Thomas (Dylan O'Brien), Chuck (Blake Cooper), Gally (Will Poulter), Minho (Ki-Hong Lee), Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), Frypan/Siggy (Dexter Darden), Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), and Alby (Aml Ameen)
In this book The Glade is our setting for the most part. The Glade is a relatively small area that serves as a living place for the Gladers. The Glade has four large Walls that encase it and separate it from the Maze. Each wall has an opening in its center, called the Door, that closes every night and re-opens every morning. Outside the Glade lies the Maze with many twisting and turning paths that contain horrifying slug-like, spike-covered creatures called Grievers. In the book, The Glade and The Maze are actually all underground beneath the Earth, explaining how The Glade was never affected by the Sun Flares.
- Thomas wakes up in the Box in the Glade knowing only his name.
- He makes friends with Chuck and learns about how the Glade is run.
- Thomas saves Alby and Minho after they are stuck in the Maze overnight, and learns you can fight back against the Grievers.
- Then he becomes a Runner even though it's highly unorthodox for a Newbie, and makes friends with Minho.
- When Teresa shows up and triggers the end, Thomas proposes spending a night in the Maze again to research the Grievers.
- He and Minho discover the Griever Hole.
- Teresa and Thomas put their heads together and decipher the Maze's code.
- Thomas gets himself stung by a Griever so that he can receive the Grief Serum and regain some of his memories.
- By doing so he learns how to use the code, and helps Alby and Newt lead the boys to their escape.
- When they enter the WICKED lab Chuck sacrifices himself to save Thomas, and Thomas is devastated.
•Escape Conflict-The Maze Runner's main conflict is escaping the Maze. Most of the inhabitants have been stuck their for two years by W.I.C.K.E.D. (aka W.C.K.D) The only safe place is the Glade which by the end is not safe due to the creators W.I.C.K.E.D. is no longer shutting the gates.The Maze is filled with Grievers which can kill. Now it is emparitive to get out as soon as possible.
•Battle at the Cliff Conflict-The climax happens after Thomas and Teresa figured out the code they figured out the exit is in the Griever Hole. Them and most of the Gladers go off to fight the Grievers. When they get there they are surrounded by Grievers and Alby sacrifices himself to save everyone but it doesn't help. The other Gladers get to fighting the Grievers while Thomas, Teresa, and Chuck jump into the Griever Hole. Thomas fights off a Griever while Teresa enters the code into the computer for the door. But the final word of the code won't fit in the slot , until Chuck points out it is the word push and there is a button that says push to stop maze. After its pushed the Grievers stop and the door opens. Only twenty-one of the Gladers surrvived the onslaught. The door leads to a lobby full of W.C.K.D. workers. Then a women walks in and says the test went great. Then she gets one of the mind controlled Gladers that dispered earlier to try and kill Thomas but Chuck steps in the way and gets killed instead. Then the Gladers are rescued by a group of people.
•Memory(subplot) Conflict- The only notable sideplot is the regaining of Thomas' memory. Throughout the book Thomas knows that he had something to do with the maze and hopes to regain this. Most of the memories come easily but to get the final piece he gets stung by a Griever in which a process called the Changing heals you and helps you regain some memory which is what let them escape.
Though this book has so many themes (including identity, sacrifice, memory, etc.) the main theme is manipulation.
•Manipulation might as well have been the alternative title for The Maze Runner. Everything that happens to these poor kids is a direct result of someone at one end pushing a button and then sitting back to see how they will all react. Each variable in the experiment, whether it is killing someone in a gruesome manner or simply moving the maze walls, is done to provoke responses for their research. Throughout the book our characters are manipulated by an amoral entity, leading us to wonder whether it will all be worth it in the end.