth digs her way out of a grave. She's been shot in the head and she digs her way out of a fucking grave. And then she puts an axe into her father.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest:

  • Even though Gullberg is covering the Section's butt, one has to grudgingly admire his Thanatos Gambit, which becomes a Dying Moment of Awesome for the antagonists, all the while dying of terminal cancer.
    • Writes a bunch of crazy letters in his hand and mails them to various prime ministers, creating a persona as a crazy person.
    • Asks Zalachenko before shooting him "How could you be so fucking stupid?" in regards to getting himself and Salander in the public eye.
    • Annike Gianinni gets one for locking herself and Salander in Salander's hospital room during the shootout, possibly saving Lisbeth's life.
  • After Zalachenko dies, his sister is mugged and his apartment is broken into, Blomkvist shows he is highly capable of Xanatos Speed Chess by pretending he has no more copies of Björk's incriminating police report over the phone, and initiating a plan of counterattack.
    • Also has the guts to call an incompetent cop "an imbecile" while gets him arrested momentarily.
  • After Gianinni gets Teleborian to commit to lying about everything in Salander's file while he's testifying, she systematically tears his entire treatment of Lisbeth to shreds, from force-feeding her psychotropic drugs, to falsifying legal documents regarding her mental state. Then the cops come in and arrest him for having almost 10,000 pictures of kiddie porn on his computer.
  • Säpo and the Stockholm police conducting a highly organized raid to arrest ALL members of the Section.
  • Though Lisbeth is always a walking moment of awesome, other women in the story get there CMOA, too. Erika sticks it to her new boss when he turns out to be a scuzzbucket, telling him he HAS to resign and refusing to be bullied.
  • When a dangerous stalker is threatening Erika, the female bodyguard hired by Milton single handedly turns him into a whimpering little boy, breaking his knee caps and cuffing him.
  • Monica Figuerola: A wonderwoman Cop. Her favourite activities? Sex and working out.
    • When she tries to arrest a member of the section, he tries to punch her. Picture a geriatric man trying to assault a strong, fit, police officer. She simply says "You have got to be kidding" and pushes him to the floor. So this is also a Crowning Moment of Funny
  • Lisbeth nailing Niederman's feet to the floor, then calling the gang he betrayed to tell them where he is. THEN she calls the police to let them know where the gang is. She kills two birds with one stone, by getting rid of Niedermann AND the Motorcycle Gang all in one.