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So I was wondering and going back to Harry Potter recently and I was trying to figure out why Dumbledore put Marvolo Gaunt's Ring. The ring that Dumbledore had expertly deduced was an Horcrux was already heavily guarded by Voldemort in Little Hangleton and the only possible solution would be destroy it which Dumbledore eventually did with the Sword of Gryffindor.

It seems extremely careless and stupid of him to do such a thing. Why would the headmaster try a ring that would eventually kill him, as pointed out by Severus Snape?

  • This might be good merge candidate with this question. As when I answered it, I found this question and voted to reopen as it was incorrectly marked as dupe of a different question. Now that this question is reopened, it still may be a duplicate... – Skooba Jul 28 '17 at 20:54
  • Not a dup. This question deals with the reason in-universe, the other deals with the necessity out-of-universe. – amflare Jul 28 '17 at 21:13
  • I believe the parameters classify it as a dup if one of the answers from the other question answers this as well. I believe the accepted answer does; it references Dumbledore's long-standing regret involving the death of a family member and foolish choice to put on the ring specifically because it contained the deathly hallow that was involved with seeing the dead. – K-H-W Jul 28 '17 at 21:44
  • @K-H-W I disagree, this should be duped the other way imo as the answers here are "better" than the answer there. One was simply neglected from the HNQ while the other wasn't. – Edlothiad Jul 28 '17 at 22:12
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Because it was the Resurrection Stone and it meant the "return" of his family. A means of freedom for a younger Dumbledore, and a means of repentance for an older Dumbledore. And in the moment he lost his head and forgot it was a Horcrux.

'The Resurrection Stone – to [Grindelwald], though I pretended not to know it, it meant an army of Inferi! To me, I confess, it meant the return of my parents, and the lifting of all responsibility from my shoulders.'

[...]

After another short pause, Harry said, ‘You tried to use the Resurrection Stone.’

Dumbledore nodded.

‘When I discovered it, after all those years, buried in the abandoned home of the Gaunts, the Hallow had craved most of all – though in my youth I had wanted it for very different reasons – I lost my head, Harry. I quite forgot that it was now a Horcrux, that the ring was sure to carry a curse. I picked it up, and I put it on, and for a second I imagined that I was about to see Ariana, and my mother, and my father, and to tell them how very, very sorry I was...
Deathly Hallows - Chapter 35: King's Cross

(emphasis mine)

8

He was tempted by the thought of seeing his family again and having a chance to apologize.

It was an extremely careless and stupid mistake to put the Horcrux ring on, especially knowing that it was a Horcrux and the Dark Lord would have placed a curse on it, and afterwards Dumbledore himself admits that it was a foolish mistake to make. However, his guilt over his sister's and mother's deaths drove him to momentarily forget that the Resurrection Stone that would let him see his family again was a Horcrux, and he put it on.

“After another short pause, Harry said, ‘You tried to use the Resurrection Stone.’

Dumbledore nodded. “When I discovered it, after all those years, buried in the abandoned home of the Gaunts, the Hallow I had craved most of all – though in my youth I had wanted it for very different reasons – I lost my head, Harry. I quite forgot that it was now a Horcrux, that the ring was sure to carry a curse. I picked it up, and I put it on, and for a second I imagined that I was about to see Ariana, and my mother, and my father, and to tell them how very, very sorry I was …” - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 35 (King's Cross)

He was thinking only that he would be able to apologize to his family for everything he saw as selfish mistakes of his youth, the guilt of which he'd carried for years, and not of the obvious danger of wearing one of the Dark Lord's Horcruxes.

He admits to Snape that putting on the ring was a foolish mistake, though he doesn't admit to Snape why he made the mistake of putting it on.

“Why,’ said Snape, without preamble, ‘why did you put on that ring? It carries a curse, surely you realised that. Why even touch it?’

Marvolo Gaunt’s ring lay on the desk before Dumbledore. It was cracked; the sword of Gryffindor lay beside it. Dumbledore grimaced.

‘I … was a fool. Sorely tempted …’

‘Tempted by what?’

Dumbledore did not answer.”

He attempted to play it off as related to the ring being a Horcrux, but we know that's not true.

“Did you think that breaking the ring would break the curse?’

‘Something like that … I was delirious, no doubt …’ said Dumbledore.”

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