This may well have been answered over the years, but its been a while and my memory is giving up, so indulge me if you will:
Assange was quite happily living in Sweden before all of this. From what I remember, he wasn't furtively sneaking about the place, glancing nervously around corners or in to dark allyways, hiding behind overly large dark glasses and a turned up collar the whole time, he was attending social gatherings, meeting women and such. Then he is accused of rape and threatened with arrest and he flees the country, claiming Sweden will extradite him to the US.
Now, in the US, he has committed a crime (let's just go with this part, the rights and wrongs of what he did are not what I'm interested in) worthy of having him extradited. It wasn't a secret he was in Sweden, he was fairly vocal about it as I recall. So why would the US have had to wait to issue an extradition request? Was it even necessary that he committed a crime in Sweden? Or do the Swedish only extradite if someone has committed a crime on their soil? Because as we all know from recent cases, the British are quite happy to extradite anybody at the drop of a hat. So surely, he was less safe in the UK from an extradition point of view?
Basically, was he ever in any real danger in Sweden, aside from becoming a convicted rapist?