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Why Saga Norén Is About to Become Your Favorite Character

Widely considered to be the series that popularized the Nordic Noir TV genre, “The Bridge (Bron/Broen)” also gave birth to one of the most memorable, incomparable, and fun-to-watch characters in TV history. The series’s premise is already compelling: a murder on Øresund Bridge at the Sweden-Denmark border launches a manhunt for a sadistic, elite killer hellbent on teaching society a few lessons the macabre way. But once you tuck into the Scandi crime series, you’ll soon realize it’s outstanding for another reason: protagonist Saga Norén.

Played by actress Sofia Helin, Saga is many things. She’s a detective with the Malmö County Police Department. She’s a single white female. And she’s the most brazenly blunt character you’ll ever see on TV. Though it’s never confirmed or discussed, it is implied that Saga has Asperger’s syndrome, which makes her both socially awkward and singularly focused on her work. All that other stuff—friends, family, personal life—is extraneous to what’s really important: solving cases. In fact, her distinct blend of pragmatism, efficiency, and lack of emotion matches the same psychological profile of the killer, an irresistible parallel in any crime series.

When a body is found on Øresund Bridge, Saga is called to the scene along with Danish detective Martin Rohde, who will go on to become an inverse mirror of sorts for her, reflecting everything she is not: jovial, conversational, and in tune with human emotions. She follows the rules; he bends them. She’s all business; he’s all laughs. Over the course of their partnership, Martin steers her through social situations, from giving small talk a try to learning the value of the occasional white lie. It’s these moments of affection that give the series heart, in addition to heart-pounding suspense.

But hard as Martin might try, Saga is at her core unapologetically gruff and brutally honest. And this is why we love her. In celebration of our straight-talking, no-bullsh*t Queen Saga, we’ve rounded up seven of the most Saga moments from “The Bridge (Bron/Broen)”—one to suit your every mood.

Be sure to watch “The Bridge” on Topic.

When you prefer texting over calling—who even calls anymore?

When you just want them to spill the tea, without a song and dance.

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When you want to skip cocktails and just go straight to the…(forgive us).

When you’re just trying to stay out of the drama.

When that one aunt who can’t cook invites you over for dinner.

When you introduce someone before having the DTR talk.

When you prove to your friends that you really do care.

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