These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: The Millennium Trilogy
The Millennium Trilogy as a series contains YMMV examples of:
Angst? What Angst?: Played with in Lisbeth's case. On the one hand, she has been deeply marked by her terrible childhood experiences, but on the other hand, this has made her pretty much impervious to any later trauma. Her reaction to being brutally raped and tortured for an entire night is to very calmly get revenge, and then move on without any sign of being hurt by it. Her reaction to being shot in the head and buried alive is likewise to get revenge, and then function pretty much exactly as she has always done.
Broken Base: Between the fans of Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth and those of Rooney Mara's version. Or, if you prefer, English vs. Swedish versions. Making it more interesting is that the Swedish Dragon Tattoo film is more faithful to the tone of the novel, while the American one is more faithful to the plot, so everyone gets to decide which is more important to them.
Canon Sue: Mikael is basically a idealized self insert from the author who's wonderful at his work and gets all the ladies. Lisbeth may be a case of Jerk Sue.
Complete Monster: Besides the Vangers, the other two books have Zalachenko, was a Russian agent who took refuge in Sweden. Because of his high importance to the government, Zalachenko was allowed to do anything he wanted. His favorite activity was abusing his wife. He would often torture or beat her in front of their daughter. The last time, he beat her so bad he left her with severe brain damage, which resulted in his daughter, who we find out is Lisbeth, burning Zala alive in retribution. Surviving with hideous wounds, Zala became the leader of a powerful human trafficking ring where girls were forced into prostitution. Having many, many women sold into sex slavery or killed when their value diminished, Zala also had multiple murders committed by his nightmarishly powerful son, and when he found out his daughter's location, he spared no expense to murder anyone in his path to torture her to death himself.
Designated Hero: Lisbeth Salander may rarely be in the wrong, and may be up against more depraved people than herself, but she's still a deeply scary human being.
Double Standard: Lisbeth is fiercely protective of her own privacy, but doesn't give a damn about that of others.
Jerkass Woobie: Despite all her attitude problems, there are times throughout the books when so much gets piled on her that you just want to give Lisbeth a big hug. Preferably when she's not holding a Taser.
Misaimed Fandom: Many feminists like to look at Lisbeth as a role model because she goes out of her way to beat up misogynistic pigs.... ignoring the fact that it is made explicitly clear that not only is Lisbeth a violent person who repeatedly goes above the law to achieve her own ends, she's not portrayed as a feminist in the books, as she is supposed to be a stand in for those who are subjected to violence and being taken advantage of. She also doesn't fit into any kind of social classification, including feminism, which was another point of her character.
Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: The three books have obvious messages against violence/mistreatment towards women, government and business corruption, and abuse of power in general.
Strawman Has a Point: Teleborian may be a sadistic Smug Snake and a prolific pedophile, but he is correct- promiscuous sexual behavior is indeed a marker of sociopathy. Its not, in and of itself, enough for a diagnosis, but Lisbeth setting her dad on fire (even if he deserved it) didn't do her any favors as far as that goes, nor did her history of truancy and alcohol abuse or her evident (if justified) paranoia. He is ignorant of her torture of her (sexually abusive) social carer and her career as a world class cyber criminal, which is just as well for her because all in all he could make a pretty convincing case. She might not be a true sociopath, but she certainly displays many sociopathic traits.
Values Dissonance: From the Swedish perspective, a 16-year old is not really a child when it comes to having sex.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo contains YMMV examples of:
Martin Vanger is the likable CEO of a family corporation. He is troubled since his sister vanished long ago. He also comes across as a nice guy and saves the protagonist's life in the movie. In the end, however, Martin reveals his true colors: he is a serial killer, who has been torturing, raping and murdering hundreds of women since he was a teenager. His chilling explanation is: "This is every man's innermost dream. I take what I want." Martin suffers his comeuppance, when Lisbeth denies him the same mercy he denied all his victims.
Martin's father, Gottfried, is an anti-Semitic racist Nazi, itself a horrid way to make a first impression. Gottfried rapes his own daughter and kills at least 7 women in parodies of Old Testament (specifically, Leviticus) punishments. He is also the one responsible for raising Martin into an individual like himself.
Ending Fatigue: A fairly common complaint about the American adaptation. The A plot concerning Harriet's murder wrapped up about 25 minutes before the end of the movie, the rest of the time was spent dealing with Blomkvist's and Salander's revenge against Wennerström. In his commentary, Fincher says they tried for weeks to get a more natural pacing for a film, but ultimately had to accept it as a "five act" story.
It Gets Better: The book gets off to a slow start, with a lot of infodumping about Blomkvist's legal troubles in a story that's supposed to be mystery. This thread doesn't get picked back up until the very end, causing Ending Fatigue.
Moral Event Horizon: Bjurman - who is Lisbeth's legal guardian and caretaker - crosses this line when he forces her to perform oral sex in exchange for the money she needs to replace her computer. And then longjumps even farther over it when he violently sodomizes, rapes and tortures her.
Nausea Fuel: Blomkvist's adopted pet cat being left on his doorstep with its head missing and every limb snapped clean off.
Squick: Lots of it. Most of all, the biblical serial murders and Harriet's history of being raped repeatedly by her father and brother - once by her brother immediately after she'd murdered their father (while "his body was still floating in the water), to boot!. Lisbeth has a bit as well, when she gets revenge on Bjurman.
So Lisbeth is finally happy, as she tells her previous guardian, possibly for the first time ever, has just realized that she's in love with Blomkvist. So she buys him a beautiful, expensive leather jacket for Christmas, goes to give it too him. . .only to see him arm-in-arm with his on-again, off-again lover Erika. The look on her face is heartbreaking.
Her walk of shame after her second encounter with Bjurman.
The Girl Who Played With Fire contains YMMV examples of:
Critical Research Failure: Paulo Roberto is portrayed as a straight boxer who is unprepared when his opponent throws a kick. Roberto actually began his career as a kickboxer.
Moral Event Horizon: Zalachenko crossed it when he beat Lisbeth's mother so badly that she suffered a crippling cerebral hemorrhage.
The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest contains YMMV examples of:
Moral Event Horizon: Even though he's trying to screw up Lisbeth's life, Fredrik Clinton crosses this when he arranges for Mikael to be murdered and framed for dealing drugs in an effort to destroy his credibility. Wadensjöö even calls him on it, saying that Clinton will end up destroying The Section because of his actions.