The Hobbit Questions and Answers
by J. R. R. Tolkien

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In The Hobbit, after the attack of the spiders, how do the dwarves' attitude toward Bilbo change?

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Prior to Bilbo's saving the dwarves from the spiders, the dwarves view Bilbo in a very condescending way.  They accept him as a travelling companion only because Gandalf has told them that they must, but overall, they view him as a nuisance.  After he saves them, however, they begin to treat him with awe.  Especially since they do not know that Bilbo has the ring to turn him invisible, they believe that he has saved them by his own cunning and power, and they are amazed that he not only did not get captured by the spiders himself, but also that he was able to free all the rest of them from their peril.  An evidence of their change in attitude toward him is when they are waiting to get into the Smaug's lair and trying to decide what to do next, they actually ask him his opinion of what should be done. 

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