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 games with fantasy content (if not all) draw some sort of inspiration from him. NetHack is no exception: some monsters, such as the hobbit, are drawn directly from Tolkien's works, or else from Dungeons & Dragons, which also drew heavily from him.
Every player who has ever engraved Elbereth 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 the engraving in NetHack.
- Ruins of Moria (UnNetHack)