Why do the wood elves capture Thorin in The Hobbit?

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The wood-elves, not to be confused with the evil high-elves, are actually good people. It's just that they're more than a little wary of strangers. So when they find Thorin wandering through a clearing deep in Mirkwood, they capture him and carry him off to be interrogated by the Elvenking.

Bilbo and the other dwarves, while this is happening, experience their own set of troubles. Bilbo has to cut himself and the dwarves loose from giant spiders' webs hanging from the trees. However, as soon as they have made good their escape and realized that Thorin is missing, they are then surrounded on all sides by wood-elves who proceed to take the dwarves to the Elvenking, just as they'd done with the hapless Thorin.

Once again, the king is keen to find out what the dwarves have been up to in Mirkwood. But Bilbo manages to escape capture and subsequent interrogation, as he's wearing a magic ring that makes him invisible. This allows him to walk around the dungeons unseen and whisper to the dwarves about his plan to free them from captivity.

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Why do the wood-elves capture the dwarves and not Bilbo in The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien?

Bilbo and most of the dwarves are captured by giant spiders. Bilbo defeats the spider nearest him using his small sword, which he then names Sting. He then cuts himself free with Sting. He sneaks around by wearing his magic ring, which makes him invisible. After finding the dwarves hanging from spider webs, he lures the spiders away and frees them from their bonds. 

The party then realizes that Thorin is missing. This is because the elves have already captured him. When the elves arrive and capture the other dwarves, Bilbo evades escape because the ring makes him invisible. This allows him to remain free and help his friends yet again.

The ring gets Bilbo out of a lot of troubling situations like this one. In subsequent books, we learn more about the dark side of this item, but for now Bilbo just thinks of it as a useful way to become invisible.

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Why do the wood-elves capture the dwarves and not Bilbo in The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien?

The dwarves were captured by the wood-elves in Mirkwood shortly after Bilbo had rescued them from the spiders. Bilbo was not captured at the time because he was wearing the magic ring he won from Gollum.  The ring made the wearer invisible.  Here is what happened:

Bilbo attacked the spiders that were tying the dwarves up in their webs.  By shouting at them and throwing a couple of stones, Bilbo led the spiders away from the dwarves, still wearing his ring.  Then he craftily returned back to the dwarves to release them from their bonds.  Shortly thereafter the Mirkwood elves surrounded and took all the dwarves prisoner, excluding Bilbo, of course, because he still wore the magic ring.  Fortunately for the dwarves, Bilbo remains unseen, because eventually he will help them escape the Elven King's dungeons.

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