The cultural ubiquity of The Lord of the Rings has shaped our contemporary assumptions about what the fantasy genre looks like, and these assumptions have in turn determined to a great extent what video games look like both historically and today. The Lord of the Rings and video games are, sadly, both well known for their lack of diversity, and this article argues that that is no coincidence. Focusing on the impact of the life and work of J. R. R. Tolkien, it traces fantasy media from the birth of the genre to the present day to discuss how exclusion is remediated, normalized, and justified. It challenges the racism of the “historical accuracy” fallacy and details how very old sexist literary tropes are continually remediated into contemporary fantasy video games. It asks: What can past discourses surrounding diversity in fantasy media tell us about the resistance to diversity in video games in the present?

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