Stieg Larsson

Millennium Trilogy

The Millennium Trilogy consists of

-“The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo“,

-“The Girl Who Played With Fire“, and

-“The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest“.

A well prepared debutant 

Stieg Larsson began thinking about writing detective novels back in the early 90’s, according to co-worker Anna-Lena Lodenius in an interview with the Swedish newspaper Veckans Affärer. He had always been interested in particularly Anglo-Saxon literature and knew the works of Elizabeth George, Minette Walters and Sara Paretsky very well. He knew what ingredients a good detective story should have, and he even reluctantly decided to spice it up with a bit of sex as it would probably please his readers.

A regrettable refusal

As for his work as a journalist, his preparations for the series were thorough. Before he started writing, he had made a detailed synopsis for ten books. He started writing in 1997, and it was not until he had finished the first two books and had the third one under way thatmillennium trilogy he contacted a publisher in the summer of 2003. His first contact was with publisher Piratförlaget, which refused his script twice, perhaps the biggest mistake in Swedish publishing history. Instead, it was the publisher Nordstedts which got the opportunity to sign him in late 2003. With them, Stieg Larsson signed a contract of three books, an exceptional opportunity for an unpublished writer. The publishing rights were also bought by German and Norwegian publisher before it was even published in Sweden. During 2004 Stieg Larsson made minor adjustments to his two finished books and finished the third. When he died in November 2004, it was only a few months before the first book of the Millennium Trilogy was released to the Swedish audience and became an immediate success.

Pippi Longstocking as a source of inspiration

Kenneth Ahlborn, a former colleague of Stieg’s at TT, says in an interview with Veckans Affärer that Stieg got the idea for the character Lisbeth Salander after a discussion during a break from work. They were talking about how different characters from children’s books would manage and behave if they were alive and grown up. Stieg especially liked the idea about a grown up Pippi Longstocking, a dysfunctional girl, probably with attention deficit disorder who would have had a hard time finding a regular place in the “normal society”, and he used part those characteristics when he created lisbeth Salander.

  • “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo“
  • “The Girl Who Played With Fire“
  • “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest“

Screen versions of the Millennium Trilogy

It early became clear that the very popular books would be made in screen versions. In 2008 production began in Sweden, and the three books was shot back-to-back into three movies during the  following year. The three movies were given the same names as the books. They were received almost equally well, as for example evidenced by the inclusion of The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo on The Vore’s 15 most suspenseful psychological thriller film list. In the Swedish versions, male actor Michael Nyqvist plays Michael Blomkvist, while Noomi Rapace plays Lisbeth Salander.

Meanwhile the books were a major hit all over the world and it did not take long for Hollywood to see the huge potential in the thrilogy. The legal rights for the novels were set between Columbia Pictures, Stieg Larssons brothers and father and Yellow Bird, the production company behind the swedish films. Production was put on a fast track and the the search to fill the roles started.

In the end Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig were casted as leads playing Lisbeth Salander and Michael Blomkvist.

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935 comments on “Millennium Trilogy”

  • J.P. Gerretsen says:

    I have recently see the Swedish version of the movie ‘Men who hate women’, and I was very impressed by de storyline and the prestations of the actors.

    I’m looking forward to the second and third film.

    - J.P. Gerretsen,

  • Ray DaCosta says:

    It’s great fun working to understand the aspects of swedish society and political history that underly the stories. For instance the name V.Kulla on Lisbeth’s apartment takes you to Pippi Longstocking’s Villa Villekulla which carries allusions to girls and to historic rebels. I think that you’d have to be born Swedish to get all the books’ under currents.

    - Ray DaCosta,

  • Sherry Anderson says:

    Absolutely amazing books. Loved the characters and the mystery. Movie was great. Cannot wait for the next two.

    - Sherry Anderson,

  • says:

    Saw again the three amazing movies. I think they are the best I ever saw. Great actors, I’m still so impressed by Noomi Rapace & Michael Nyqvist ….

    Sweden. A country of great actors & writers !


  • Barney Sewell (UK) says:

    Have not seen the movies but have read all of Stieg millennium trilogy and enjoyed every word. Look forward to the book by David Lagercrantz , hope it’s in the same style as Stieg, the book I think is called ” That Which Does not kill”

    - Barney Sewell (UK),

  • john mutoro says:

    actually it made my sense in politic being wide due to stieg larson depict all misconception given by leaders.

    - john mutoro,

  • Barbara K Freeman says:

    I just reread The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Good books keep you hooked. Great books keep you hooked long after you’ve put them down because there’s so much to think about. This was a great book, and I’m thinking about human predators, how sinister Bjurman is to rape the vulnerable person he was supposed to protect, how neither laissez faire nor brother government seem effective, whether evil is generated by evil people (Lisbeth) or whether people become evil through infection from significant people(Blomkvist).

    - Barbara K Freeman,

  • wildsage says:

    Stieg story lines are complex and gripping. Most impressively they “break the mould” in presenting us not only with a female hero who is unconventional in her lifestyle, but who is emotionally disturbed. She is convincing as someone with PTSD (and I know because I have same condition) and also Aspergers ?

    Survivors see themselves reflected positively in her courage alongside vulnerability. PTSD is a “normal reaction to an abnormal situation” We see Lisbeth catatonic from flashbacks, acting out emotional extremes of alternatively rage and fear. Her phobic mistrust of authority figures is very much in keeping with the pattern from childhood trauma. Unfortunenately common reality, the pattern is both accurate and its impact also recognisable.

    Stieg did all childhood abuse victims a great service as well as giving us a great read well worthy of the success.

    - wildsage,

  • John Rossy says:

    “I’m not a big reader” is an Understatement! Until 2 months ago i have never really read a book and i just had my 50th birthday.

    Maybe it’s part of a midlife crisis idk but i love to read the Millennium Trilogy.

    I saw the original movies (but hated the American version) some years ago and my wife had bought the books so they were lying on the shelf, looking at me..

    They made me wonder why i never read a book, but now i know.

    I’m just stupid.

    So weird to discover all of this at the age of 50.

    The same happened with my Asperger, took me 37 years to find out what was wrong with me.;)

    Now i’m halfway in the third part, already wondering about the next book i would like to read….i think it’s going to be a disappointment with the Stieg standard as my only reference.

    - John Rossy,

  • Martha says:

    Just read the girl who played with fire. Great book. It keeps your attention through out. Larsson gives great insight in to his characters and keeps you holding your breath from beginning to end.

  • kale says:

    I don’t usually manage to read a whole book, as I become bored after a 100 of pages, but when it comes a book that really atracts me, then i read it in less than 1 or 2 weeks. Just read the 3rd book of the millennium trilogy, and I am really excited with this book, but also really depressed because Stieg Larsson can’t give a continue in the story. It is an extraordinary work. Well-writen, succesfully organised, with so many details and optical views, that makes you wonder the mind of this author. It is generally difficult to handle with a political/social novel, you have to be exact and careful, in comparison with a fantasy-novel where you can create your own world. Both movie and book trilogy are masterpieces, and now waiting for the come back in august ’15, and hoping that the new author will replace Stieg in an appropriate way!

    - kale,

  • gato says:

    first time i knew about millennium was because it was announced as a movie some years ago,living in argentina most movie titles are translated to spanish and the translation wasn’t appealing at all, i went to the movies convinced that it was going to be, you know … not good, luckily i was mistaken, after finishing the movie i couldn’t stop with all 3 books, i got them in english and being a spanish speaker made me put a little bit of extra effor in some parts


    as a journalist i can say that this trilogy is amazing, the level of detail, the detectivesque treatment and the construction of the characters are formidable, when i finish the 3rd one i felt empty, i didn’t want it to finish, not like that

    - gato,

  • dean trevallion coole says:

    probably my favorite writer at the moment wish he was still alive because then we as the world would have more brilliant stories to discover and also you never lose your attention through out the books . Larsson gives great insight in to his characters and keeps you holding your breath from beginning to end

    - dean trevallion coole,

  • G Kasturi says:

    So nice to read this article on the back drop in which SL wrote the trilogy.

    It is so very unfortunate that he died without tasting the fruits of his success and the movie made in Sweden.

    I am sure he will be remembered in Swedish and world crime novel Novelist circle for a long time to come

    Good luck to the team

    May his Nobel Soul R I P

    Kasturi G

    - G Kasturi,

  • Leonard S says:

    read about the up coming novel, plan to indulge with the other three. brother and father should demonstrate a capacity for justice and equity and share the estate with larsson’s partner/wife be real

    - Leonard S,

  • André Pimentel says:

    Masterpieces involve a lifetime, my hobbie is music composition and guitar, and writing was always on my mind, I'm thinking about the more important subjects about my life and when I get my conclusion, I will start to write maybe. Stieg Larsson made this fantastic work and had a big contribution for human rights, but he should take care of his life, maybe he could wait some years for publishing the book , maybe not, maybe he had to this way to make his message.

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