Study Guide

Harald Vanger in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

By Stieg Larsson

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Harald Vanger

Harald is Henrik's only living brother, and the father of Cecilia, Anita, and Birger. He's a Nazi who abused his children. He's over ninety years old in the novel, a hermit who does who-knows-what in his house on Hedeby Island. He doesn't play a major role in the novel, but functions as a creepy unsettling figure who casts a gloomy, sickening pall over the tale. Henrik tells Blomkvist that Harald authored "one of the most disgusting books ever published in the Swedish language" (9.143). Harald's book argued " not only for sterilization but also for euthanasia, actively putting to death people who offended his aesthetic tastes and didn't fit his image of a perfect race. Yikes. Harald survives his wife Ingrid.

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