Beginning right after the events of " The Girl Who Played with Fire", the film opens on Lisbeth Salander ( Noomi Rapace) recovering in the hospital after her confrontation with her father, Zalachenko, a former Soviet intelligence officer who defected to Sweden on his farm. Her friend and editor of Millennium magazine, Mikael Blomkvist ( Michael Nyqvist) begins writing an article for the magazine with the objective of clearing Salander's name of any wrong doing to help her avoid any time in jail for attacking Zalachenko.
In the mean time, we see the remaining members of a secret faction deep within the upper echelons of the Swedish government who have protected Zalachenko for over 30 years begin moving to cover up their involvement with him and tie up any loose ends which may come back to haunt them. Zalachenko, who survived his run in with Salander, makes it clear that if he is not extended the same help he has always been given, he will talk to the press about "The Section" and reveal everything. It is decided that this is a betrayal they cannot risk and so member of The Section, Evert Gullberg assassinates Zalachenko in the hospital and attempts to kill Salander as well but is unable to and takes his own life in the hospital.
Meanwhile, Ronald Niedermann (Micke Spreitz), Zalachenko's son and loyal assassin has escaped the farm and capture by the police and bides his time, waiting for a chance to finish Salander, his half-sister.