Salander, the female protagonist, is the girl with the dragon tattoo, who has a mysterious and painful past. Declared mentally incompetent as a minor, she is subject to the will of her guardian who has complete control over her finances. Nonetheless, she's fiercely independent, stubborn, and intelligent, and is able to use both her smarts and violence to get herself out of sticky situations. She's motivated by a desire to expose people's secrets as well as exact revenge for crimes, particularly violent crimes against women. Salander works as a contract investigator for Milton Securities, which is how she comes into contact with Mikael Blomkvist. Salander and Blomkvist develop a close personal and professional relationship that challenges her isolated existence.