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NOTE: This spoiler was written by Carolina4785.

The movie starts with a close up of someone opening a package. The camera pans out to show it is an old man at his desk and the package contains a flower preserve in a picture frame. The elderly man looks at the package to see where it came from (Hong Kong.) He sets the frame down on the desk, sits and begins to sob. Suddenly the black and white picture of a pretty girl is flashed on the screen and the title appears.

The picture cuts to reveal a hooded woman walking down, then out of the subway. 

We cut to see a shot of a courtroom and then we see a reporter explaining what is going on. Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist who worked for the magazine Millennium, is accused of slandering financier  Hans-Erik Wennerström, accusing him or illegal arms trafficking and fraud. He loses the case and the magazine was ordered to pay for the damages, and Blomkvist must serve 3 months in prison. Many believe that he is still and idealistic journalists and is falsely accused. The press attacks him as he leaves the courtroom.

Mikael and other people from Millennium meet and talk about how to appeal the case, one of his coworkers suggests he leave the magazine, at least for some time while the storm blows over. He looks a bit hurt, but says "Merry Christmas “and leaves. One of his coworkers, a blond woman, doesn't agree and tries to stop Mikael, she tells him they can find a way out, but he says he is a liability for the magazine and thinks he should leave for some time also.

The camera pans out to show that someone is taking pictures of Mikael, it is the woman we saw leaving the subway. She goes to her apartment and uploads the photos unto her Mac Book pro. We notice she is a punk - wearing black clothes a cropped haircut, her hair is black as night. She wears chains and has piercings.

We see a shot of Mikael walking the streets and he begins to see signs accusing him and even a video clip of him leavening court playing, he feels as if everyone is watching him.

Two men are seen walking and talking in an office building, just as they are about to enter an office one turns to the other and warns him that their best researcher, Lisbeth, is inside but that she is a special girl. The other man asks why, He doesn't answer but leads him in the office. He sees Lisbeth and looks disapprovingly at her appearance for a second, but catches himself and introduces himself as Dirsch Fröde. She hands over to him the file on Mikael, she has gained access to his text message, e-mail, bank account - the works. Fröde asks for the short version of the info on Mikael - she says it’s all in the report, but quickly says he gained the nickname of Kalle Blomkvist after solving a bank robbery in the 0's and is a person with no major secrets He begins asking questions and she as he should just read the report. As she leaves Fröde asks if she has any personal thoughts and she says there is something fishy about the Wennerström case, and thinks that someone set him up.

Mikael is at his sister's house and interacts with his niece. It seems that his sister is a lawyer and is upset he didn’t ask for her help, but he says he didn’t want to drag down his family. While there he receives a call on his cell from Fröde,  it seems a client is interested in meeting with him, Mikael complains that it is Christmas & thinks it has to do with the Wennerström case, but Fröde says no and says the client is Henrik Vanger and doesn't want to wait. He accepts to go meet with Vanger.

He takes a train and meets with Fröde, they take a car to  Hedeby Island, where Vanger lives  and as they cross a bridge Fröde mentions it is the only connection with the mainland. They arrive at Vanger's home, Henrik welcomes him, we find out it is the old man from the beginning of the film. He leads Mikael to his study and shows him a picture of a girl and asks Mikael if he remembers her, it is the girl we see a picture of in the beginning. Her name is Harriet Vanger, daughter of Henrik's brother Gottfried. Mikael looks confused when Henrik says he has met her, that Mikael's father worked for him in the summer of 1965, when he was a little boy and Harriet watched over him during that time. After a few moments he remembered her, Henrik reveals he never had children and thought of Harriet as his own daughter, He believes she was murdered and asks Mikael to investigate. Henrik believes someone in his own family killed her. The day Harriet disappeared there was an accident on the bridge, and a cameraman caught her on film in a windowsill - this is the last photograph taken of her before she disappears.

Lisbeth is walking when she receives a call informing her she has a new guardian, Bjurman, when she complains that she already has a guardian she learns he was hospitalized due to a stroke. She goes to meet with the new guardian, despite the fact it is Christmas. He immediate tells her he will manage her finances now and she is upset because she has always managed them herself and she works for her money, but he says her salary will go into an account he will control and give her a monthly allowance, but that he will have to approve all other expenses. he begins to ask personal questions and Lisbeth gets upset, especially when he beings asking about her sex life and she walks out of his office.

Back at Henrik's home he talks more with Mikael about Harriet. Mikael says there could be other reasons she disappeared but Henrik is convinced there was foul play. He then shows him an array of picture frames containing flowers and tells him Harriet game him the first when she was eight , a bluebell, on his birthday and continued to do so every year on his birthday. He then takes him to the attic and shoes him a ton of frames with flowers, saying he receives one every year on his birthday from a new place on the globe and that it his Harriet's killer who sends them, mocking him. Henrik is 82, and after 40 years the police have given up, he wants to uncover the truth before he dies  and asks for Mikael's help.

Mikael agrees, he resigns from Millennium, packs up his things and moves to Hedeby.

Lisbeth is seen in her apartment again, she looks at Mikael's picture, seems intrigued and hacks into his laptop. She get a message that says "no new activity" so we know she's hacked into his laptop before. We see her leave for the subway where some drunken men attack her.  She defends herself and gets away bit not before getting roughed up and her laptop getting damaged. She goes to a friend but he tells her he can only save the hard drive, she needs to get a new laptop.

Mikael arrives at Hedeby, Henrik welcomes him and shows him where he will be staying. He also gives him boxes with material he's collected over the years and Harriet’s possessions Mikael walks around his new home then begin through sift through the boxes. He hangs up a picture of Harriet on his wall and he has a flashback of playing with her when he was a little boy. We see montage of him googling everything he can on the Vanger family. The nest shot is of Mikael and Henrik walking along the island, Henrik tells Mikael that most of the Vangers don’t like each other but are forced together by the company they are all a part of. The walk by Henrik's brother Harald's house and Henrik mentions they particularly don’t get along. Mikael tells him Harald and another of His brothers, Richard were Nazi's, but Henrik says her already knew. He also adds that Gottfried was a Nazi as well. We learn that Richard is dead and that Harald lives alone and is estranged from his daughter Cecilia. Then they pass Martin’s house, we learn he is Harriet's brother. He mentions Isabella was Gottfried's wife and a bad mother, which is why he decided to look after Harriet and Martin. He says those are all the Vangers that live on the island now, but at the time of Harriet's disappearance there were more. Anita, Cecilia’s sister who died of cancer, and he mentions some others. Mikael asks who he suspects Henrik answers "none of them and all of them"

Mikael is at his house, he has made a family tree on the wall with all of the Vangers' photographs. He sits by the fire and begins to read Harriet's diary. She mentions sitting in Henrik's summer home and Mikael goes to it. There he finds Harriet's bible and begins to look inside when a woman startles him. it turns out she is Cecilia Vanger, Harald's daughter. She mentions Harriet was often in the house with Anita and that Harriet's father Gottfried drowned after falling in the lake drunk a few years before she disappeared. He goes back to his house and reads over more of Harriet's diary and finds a strange list of names and numbers. Mikael believes they are phone numbers and goes to the investigator who originally worked on Harriet's case, Morell.  He calls them, but finds no women with those names, He advises Mikael to drop the case before he becomes obsessed with it like Henrik has done - that there is no answer.

Mikael is seen taking a jog through the snowy area around Hedeby and we get another flashback of him by the water playing with Harriet. He is back in his home looking at the wall of pictures he has created - he has Harriet in a group picture circled in red. He type sup the list of names and numbers from Harriet's journal into his computer and Lisbeth immediately sees it after hacking into his computer once more. She also takes a look at all the pictures , which Mikael has scanned into his laptop. She tried copying the files but the desktop her friend has lent her is slow - she realizes she needs a new laptop ASAP. She goes to her guardian and asks for 20,000 crowns for a new laptop, when he asks why so much  money (clearly she wants a Mac Book Pro as she had, but they are much more expensive than other laptops) but tells him to play games and surf the Internet, since she had told him she works making copies and coffee, not that she is a hacker. He takes advantage of her situation, telling her that he can't just hand over so  much money for no reason, she argues and asks why she couldn't manage her account like before and he slaps her, she is surprised, but he just taunts her saying he knows about her mental problems and background and that he needs to trust her. He forces her to give him a blow job or else he will say she is having issues again becoming violent and he won’t give her any money. She proceeds to wash out her mouth with soap in his bathroom, when she comes out the guardian hands her a check, but it is only for 7,000 crowns and he says it is more than enough for a laptop. She looks at him angrily but just leaves, after what had just happened.

Mikael is studying the pictures on his wall once more, he notices that in the picture from a newspaper of the parade on the day of the accident  Harriet seems to be looking at someone or something. He goes to the spot where she stood and sees there is nothing but a house on the other side of the street, He goes and gets the newspaper records and gets access to all the pictures that were taken that day. After uploading them onto his laptop organizing them in chronological order, hey plays them in a rapid slideshow (like a flip book but a computer) sees Harriet stood perfectly happy enjoying the parade, then her expression changes when she seems to notice something on the other side of the street, she looks scared, turns and leaves. He proceeds to show this to Henrik and he is glad there is finally something to go on after so many years. Henrik thinks that what caught her eye was her murderer on the other side of the street. 

Mikael is invited over to dinner at Martin's house, Cecilia is also there. They ask if he's found anything on Harriet's murder and he says no. He also explains to him what happened at the magazine. He says he was caught in a trap, and old classmate gave him the tip on Wennerström and he amounted some resources. As soon as he published his sources vanished and the documents and evidence he had was proved to be fabricated. He is not sure why he was trapped into writing it. Cecilia walks him home and asks if he wanted to have another glass and he declines. She asks him if it is because she is still a suspect. He doesn't say but the way he looks at her shows he is right.

Lisbeth is pacing around her apartment and finally decides on something, she calls her guardian and says she needs more money. He invites her to his home and asks her to come in. He begins making advances on her again and says that if she declines he will claim she broke into her home and began exhibiting violent tendencies. She sets down her bag on a chair, takes of her jacket and walks over to the bed. He walks up to and hits her, knocking her momentarily unconscious. She wake sup moments later and finds she has been handcuffed belly down unto the bed and begins screaming and struggling, he gags her and ties her legs down as well and brutally rapes her.

She is then seen walking home, limping - he must have really hurt her. When she gets home she can barely even sit but then we see that she had hidden a camera in her bag and had videotaped the whole thing. 

Back at Mikael's home Mikael has the photo sequence of the day of the parade on the wall and his computer. After looking at it for some time he notices there is a woman with a camera standing right behind Harriet and seems to be taking a picture right when Harriet notices whatever it is she is looking at. He looks through the other pictures and notices that same woman is standing by a car with the sign "Norsjö Carpentry" on it. He looks up the address and goes to it, finds a man there and asks her about the woman in the picture. Clearly he recognizes her because he points Mikael uphill to a house. The woman welcomes him to her home and even gives him something to snack on. She says her now deceased husband worked for that carpentry. He asks if she was at Hedeby September of 66, she says it was her honeymoon and of course she still has the pictures- who doesn't keep the picture of her honeymoon? He find what he is looking for, it looks like Harriet saw a man in a blue and black sweatshirt and it was he who made her turn and leave.

Lisbeth is once again at her guardian's home and he is angry she came without saying anything to him, and claims she misunderstood the rules. She storms into his apartment and walks over to the  bed. When he comes near her she turns and tases him. He wakes up and is stripped naked and handcuffed to the posts of the bed. He is lying on the floor, and his feet are also tied together. He asks her to let him go. She asks if he doesn't enjoyed being tied up since he seems to enjoy tying others up. She gags him and sodomizes him with a dildo she found in his apartment and then tells him of the camera and how she got the whole thing on tape. She goes into another room while he watches the video. When it is done she goes back out to him and tells him that he will no longer have access to her account, that she will have full disposal to her account and will be able to do as she wishes with her money. She also tells him that in one year he will apply for termination of her guardianship and if he tries anything, even contacting her she will release the video to the press. As a last punishment she tattoos "I am a sadistic pig and a rapist" unto his abdomen.

Lisbeth is then seen carrying a bag holding her new laptop. She gets home and she immediately goes back to work. Somehow she has figured out what the list of names and numbers seem. Apparently the numbers are bible passages and somehow the women are related to them. after a few moments of hesitation she sends the list to Mikael.

Mikael is back home trying to get someone to sharpen the image of the man in the blue sweater, but it seems it is too old and blurred. He hangs up and checks his e-mail and finds the deciphered list form Lisbeth. He immediately reads the bible passages and finds that they all refer to the death of a woman due to some sin they have committed. We then see Mikael hurrying to tell Henrik but an ambulance is there instead, Henrik had a heart attack. He is alive but needs a bypass. Fröde is there, and accompanies shim to the hospital. He also asks Mikael to continue the investigation, presumably under Henrik's wishes. Mikael tells him of the e-mail and asks if he knows who could have sent it, Fröde says he has no idea.

Lisbeth is sleeping and is woken by some bagging on her door. when she gets up we notice a girl laying next to her, but Lisbeth tells her to go back to sleep. She dresses (and we get to see the dragon tattoo on her back) and goes to answer the door. It is Mikael, who has apparently traced the e-mail to her. He also apparently told Fröde because he has the huge file on him Lisbeth had originally given to him. He asks her for her help, seeing as she had given him the main lead he had on the case so far. She says she isn’t interested, but Mikael says she has to be, because being a hacker she would know that he could easily trace the email she sent him. He also tells her she would be paid for it.

Lisbeth agrees, she bikes over to his home in Hedeby. When she walks into his home she looks at his little wall of photos and immediately begin to tape up the bible verses. she gets to work and fins the case of a woman names Sara who was found murdered and mutilated after what looked like a religious ritual. It happened in 1962. Her killer was never found. Lisbeth and Mikael look at each other meaningfully. They agree it is a shot in the dark but decide to go investigate. After a long drive (in which we find out Mikael is divorced) they arrive at the place where Sara was found and the man showing it to them tells that since her husband found her the place hadn't been bought by anyone. They also find out that not only was Sara found in the barn but a murdered pig as well. Back in the car Lisbeth quotes one of the bible passages in which it mentions a woman and animal being killed. Mikael says it may be a coincidence, but they clearly don’t think it is. The want to try and find traces of the other women. Lisbeth finds a trace of the murder of a woman called Magda for Dalrana. It happened on 1954, and her quote says that she shall be killed, fat will be removed from her body and she is to be decapitated and a priest will put it on wood over a fire on the altar. Mikael noticed it she remembered the quote word by word as he reads it on his laptop, when he mentions it Lisbeth gets a strange look on her face.

Mikael and Lisbeth go to the police station where Magda's case is documented and find that fat was cut from her body, and that she was decapitated and her head burned in a fire. They realized they are on to something. They drive back home, Lisbeth is asleep and making some sounds, Mikael looks over at her. She seems to be dreaming of herself when she was younger, setting something on fire. He tries and wakes her and she tries to defend herself, he says he just wanted to let her know they were at the house. She goes straight into her room, Mikael walks in later and hands her her bag, which she left in the car.

The next day they are driving somewhere else, Lisbeth is on her laptop and says she can't find a trace of BJ. She thinks Li could be Liv, a woman found dead in a construction site. She also mentions she found info on a teenager called Mari found dead in 1964 her killer was never found.  They find some records on both those murders in a library. Liv was found murdered in 1949, but Mikael mentions Harriet was born in 1950 and doesn't see the connection. They can't find any info on BJ, which Harriet had circled in red. They conclude Harriet must have known the murdered of the women, and either BJ was special, or she had found no information on her either.

They go back home, and Lisbeth notices someone has been there. She notices the photos are arranged differently and the bible is in a different position. She shows Mikael the lock has been tampered with. He says he will get a new lock the next day. He also asks Lisbeth if she has photographic memory. She seems startled at the question and the walks out. He follows her and apologizes, says he thinks it would be great if he had it. Later that night she goes in his bedroom, undresses and straddles him. He asks her if she thinks it is a good idea and she just kisses him - they have sex. He is shocked when she just leaves right after. 

The next morning Mikael is making food and watches her sit and smoke by the water. He smiles at her. During breakfast he asks if she slept well, she says yes. He also says he is going to visit Henrik and invites her to come along, but she says she'd rather not, she hates hospitals. At the hospital Henrik is surprised, shocked about all the murders but bitterly pleased that the case seems to be getting somewhere. Mikael mentions that they haven't found BJ, and Henrik tells him to ask Morell for help. Mikael does and he tries to help but is unsure - though he is surprised because if the first murder was in '49 and if it indeed is the same person who murdered Harriet, and he/she is still sending Henrik flowers, the person must be really old which brings down significantly the number of suspects.

Back at home Mikael looks at the pictures of Gottfried, Harald and Isabella, thinking they are the only ones old enough to be the murderer. Of course nothing is yet proven. He gets called to a meeting with the rest of the Vangers, someone photographed Lisbeth in the car with him a published some story about him having a "hot, new girlfriend" and bringing her to Hedeby. The Vangers don’t like this, saying it makes them look bad and Isabella says he should stop digging into her daughter's death because it will give Henrik another heart attack. Martin says maybe he should consider dropping the case. Mikael defends himself by saying that his personal life has nothing to do with the case & that he is staying and Fröde says Henrik signed a contract anyway, Mikael is there to stay. During the meeting he notices a necklace around Cecilia's neck with a very unique pendant, and has another flashback of him and Harriet in which he looks at her pendant - the same pendant Cecilia is wearing present day. He also sees the photograph that was taken of Harriet the day of her disappearance in his mind, she is wearing a pendant. It is only a dark spot in the photograph, but he seems sure it is the same pendant.

After the meeting Cecilia goes up to him, apologizing for her family's behavior. He confronts her about the necklace, and she gets upset saying she inherited that necklace from Anita, her sister. Mikael has another flashback, the same one from before but longer - it pans out and shows another blonde girl, very similar to the one he remembered. Back in the house he grabs the picture of "Harriet" compares it to Anita's picture and realizes that the "last picture ever taken of Harriet “is actually of Anita Vanger. Lisbeth arrives on her motorbike and Mikael shows the photos to her. She looks at them and also realizes it is Anita. They think of the info they have on her - she was Harriet's cousin and best friend, she moved to London after Harriet's death and died of cancer at 37 - 20 years ago. Apparently Anita never told anyone that it was she at the window the day of the parade, Lisbeth says it could be to cover up the murderer or some unknown reason, she was very close to Harriet after all. Lisbeth then email her friend from earlier to help find everything he can on Anita Vanger.

Mikael is taking a jog through the woods. He stops to catch his breath when suddenly shots ring in the air. Some keep trying to shoot him. He ducks away, but not before a bullet grazes his temple. He runs back home, Lisbeth is concerned, cleans his wound up and asks if he saw who shot him. He says no and that he think they should call the police. She says that he must be close to figuring it out if someone is shooting him, and that he shouldn't call the police, they won't help and if he does, she'll leave. He tells Morell, and he says not to jump to conclusions it could be a hunting accident. He says he doubts it, the shot at him repeatedly. 

Back at home Lisbeth is installing camera everywhere. Mikael and Lisbeth lie in her bed, it seems they have had sex more than once now. When Lisbeth turns to sleep, Mikael does as well and she says he should go sleep in his own bed. He says he was She says fine as long as he lets her sleep. He stares at her a little and then asks how she turned out the way she is - that she knows everything about him and he doesn't really know anything about her. She just says "yeah, I guess that's the way things are."

The next morning Mikael watches Lisbeth sleep, a smile on his face. He dresses when he hears knocking.  It is Morell, he says he has found the last girl, BJ. Just as he stars telling Mikael, Lisbeth comes out as well. The girls name is Rebecka Jacobsson, but her nickname was Bea, that is where the BJ comes from. Her quote refers to stoning and she was murdered by stoning. It turns out she worked for the Vanger company until her death in 1965. It turns out she was Gottfried's secretary, but Lisbeth says she the murderer can't be him, because he was dead before Harriet disappeared. Morell says they should see which other Vangers she had contact with.

As Lisbeth does Mikael notices Rebecka and Sara are Jewish names, as well as Magda (Magdalenda) and Mari. Liv doesn't seem to be but Eva means Liv, and Mikael bets on that  she was Jewish. Lisbeth agrees that the racist murders fits with the pseudo-religious rituals. But then they realize Harriet is not a Jewish name, however Mikael believes she was killed because she realized the connection and the murderer found out. He also mentions that there were 3 Nazis in the Vanger family and only Harald was alive when Harriet disappeared and was also out hunting when Mikael took that jog in the woods. He begins to look at a map in which they have flagged the locations of the murders.  They all took place in different cities and different times. Mikael believes if he looks at the Vanger Company accounting records he can prove Harald was in those places at the time of the murders. Lisbeth says that even if they find something, which would be hotel or restaurant bills that alone don’t prove he killed the women. Mikael suggests he breaks into his home. Lisbeth gives him an approving look and that night he does, while she goes to look for the accounting records.

Mikael is walking around Harald's home while Lisbeth is being lead by an elderly man to the records, she says they need the ones from 49-66. He says the only reason those are still  there is because of Henrik, who didn't want any records destroyed. Lisbeth thanks him and starts looking through the large books. Meanwhile Mikael is looking at some pictures at Harald's home, he is about to go into a closet under the stairs when Harald hits home over the head and threatens him with a rifle. Martin suddenly comes in and flicks on the light and takes the rifle from Harald, then calms him down.

Lisbeth hasn't found any trace of Harald being in the locations of the murders in the records, and begins to get frustrated. Meanwhile Martin walks Mikael back to his house and tells him to relax that Harald won’t follow.

Suddenly Lisbeth finds Gottfried's signature in the records at one of the murder locations, she is surprised but keeps searching and they keep showing up, she is sure Gottfried is involved now. She looks for the 1965 record, and finds a picture of Gottfried and a younger boy behind him in the same blue and black sweater that the man Harriet saw the day of the parade was wearing. When she looks at the caption she sees that the picture is of Gottfried and his son, Martin. Realization dawns upon her.

Back at Martin's house, he pours glass of whiskey for Mikael. Martin then asks him what  he was doing over at Harald's place anyway, and Mikael tells him of all that he has found and he thinks Harriet found out about it and that is why she was murdered. He thinks Harald is the murderer because of his Nazi beliefs. Then Mikael tells him about Lisbeth going over to look for evidence in the accounting records, and Martin gets a strange look on his face (he obviously realizes whose name Lisbeth will find). Martin tells Mikael he will call the police and as he walks into the hall Mikael says to call Morell instead. Suddenly he get a look of realization on his face and asks Martin what he was doing at Harald's place, but Martin has already snuck up on him and injects him with something.

Mikael's eyes open and he is in a closed room. Martin comes up to him and binds his hands together. He beats him and tells him he can scream all he wants, no one will hear him.  He beats him again and knocks him unconscious. The second time he wakes because Martin splashes water on his face. Mikael looks around the room and asks Martin why. Martin just says he is living out every man’s dream - taking what he wants. He asks how many women he has killed since the first, and he says he stopped counting. He lets him know he had a woman down there in a cage the night he had invited him for dinner. He says he picks women that won’t be missed, prostitutes and immigrants. Mikael asks about the first women, the quotes and mutilations, Martin comes up and places some sort of black rope around his neck and then proceeds to tell him those were his father's, mixing the race and religions, but Martin believes that was a mistake, especially leaving the bodies out in the open. He confesses he throws the bodies of his victims out in the sea.

Lisbeth races back to the house to tell Mikael of her findings. She sees he is still not home, but checks the camera and sees that right after Mikael left, Martin came up to the house, then followed him. Back underneath Martin’s house he tells him Mari was the first woman he killed, Mikael recalls it is one of the murders from the list - in 64. he was only 16. Gottfried showed him how to do it.

Martin is clearly a very sick man - he says he watched as Gottfried showed him how to properly strangle them, then says murder is a consequence of rape, because there must be no witnesses. He says he doesn't like seeing their disappointment - that they refuse to understand they must die. Then he says he loves the moment when  they realize they aren't getting away. Mikael asks him what he felt when he saw that realization in her sister's eyes. Martin claims that he didn't kill, her that she disappeared. Mikael doesn't believe him but Martin insists adding that he would have loved to rid himself of her, but she disappeared before he could.

Then he offers Mikael some water, which Mikael accepts and thanks him for. Martin tells him just because of that gesture, he wasn't going to spare him. He attaches the rope around his neck to a wire he raises, which will choke him to death. He begins to choke when Lisbeth comes in and knows Martin with a golf club then releases , She loosens the rope around his neck and cuts the bind on his hands. She runs toward martin car with the gold club and manages to smash his window but he begins to drive away. She is in hot pursuit in her motorbike, and at one point Martin has to reach down and when he lifts his eyes back onto the road he sees a huge truck coming toward him, he swerves to avoid it and his car goes spinning out of control and rolls down the side of the road. His car gets pretty smashed up and he is stuck inside. Lisbeth goes down to the car and just stares at him while he pleads for her help. The gasoline begins to leak and the car explodes. We see a flashback in which a young Lisbeth runs up to a man in a car and lights him on fire. (This is the full version of the nightmare she had in the car with Mikael earlier) She lets Martin burn, we hear him scream and she walks away. 

Lisbeth runs back to where Mikael is. He is looking at a collection of pictures - it seems Martin had taken pictures of every woman he had killed. Lisbeth and him look at the collection, horrified. Mikael asks where Martin is and Lisbeth says that he won't return. Mikael asks what she means and she just says he drove to his death. Suddenly sirens are heard and Lisbeth asks him what the hell he’s done, then proceeds to tell him that Martin died in a car accident and that they know nothing. Mikael nods and Lisbeth runs out as the police arrive. Morell arrives with them. He tells him to go look in the basement.

Mikael goes to Lisbeth and asks what happened. She doesn't reply and he says that his father trained him to murder him - anyone would become sick with that upbringing. She says to stop victimizing him, that he had all the same chances as him or she and that everyone chooses who they are. she says he almost murdered him and that he was nothing but a "damned pig who hated women" ( Clever way to bring in the tile - the original title is  "Men who hate women") She tells him that Martin did die in an accident, that he burned and she did nothing to save him. He takes it in, and then lies down.

Lisbeth goes to lie down next to him. He tells her he could have never done what she did but that he understands why she did it, and even though  he doesn't know what she experienced,  she didn't have to tell him, that he was happy she was there with him and thankful she saved his life. She holds his hand and thanks him.

We then see Mikael sitting with Fröde, Morell and Henrik sitting by the water. Henrik is shocked and sad, but Mikael tells him they aren't done yet, that Martin did not kill Harriet. Mikael then goes back to his house and finds Lisbeth gone. However he finds a printout of an e-mail sent to her by Plague, her hacker friend that says there are two people named Anita Vanger, one who died in London and one who lives in Australia since 1966. Mikael flies to Australia to meet Anita, but he greets her as Harriet Vanger. She turns surprised at him and asks him if they have met before. he says that yes, she and Anita watched over him but he comes in behalf of Henrik Vanger.. She asks him if Henrik knows she is alive, he says "not yet." Harriet's expression is sorrowful.

Lisbeth is at an information window at a hospital and asks to see  Agneta - it turns out this is her mother. The nurse is surprised she hasn't come before. Lisbeth goes in to see her mother - she is alone in the room and in a wheelchair . Lisbeth says hello to her and her mother can barely believe she is there. Her mother asks her if she has had kids, Lisbeth says no. She then asks him if she has a man and Lisbeth tells here there is someone, but that it isn't good to fall in love - that her mother should know that. Her mother doesn't answer but says she should have chosen a better father for Lisbeth - Lisbeth says it is not her fault, it is she who got hurt.

Back in Hedeby, Mikael brings back Harriet to Henrik, he looks surprised but happily goes to Harriet. They hug and cry in each other's arm. It turns out she was the one sending him the flowers all along, as a message to him that she was alive somewhere and she was really sad when she found out how he interpreted them. She then tells him that her father raped her when she was 14 for the first time, then Martin and he both abused her several times. One day when she had enough she ran out and her father followed her drunk. She ran down to the water and began quoting the bible and boasting of the women he'd murdered. She grabbed an oar and hit him - he fell in the water. She used the oar to hold him down until he was dead, then pushed out the boat into the water so it looked like Gottfried had just fallen in. When she turned around she saw Martin - he had seen the whole thing and she got scared since he treated her even worse than her father. She stayed because Henrik had sent him away to boarding school. The day of the parade he came back and she became terrified. With Anita's help she was able to get out - she hid in the back of Anita's car, covered in a blanket as Anita drove her away, then used Anita's passport to flee the country.

Mikael is on a train and calls Lisbeth, apparently he has been trying to get in touch with her, but she hasn't responded. Later he is seen in jail - a pretty comfortable cell though. He is told he has a visitor it is Lisbeth. He hugs her and she hands him a bagful of papers. He asks her to stays he is allowed half an hour of visit, but she says she just wanted to hand him the papers. He also tells her he only has to serve another month and half and he gets out. She turns to leave but then kisses him, leaving him a bit more hopeful. He begins to read what she brought him; it is a bunch of info on Wennerström, clearly Mikael's claims about him were correct. he begins to write another article and releases it as soon as he gets out of jail. He claims Wennerström's entire business is financially supported by drug cartels and the sale of illegal arms, the article is printed in  a new edition of Millennium and his coworkers throw him a welcome back party.  A short time later Mikael is seen watching the news - it turns out Wennerström committed suicide in his apartment in Spain. The newscaster also reveals that a large amount of money (millions and millions) have been withdrawn from one of his accounts in the Cayman Islands. They show a picture of the person who did it. It is a blonde woman in an elegant business suit and stilettos. Mikael zooms in on the picture and realizes it is Lisbeth. 

The movie ends with Lisbeth stepping out of a limo on a walkway by the beach, she is walking away.

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Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is found guilty of falsely accusing Wennerström of illegal gun trafficking and fraud. He is sentenced to some time in prison but doesn't have to serve the time right away. Many of his fans believe he is innocent.

He is hired by Henrik Vanger to investigate the 40-year-old murder of his niece, Harriet. Henrik thinks someone in the family did it. Mikael finds some things but doesn't get to far until he enlists the help of a young punk hacker named Lisbeth.

They find out that Harriet knew of a trail of murders of women and that the murderer found out so he also killed her. Turns out that it isn't so. Her father Gottfried and brother Martin committed the murders of all those women. She killed her father after he raped her one day and Martin saw. Henrik had sent him away to boarding school, so she stayed until he came back and she fled in fear, not telling anyone except her cousin Anita. Mikael reunites them.

Lisbeth and Mikael developed a sort of relationship and she visits him while he does his time. She brings him a bunch of info she dug up on Wennerström, which proves he was into illegal drug and arms trafficking. Mikael publishes another article, this time with evidence and Wennerström commits suicide.

Lisbeth disguises herself and withdraws millions from one of Wennerström accounts in the Cayman Islands

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