As you might imagine — considering how one of Lisbeth Salander's defining characteristics is her onslaught of body tattoos — creating designs that were just-right, especially the dragon, was a long, meticulous process.
"It was very clear she needs to have a dragon because Lisbeth Salander, in the books, has a dragon tattoo," Merker said. "But then it became, well, what kind of dragon do you want to see? There are so many out there — there are Asian dragons, fantasy dragons. Then it's like, how big should the dragon be? Do we need legs, or is it just a body with wings? What should the wings look like? Should the dragon spit fire? Is he flying? Is he sitting? Oh my goodness, I went through so many dragon versions — so many sketches. Hundreds."
In the end, the team was happy with how the tattoo turned out. "We went through so many that in the end I was like, 'I can't even tell anymore,'" she laughed.
"Oh my goodness, I went through so many dragon versions — so many sketches. Hundreds. We went through so many that in the end I was like, 'I can't even tell anymore.'"
Then came transferring the design to Foy's body: "You start drawing it by hand with a Sharpie to see how big it needs to be according to her body, and to see where the wings should go. Should it cover her shoulder blade? Should it touch her spine or go over her spine? Those are the impressions. Once everything looks right, you then need to scan the template in the correct size. There are people who do the printing and sizing process. It's a special printer and paper with an ink mixture and glue; you place the paper on the skin, place a wet towel over it, and then when you lift it up, the tattoo is there, kind of like we all did when we were children."