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Listen, Nerds: Be Careful With the Fantasy References

By Joseph Fawbush, Esq. on January 29, 2021 | Last updated on August 10, 2021

I've read The Silmarillion. I've been waiting for George R.R. Martin to finish his damn Song of Ice and Fire books since before HBO adapted Game of Thrones to television. I can tell you off the top of my head the specs of my custom-built gaming pc. I've got nerd cred. So, I say this out of love: Cool it on the fantasy references in legal filings.

The Return of the King

You may have heard of Paul Davis' disastrous 2021. The former legal counsel for Goosehead Insurance, Davis participated in the Capitol riot and shared his participation on social media. Fired and bereft, Davis then filed a barely coherent lawsuit that sought as a remedy to nullify the election and named every single elected member of Congress as a defendant, among many others. Those actions alone invite ridicule, but to top it off, he compared our current situation to that of Middle Earth, alleging that just like Gondor, America should be run by “Stewards" while the rightful king can be determined.

Okay, a lot to unpack there. But let's start with the simple fact that this is nothing like Lord of the Rings. For example, we don't have a king. Nor are we being menaced by a balrog. I could go on.

Davis, who complained in one of his filings that he was suffering from sleep deprivation and a sewage backup, has meanwhile made an additional eight filings in what appears to be a response to getting made fun of online. None of the defendants have yet to issue a response to his lawsuit.

We can dismiss this as the actions of someone who is clearly in distress, but unfortunately, Davis is not the only attorney to have gone heavily into the fantasy genre references.

Trial By Combat

Rudy Giuliani was not calling for violence on January 6 when he called for a trial by combat, it turns out. He was referencing that “very famous documentary about fictitious medieval England" called Game of Thrones.

Um . . . documentary? Even if Giuliani was joking about it being a documentary (which he probably was) there's some pretty basic confusion about things in this one. I think it's sufficient to say that whether Giuliani was referencing Game of Thrones or not, we do not want that world to be a role model for ours. Again, to provide just one example, I think we can all agree that "twincest" is a bad thing.

Giuliani is not the only one to have gone full-on Dungeons and Dragons, either. In 2016, at the height of the popularity of Game of Thrones, a New York lawyer called for a trial by combat against opposing counsel. This, too, was promptly dismissed, but it is not just Trump's legal team getting in on the ground floor of this movement to turn America's legal system into fanfic.

But Krakens Are Cool, Right?

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but for a refresher, Sidney Powell famously said that Trump's legal team was about to “release the Kraken" in its flurry of lawsuits challenging the 2020 election. FindLaw's own Laura Temme has a blog on how that turned out.

For Now, Let's Stick To the Real World

In an age (let's call it the Fourth Age) where millions of people believe that a shadowy cabal of Satanist pedophiles rule the world, we should be careful about throwing more logs on the bonfire of fantasy we currently live in. We all need escape, so by all means, watch a fantasy show, read fantasy books, play Dungeons and Dragons. Pretend to be Batman in a video game. But, just for now, let's stick to the real world in lawsuits, which is crazy enough as it is.

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