John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (January 3, 1892 - September 2, 1973) was a professor and writer best known for his contributions to fantasy in books such as The Lord of the Rings. Most if not all games with fantasy content draw some sort of inspiration from him. NetHack is no exception: some monsters, such as the hobbit, are drawn directly from his works. Every player who has ever engraved Elbereth also owes him a debt of gratitude, as Elbereth was a mythological figure from his works who was occasionally called on for aid against the forces of darkness. Her name seemed to scare off the Nazgûl at one point in The Lord of the Rings, which is the likely inspiration for the effects of Elbereth in NetHack.

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