Harry Potter: Why Did Dumbledore Put On the Ring?

The Harry Potter books have a huge cult following – and it’s easy to see why. There are countless fans online asking questions and making theories about several storylines in the books, so if you’re one of them, you might be wondering why Dumbledore put on the ring in the first place.

Dumbledore put on the ring because he saw an opportunity to raise his mother and sister from the dead. Since the ring contained a powerful stone that was allegedly able to resurrect those who had died, he didn’t think about the repercussions before he placed it on his finger.

The rest of this article will discuss the curse of the ring and its mythical history, what happened when Dumbledore put it on, and what became of the ring in the end. We’ll also touch on how the ring was eventually destroyed.

What Is the Curse on Marvolo Gaunt’s Ring?

The curse on the ring came from a source of very dark magic. Owing to this, it would have been perilous for anyone to wear it. Any person who wore the ring would die, subject to the dark magic that the ring contained. 

The curse on Marvolo Gaunt’s ring was present to safeguard the stone within it. The stone, aptly named the Resurrection Stone, was handed down through Gaunt’s family to protect its legacy. The curse was purportedly lethal to anyone who wore the ring.

As it happens, Marvolo Gaunt was Voldemort’s (Tom Riddle’s) grandfather. Voldemort used the ring to protect the Horcrux he placed within it. 

This Horcrux contained a section of Voldemort’s soul; in splitting the soul through cold-blooded murder, Voldemort would be able to live forever. It is impossible to kill a wizard who has split their soul unless all the Horcruxes are destroyed. 

As such, one of these Horcruxes was Marvolo Gaunt’s ring. Once Tom Riddle went back to his family home to kill his father, he stole the ring and used it to store the Horcrux.

The History of the Ring

In the Tale of the Three Brothers, the resurrection stone was an object fashioned by Death. Death handed the stone over to one of the three brothers, who attempted to use it to bring his lover back to life. 

However, the stone can only partially bring someone back from the dead, so, as the story goes, the brother went mad and killed himself.

However, this story is debunked by Dumbledore, who thought the brother made the stone rather than Death. We are never told whether or not Dumbledore was right, but owing to Harry’s final experience with the stone, we can say with some certainty that he was.

After the brother killed himself, this creation was passed from generation to generation until the day it landed in the hands of Marvolo Gaunt, Tom Riddle’s grandfather.

What Happened When Dumbledore Put On the Ring?

When Dumbledore put on the ring, his hand became shriveled and gray. Since the Horcrux within the ring was cursed, he would have died immediately – if Snape hadn’t quickly come to the rescue. 

Since Dumbledore had intended to use the ring as a means to see his family again, he didn’t put on the ring for a selfish reason. However, it only gave him a year to live since the curse could never be truly broken – it could only be slowed.

Additionally, it must be said that, even if the ring was not lethal to Dumbledore, he would never have been able to use the resurrection stone to bring his family back from the dead. There are two reasons for this:

  • The Resurrection Stone was useless while it was held inside the ring.
  • The stone did not actually bring people back from the dead as legend has it. It only brought back a memory of the dead rather than the person themself. This means that Dumbledore would have tried to see his family again in vain.

How Did Dumbledore Get Marvolo’s Ring?

You might be wondering how Dumbledore found Marvolo Gaunt’s ring in the first place. Since he was desperately researching Tom Riddle to put a stop to his reign of terror, it is perhaps unsurprising that he stumbled across it.

Dumbledore got Marvolo’s ring from Voldemort’s grandpa’s cottage. As he journeyed there to find more clues that would lead him to defeat Voldemort, he most likely found it there.

What Happened to the Marvolo Ring?

The ring was eventually destroyed. The stone kept inside was given to Harry Potter when Dumbledore passed away. Since Dumbledore could destroy the Horcrux within the ring using the sword of Godric Gryffindor, it could be worn without any risk from the curse that Tom Riddle had put on it.

Once Dumbledore died, the stone was kept inside a golden snitch as a gift. Harry was able to see his family through the magic of the stone.

What Is the Difference Between the Resurrection Stone and the Philosopher’s Stone?

The difference between the Resurrection Stone and the Philosopher’s Stone is that the Philosopher’s stone was an elixir that could extend life, potentially allowing the user to become immortal. On the other hand, the Resurrection Stone could – at least partially – bring people back from the dead. 

It is pretty common to get these two mixed up since they are similar in many ways – and Tom Riddle wanted both stones as part of his reign of terror over the wizarding world.

The Philosopher’s Stone was part of a storyline in book one (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone), and the Resurrection Stone was featured in Deathly Hallows (part one).

Final Thoughts

Dumbledore wore the ring in the vain hope that he might get to see his family again, enabling him to apologize for his past behavior. Unfortunately, this didn’t quite work out as planned. However, on the bright side, the Horcrux was destroyed, and Voldemort became weaker. 

If you’re wondering whether or not to read the Harry Potter books, now would be an excellent time to start. If you’re wondering whether the books are suitable for children, read this article to find out.

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