It's clear that Tolkien invented Hobbits, but many other elements of that are common in fantasy literature such as elves and dwarves were probably taken from folklore. What ideas, now common in fantasy literature, were invented by Tolkien?

closed as too broad by Buzz, S S, sudhanva, NKCampbell, EJS Oct 4 '18 at 4:41

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    Boy, this is too broad.. – S S Oct 4 '18 at 2:55
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    The languages were his invention, but I don't see them as being in common with other fantasies. Perhaps the ents? – Verdan Oct 4 '18 at 4:12
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    This question can be easily reopened by aligning its content to the what is asked in the title, removing the line "what elements already existed in fantasy literature at the time?". Then the answer to the rest of the post is "none", which is hardly a too broad answer. – motoDrizzt Oct 4 '18 at 7:15
  • I believe that elves as noble beings may be Tolkien's invention. Before, elves were usually fey, capricious and often cruel. A borderline case may be the elves Lord Dunsany's 1924 novel The King of Elfland's Daughter. – Klaus Æ. Mogensen Oct 8 '18 at 8:33