Character: Bilbo and Dwarves
Source: The Hobbit
Disclaimer: Tolkien’s parameters, Kortirion’s small expostion
Bilbo’s only experiences with dwarves came from occasional encounters with itinerant work-gangs employed to excavate new smials out of bedrock. He’d held the general perception of heavy-footed boisterous sorts, who laughed too loud, and yelled too much in great, guttural shouts – and if one asked how did, or what if… about their work… you received surly frowns and dark mutterings.
What he discovered was they enjoyed songs and drinking, loved jokes… albeit heavy-handedly; they had hopes, dreams, apprehensions… and were surprisingly good cooks! All in all… he knew many hobbits he liked a good deal less than his new fellows.
Thorin’s folk had had some encounters with hobbits – digging out their paltry dwellings, nothing more than shallow storage rooms really, not like the great, deep halls of the Khazâd. These folk were soft, slyly silent, padding up behind you on hairy feet to ask idle questions about your secret guild-crafts… If they didn’t know, why should you tell?
What they found in Bilbo was a stout-heartedness they recognised, and eventually, a toughness they related too… and a good cook who knew about wayside herbs. He gained their grudging respect, and after displaying his burgling skills… just a hint of admiration.