If looks could kill, part 2

A few months ago, I posted about the librarian in the 2011 film version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (read the original post here). At the time, I had not read the books, but I recently finished reading the Millennium trilogy. And yes, Lindgren — the archives librarian whose looks could kill — is indeed in the first book! She shows up mainly in two paragraphs, and her role is slightly expanded in the film version — or at least, the initial conflict between Lindgren and Lisbeth Salander is expanded. It is interesting to note that author Stieg Larsson did not include any physical description of the librarian archivist; rather, he focused on her emotions and actions.

Lindgren first shows up in Chapter 23 (in my paperback edition from Vintage Crime, this is on p. 433):

Bodil Lindgren looked at Salander with undisguised coldness. She was not at all happy giving a total stranger permission to enter the inner sanctum of the firm’s archives, being obliged to allow her to look through whatever documents she liked. And besides, this girl looked like some sort of half-witted fifteen-year-old anarchist. But Herr Frode had given her instructions that could not be misinterpreted. This slip of a girl was to be free to look at anything she pleased. And it was urgent. She brought out the printed annual reports for the years that Salander wanted to see; each report contained a chart of the firm’s divisions throughout Sweden.

Note that her first name, Bodil, is revealed in this passage! Alas, this did not make it into the credits of the American film version.

By the way, Wiktionary tells us that Bodil is a Danish name, combining the words for “remedy” and “battle.” Fitting, then, that Lindgren’s hairdo looked like a helmet in the American film version! 😉

The entry for “Bodil” also includes a reference that the name reached its frequency peak in the 1940s, which actually fits the character and the timeline of the book, putting the archives librarian in her 60s, if she was named during the peak of that name’s popularity. (You KNOW I had to look that up, right?!)

Three pages later in the book, Lindgren’s growing frustration with Salander is detailed in this passage:

When Fru Lindgren had wanted to close up and go home at 5:30, Salander had snapped at her that she was a long way from finished yet. She could go home as long as she left the key, and Salander would lock up. By that time the archives manager was so infuriated that a girl like this one would boss her around that she called Herr Frode. Frode told her that Salander could stay all night if she wanted to. Would Fru Lindgren please notify security at the office so that they could let Salander out when she wanted to leave?

And at the end of Chapter 23, Martin Vangar refers to Lindgren as the “archives manager,” just as he does in the film.

So even without a physical description to go by, the role in the film definitely connects to her portrayal in print: as a judgmental, inflexible archives librarian infuriated both by Salander’s authority and by her appearance. (Sigh.)


One comment on “If looks could kill, part 2

  1. […] Larsson. I also blogged about the reel librarian character, Lindgren, who shows up in the book, in this post, and in the American film version, here in this post. And now, with this post, I complete the […]

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