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Lester Nygaard

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Lester Nygaard
Lester Nygaard
Vital statistics

Life insurance salesman


Nygaard family
Bo Munk Insurance Shop (formerly)
Nygaard Insurance


Pearl Nygaard - First wife
Linda Park - Second wife
Chaz Nygaard - Brother
Kitty Nygaard - Sister-in-law
Gordo Nygaard - Nephew


40 (The Crocodile's Dilemma)
41 (The Heap)








Fell into a frozen lake

First seen:

The Crocodile's Dilemma

Last seen:

Morton's Fork


Martin Freeman

Lester Nygaard Gallery

Lester Nygaard was a insurance salesman from Bemidji, Minnesota. His life is changed when a mysterious contract killer named Lorne Malvo comes to town.


Early life

Lester was born in 1966. He had a younger brother, Chaz. He went to high school with Sam Hess and Bill Oswalt. During a mouse dissection in Mrs Knudson's class, Lester fainted. He also fainted when a girl had her period in gym class. (The Rooster Prince)

At school, he was frequently bullied by Hess. In one such instance, he was shoved into a barrel and rolled onto the highway. (The Crocodile's Dilemma)

In senior year, he went to the prom with Pearl, his future wife. He and his wife got married around 1988, when he was about twenty two.


On January 19, 2006, Lester and Pearl Nygaard were eating breakfast together. Pearl at first discussed the meatloaf she had prepared for their nephew Gordo's birthday but Lester seemed uninterested. After a passing comment from Pearl that she "married the wrong Nygaard" Pearl asked him to check on the washing machine before he went to work. He did so and left for work after.

Later at work, Lester unsuccessfully pitched life insurance to a married couple. After work he considered buying a new washing machine when he is confronted by Sam Hess and his two sons and intimidated into breaking his nose against a store window.

At the hospital Lester met Lorne Malvo. Lester opens up to Lorne about Sam's harassment, to which Lorne replied that he would have killed a man like that. Lester jokingly asks Lorne to kill Sam, but soon realized his mistake when Lorne seemed to have taken him seriously.

That afternoon, Lester and Pearl visited his younger brother Chazz to celebrate their nephew Gordo's birthday. In the garage Chazz showed Lester his private gun collection. Chazz tried to bond with Lester but lost his patience with Lester after he broke a machine gun Chazz had recently bought. He tried to apologize, but was instead ridiculed for being a weak older brother. Lester hit Chazz and drove home with Pearl.

The next day, Lester discovered Sam had been murdered and was tasked with delivering Hess's life insurance money to his family.

He confronted Lorne about this at Leroy's Motor Inn, but Lorne instead told him to stand up for himself more. Lester attempted to fix his washing machine that night but only made it worse.

Pearl taunted Lester telling him she should've never married him. Lester, finally at his wits end lost his mind and killed her with a hammer. He called Lorne and asked him to come help clean up the murder, though he planned to frame Lorne when he arrived.

Vern Thurman, Bemidji police chief, arrived at the house before Lorne and discovered Pearl's body in the basement. Before Vern could arrest him, Lorne showed up and shot Vern twice with Lester's shotgun. Lester told Lorne where Pearl's body was. Lester followed Lorne into the basement after Deputy Molly Solverson arrived. Down there, Lester found Lorne is no longer there. Lester, thought quickly and ran his head into the wall to knock himself out and made it look like he and Pearl were victims of a home invasion. He woke up in the hospital the next morning and noticed he had a peculiar hand wound. (The Crocodile's Dilemma)

Lester is seen at Chazz's house attending a service for Pearl. Chazz offers him a spare room to stay in for a few days, which he agrees to. He returns to his house and starts having flashbacks of the night Pearl and Vern died. He then gets a visit from Molly and Bill, who ask him a few questions about what happened. He gives them a very half-hearted story which Bill is satisfied with, and they leave. He packs a few days worth of things and moves into Gordo's bedroom, while Gordo sleeps on the couch in the living room. He finds a jar of urine in Gordo's cloest. Later at dinner, Lester tells Chazz he plans to sell the house like he recommended, much to Chazz's surprise. He also decides to join him on the hunting trip this weekend.

Later that night, Lester goes to the pharmacy to pick up antibiotics to treat his hand wound. He is approached by Molly, who continues to question him as he tries to leave without picking up his medication. He is followed out to the parking lot, and Lester tells Molly to stop harassing him as he drives away. (The Rooster Prince)

Lester visited Sam Hess's widow Gina Hess to discuss the payout of life insurance. Gina flirted with Lester, but they stopped when her son Mickey accidentally shot his brother Moe with a crossbow.

Fargo hitmen Numbers and Wrench, who were watching Lester at the Hess residence, visited him at his work. They tried to intimidate him and get information, but left when Deputy Molly Solverson arrived. She pretended to be interested in an insurance plan, but in reality only came to subtlely show Lester a picture of Lorne Malvo. She left after seeing his startled reaction. (A Muddy Road)

Lester was later kidnapped by Numbers and Wrench and taken to a frozen lake to be killed. However, he was able to escape after attacking Numbers with a taser. He attacked police offer Knudsen in order to be taken away. Unfortunately for him, Numbers and Wrench were soon arrested as well and all three ended up in the same police cell. (Eating the Blame)

Numbers and Wrench torture Lester and extract the name of Sam Hess's killer: Lorne Malvo. Lester was then taken to hospital for the infection in his hand, caused by a stray shotgun pellet when Vern Thurman was shot. (The Six Ungraspables)

Lester later escaped from hospital by disguising himself as the bandaged Mr. Creech. He planted evidence in Chazz's gun safe, such as the hammer used to kill Pearl, and also put a handgun in Gordo's schoolbag. Then he snuck back into hospital. (Buridan's Ass)

After this evidence was discovered, Lester told the police that Chazz was the real killer of Pearl and Vern, and that he didn't say this before because he was Lester's brother. Lester was then released from custody, and Chazz was arrested. Afterwards, Lester returned to the Hess residence where he had sex with Gina, promising to work hard to get the life insurance payout but knowing that it was actually canceled for nonpayment. (Who Shaves the Barber?)

Lester later married his coworker Linda Park and together they moved into a new house. He also left Bo Munk Insurance to create his own business, Nygaard Insurance.


Whilst in Las Vegas attending an insurance awards ceremony, Lester spotted Lorne Malvo. (The Heap) He refused to walk away from Malvo, causing Malvo to kill his three companions. However Lester grew scared and assaulted Malvo before running to his hotel room. He and Linda hurriedly left and they flew home to Bemidji, with plans to escape immediately to Acapulco, Mexico. Molly Solverson visited Lester's house to ask him questions about the Las Vegas murders, but he did not give any information.

Lester and Linda quickly made arrangements for their trip to Acapulco, Mexico. They visited Lester's new shop to collect money and passport. Lester feared that Malvo could be inside, and so sent Linda in wearing his orange hooded coat. Lester was shocked when Malvo was inside and shot Linda in the head. (A Fox, A Rabbit, and A Cabbage). Lester immediately went to Lou's Coffee Shop and ordered food and drink for two people, insisting Linda was picking up some items from his shop. He used a pay-phone and disguised his voice to report gunshots.

Lester was later questioned by police about the death. He was released, although was accompanied home by FBI agents Budge and Pepper. After Malvo killed Budge and Pepper, Lester and Malvo had a stand-off in the house, in which Malvo was attacked by a bear trap before escaping.

Lester went on the run. Two weeks later, he was in Glacier National Park, Montana. He was pursued by police on snowmobiles before he went out alone on a thin layer of ice on a frozen lake. He died after the ice cracked and he fell into the water. (Morton's Fork)

Crimes committed by Lester

This is a list of crimes Lester has committed:

Episode appearances

Season 1


  • Lester bears similarities Jerry Lundegaard, a character from the film of the same name.
    • Both are incompetent salesmen.
    • Both suffer from being verbally abused by a family member.
    • Both seek out criminal assistance.
    • Both are compulsive liars when it comes to staying out of trouble.
    • Both have a last name ending with "gaard".
  • Lester is the second and last main character to die.
  • Lester is the last character to die in Season 1.
  • The only main character Lester never meets is Gus Grimly.

Season 1 characters
Main Lorne MalvoMolly SolversonGus GrimlyLester Nygaard
Recurring Ben SchmidtBill BudgeBill OswaltBo MunkBurt CantonChaz NygaardDon Chumph
Gina HessGrady NumbersGreta GrimlyIda ThurmanJemma StaloneKitty NygaardKnudsen
Linda ParkLou SolversonMax GoldPearl NygaardStavros MilosVern Thurman
Wally SemenchkoWebb PepperWes Wrench
All characters

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