Study Guide

Harald Vanger in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

By Stieg Larsson

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.