Why did Dumbledore leave his ideas of wizarding domination and becoming the master of death? After Arianna's death he had no more responsibilities that held him.

  1. Because the reason he bought into the ideas was his anger at having to take care of Ariana instead of leading his academic career.

    “So that, when my mother died, and I was left the responsibility of a damaged sister and a wayward brother, I returned to my village in anger and bitterness. Trapped and wasted, I thought! And then, of course, he came. . . .”

    The ideas about wizarding domination were mainly fruitful in ensnaring Dumbledore because of his anger at Muggles because they were the cause of his predicament; AND chimed in with his youthful vanity:

    Dumbledore looked directly into Harry’s eyes again.
    “Grindelwald. You cannot imagine how his ideas caught me, Harry, inflamed me. Muggles forced into subservience. We wizards triumphant. Grindelwald and I, the glorious young leaders of the revolution.

    So, what changed to make Dumbledore's position change?

    • He blamed himself for Ariana's death. He did worse to her than the Muggles
    • He obviously lost his teenage anger at having his academic career interrupted, just to take care of his sister.
  2. Because he was lying to himself all that time, to assuage his conscience.

    “Oh, I had a few scruples. I assuaged my conscience with empty words. It would all be for the greater good, and any harm done would be repaid a hundredfold in benefits for wizards. Did I know, in my heart of hearts, what Gellert Grindelwald was? I think I did, but I closed my eyes. If the plans we were making came to fruition, all my dreams would come true.

    So, what changed to make Dumbledore's position change?

    • He stopped lying to himself and saw the truth.
  3. He was filled with remorse over what he's done, and that he caused it.

    “Invincible masters of death, Grindelwald and Dumbledore! Two months of insanity, of cruel dreams, and neglect of the only two members of my family left to me.

    .. He ran, while I was left to bury my sister, and learn to live with my guilt and my terrible grief, the price of my shame.

  4. Because, to Dumbledore, both the wizarding domination AND being the master of Death were not (unlike Gellert) the ends, but merely the means.

    ... The Resurrection Stone... To me, I confess, it meant the return of my parents, and the lifting of all responsibility from my shoulders.
    “And the Cloak ... I thought that, if we ever found it, it might be useful in hiding Ariana

    our interest in the Cloak was mainly that it completed the trio, for the legend said that the man who united all three objects would then be truly master of death, which we took to mean ‘invincible.

    So, what changed to make Dumbledore's position change?

    • Not only did he wake up and realized that they were the wrong means; but he no longer was in a position to want his original ends (after Ariana's death)

    • He no longer needed to, and thus cared, about being "invincible"

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  • Good answer, have my +1. But the end is confusing: it sounds like you're answering "why doesn't Dumbledore search the relics anymore?" rather than "why doesn't he want to dominate the muggles?" Maybe you should emphasize Because, to Dumbledore, both the wizarding domination AND being the master of Death were not (unlike Gellert) the ends, but merely the means. – Kalissar Oct 23 '15 at 16:11

Arianna's death just knocked some sense into him. He saw firsthand what Grindelwald's "For the Greater Good" meant. He was also romantically involved with Grindelwald, which made him turn a blind eye on possible death and destruction they would cause in their quest for the Deathly Hallows. But the death of his sister made him realize what pain that would inflict on others and he decided not to pursue that course ever again. This is why he declined offers to become Minister of Magic and remained on Hogwarts as Headmaster.

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