So, here's something I noticed years ago but haven't ever seen commented on, so I thought I'd share.
Setting aside the many borrowings from THE HOBBIT and THE LORD OF THE RINGS in D&D, there's also evidence that Tolkien's short work FARMER GILES OF HAM (1949) influenced D&D.
In a way this shd not be surprising -- in fact, I cd make a case that in plot FGH is more like a D&D adventure than either of Tolkien's major works available at the time. I think the borrowing has gone unnoticed because it's art, not text.
Here's a picture by Pauline Baynes of Tolkien's reluctant hero chasing a dragon (FGH page 44).
And here's a strangely familiar illo from CHAINMAIL (3rd edition, page 37), the work that preceded the first edition of D&D; the core that D&D grew out of.
Comparison between the two shows that the figure of the dragon in each are so similar that the later one might well be tracing.
But it doesn't end there. Take a look at the cover of CHIVALRY & SORCERY (1977), one of the first-generation D&D derivatives (along with TUNNELS & TROLLS, RUNEQUEST, ROLEMASTER, &c).*
--current reading: THE LAST TSAR 1992
*Of these, CHIVALRY & SORCERY was notable for its appeal to those who wanted their fantasy roleplaying as realistic as possible. It's no surprise its title page bears a dedication to the Society of Creative Anachronism.