Holger, a lawyer, is Salander's legal guardian until December 2002. He's a nice man who's dedicated his life to helping youngsters with troubles. When Salander's in her late teens, she defends herself against a man pursuing her. Assault charges are filed against her, and she's almost institutionalized again. But Holger shows up and saves the day. Then he gets her the job at Milton Security. Salander is devoted to him, and he to her.
In December 2003, Salander finds Holger in his apartment after he's had a stroke. At the hospital, she's told he probably won't recover from his brain hemorrhage, so she leaves and hasn't gone back since. She believes him dead, or in a coma. But is he really? The answer is revealed in later installments.