Fan Sues Amazon and Tolkien Estate for Copyright Infringement

To add to the controversy surrounding the series Rings of Power, they are now joined by another, this time quite curious event. One of the world’s biggest fans and fanfiction writer felt something was off after watching the show, so he decided to sue Amazon and the Tolkien Estate, which manages Tolkien’s estate, for $250 million for copyright infringement (thanks RadarOnline).

Jeff Bezos & J. R. R. Tolkien’s Estate Hit With $250 Million Lawsuit Over Amazon’s ‘Lord Of The Rings’ Series.

According to court documents obtained by, a writer named Demetrious Polychron filed a $250 million lawsuit against Bezos, several Amazon…

— Fellowship of Fans (@FellowshipFans) April 18, 2023

This person is Demetrious Polychron, who wrote a book inspired by one of the most famous fantasy worlds and called it not very original “The Fellowship of the King”. He registered the book with the US Copyright Office in 2017 and published it in September of last year, conveniently around the time the series began airing, which he claims borrows his characters and copies the “narrative language”.

But how could Amazon be inspired when the book didn’t come out until 2022? Well, already in 2017, Polychron was supposed to contact Simon Tolkien, the grandson of the famous writer and head of the Tolkien Estate, when he described his work to him and asked him to examine and sanctify it. However, Tolkien did not answer him.

But Polychron did not give up and in 2019 hired a lawyer, through whom he contacted the Tolkien Estate again with the vision of cooperation. However, these efforts again came to naught, so the author decided to take matters into his own hands and delivered a copy of the manuscript and his notes directly to Simon’s home. But no one heard from him again about the manuscript, so he wrote a letter demanding its return and informing Simon Tolkien that he would publish The Fellowship of the King and the other six books independently.

Precisely because of these events, the writer believes that the manuscript and ideas were used in the creation of the said series. As an example of the similarities mentioned, it can be mentioned that his book contains a character named Elanor, who also appears in the series. In the book, she is the hobbit daughter of Samved Quail, while in the series this character belongs to the local species of hobbits – the Hairy Legs. But the funny thing is that JRR Tolkien himself invented Samvéd’s daughter named Elanor.

That’s why many people rather laughed at him and told him that he too was working with the known world essentially without permission. His defense is then based on the fact that his book is inspired by a well-known universe, but tells a “completely original story”.

In any case, this whole lawsuit seems somewhat laughable and rather it is a step by which Polychron wants to make its work more visible. However, it is true that the case could theoretically negatively affect the legality of fan fiction in the future. After all, the issue of intellectual property is a tricky thing, even more so with Lord of the Rings. Even the series itself faced licensing problems, as even Amazon did not acquire the rights to film the main texts of this world. But it will definitely be interesting to see how the situation develops.

With regard to copyright, it is possible to recall the ongoing case surrounding the game Dark and Darker. The South Korean developer Ironmace was accused of using stolen Nexon content. Because of this, the game stopped being sold and there was even a police raid on the team’s headquarters.