Tolkien also included Norse mythology in the books. The use or runes and elves come straight from that. Also the Norse version of Armageddon ended with a battle of Light versus Dark and was called Ragnarok. The character of Galdalf is somewhat similar to the Norse god Woden with both dying and being resurrected, plus their appearances are similar. Galdalf was known as Mithrandir (Grey Pilgrim) and Woden 'Grey wanderer'
That's just my two pieces of mithril silver, you understand
[Edited on 13-11-2004 by Ravenna]