The Hobbit : An Expected Journey - Chapter 5
"When Bilbo opened his eyes, he wondered if he had; for it was just as dark with them shut. No one was anywhere near him. Just imagine his fright! He could hear nothing, see nothing, and he could feel nothing except the very stone of the floor."
So starts perhaps one of the most pivotal and remembered chapters in The Hobbit. In the dark, with no clue about what is going on. Here we see Bilbo succeed on his own first time in the face of certain danger, facing mortal threat with little more than his wits (though the glowing blade helps).
Tolkien does give us hints of things to come, most notable about finding of the ring as a "turning point in his career, but he did not know it." But for all of that, he invites us into Bilbo's journey as fellow travelers. The writing is evocative of memory and feeling, with Bilbo feeling hopeful, hopeless, and inspired to bravery by the little things. Not only that, but the text is full of things like "But you must remember..." and "I should not have liked to have been in Mr. Baggins' place..." drawing us in with familiarity to the recollection of the action.
Bilbo is not the only protagonist to benefit from trickery, I spoke about Gandalf as a trickster back in Chapter 2. The wizard also eschews violent conversation when he can manipulate it otherwise, while the dwarfs do not let violence deter them from their chosen path.