Maze Runner by James Dashner, Readalong Week No.3

This week is week 3 of our Maze Runner readalong.  See below for details of schedule and other bloggers taking part.  Without further ado I’m going to jump into this weeks Q&A.  If you haven’t read this already and plan on doing so then you might want to beware of spoilers below.  Plus, you’re never too late to join in and if you wish to do so then either leave a comment or email


Let’s say, you were given the opportunity to question one character from this story with guaranteed honest answers, what character would you choose and what questions would you ask?  I would question Teresa.  And, I’d want to do so before she fully wakes up as she implied that by the time she did so her memory will be not as good – so somehow I’m going to have to learn to mindread – let’s just assume I’ve done so then!  I couldn’t believe that Thomas ran away during that scene with Teresa – finally someone who was not only willing, but wanting to talk with him, the potential source of answers and he runs away and hides!  I wanted to slap him I was so frustrated.  Anyway, I think my questions would be very simply ‘What is the maze?  What is it’s purpose?’


Teresa says that she and Thomas “did this to them.” That could be literal (“we created the Maze and all this and sent everyone and ourselves here”) or more figurative (“we accidentally led the rebels into a trap set by the evil government scientists and got us all captured and sent here” kind of thing). I’m curious as to whether real-world Thomas really is “evil,” as the Changed seem to think, or not… and if so, is his arrival in the Glade part of a plot? Or potentially an act of redemption?  I still can’t get away from the feeling that this is some form of experiment.  Perhaps Teresa’s meaning is that her and Thomas inadvertently put the boys into the maze.  Perhaps somebody is really searching for her and Thomas and every time they think they have a potential candidate they send that boy to the maze – there are no girls up there – perhaps there’s an ‘alternative’ maze where potential girls are being sent.  This ability to speak to each other’s minds could be a clue I suppose.  Perhaps the two of them have special abilities and so are being hunted/chased down?


On page 175, Alby tells them to “protect the maps.” Maps of the maze? But I thought that the maze changed every single day? Perhaps there are only so many different set ups for the maze and the boys are mapping them each night to see if they start to repeat themselves?


The doors to the Glade remain open all day and we’ve been told before that the Grievers are somewhat active during the day. Why haven’t the Grievers ever entered the Glade?  Perhaps the Grievers are there for the boys’ protection – to keep them inside and ultimately safe.  The Grievers never come beyond the walls after all so they’re not actively trying to pursue and kill the boys.  Plus, they obviously inject the boys with some sort of venom for which the antedote is available.  Perhaps the visions the boys have during the change are implanted to make them fear ever leaving again.


The cliff intrigues me.  When the grievers fall off the cliff, their scream is abruptly cut off but the boys don’t see them plummeting to their deaths.  This suggests a contrived “cliff” which the Creators use to isolate the boys in the Glade.  Violating the laws of physics such as the cliff makes it obvious that this world is not normal. The way the walls move violates the laws of thermodynamics (energy and therefore matter cannot be created or destroyed).  Do you think the Creator’s care what the boys think of their world?  Do the Creators seem to be hiding the other oddities?  The sun rises and sets just like our world.  I have a feeling that the Glade isn’t what it seems – or more to the point isn’t where it is made out.  Something doesn’t sit right with the maze – it feels like a place trapped in a bubble as though the conditions are just a simulation to trick everybody into thinking it’s up in the clouds.


Chuck made a comment to Thomas that he needs to quit acting weird so the others will stop taking notice of him. Do you think Thomas has a big target on his back in a good way or a bad way? The Keepers seemed to be split about if he’s there to help them or to destroy them, but what do you think the other boys in the Glade are wanting to do with this new kid who’s breaking the rules and showing everyone up?   I think that the boys will split into two factions – basically ‘for’ and ‘against’ Thomas.  I can almost see Thomas in a situation of leading some of the boys through the Maze – a bit like the pied piper (and we all know how that ended).  Really, I think Thomas’s spell in seclusion could be the start.  Clearly some of the boys really like him but others are a little bit more wound up by the situation.  Plus, we don’t truly know how Alby feels about Thomas yet so it will be interesting to see whether the Changing has altered his opinion at all.


What level of control do you think the Creators have over the minds of those in the Maze? I ask not only because of the memory wipe on them, but also because of Alby’s incident where he choked himself but felt like somebody else was choking him so as not to reveal information about the Changing.  I wonder whether when the boys are stung by the Grievers they are injected with some form of mind control – I suppose that could be what is so dangerous for them (maybe their body tries to reject it or something?) and the reason why they need the serum.  When they eventually come out of it they have something inside them that controls them more than the ‘memory’ wipe ever could.


Given what’s going on, the boys that go through the changing remembering Thomas and now the girl  – do you feel like he’s innocent?  Or are you starting to feel differently about him?  There is a possibility particularly after what the girl said to Thomas in his mind – that both he and the girl are not as innocent as we all think.  However, his character so far doesn’t feel questionable.  He was the only boy who went to save the other two when the gates were closing.  Okay, he wasn’t obeying the rules but he was disobeying for a good and not self absorbed reason.  He also stayed with Alby and went to a great deal of effort to keep him safe from the Grievers.  He’s clearly involved somehow but at this point I”m not sure how. Perhaps Thomas and Teresa put the boys up there to protect them and the grievers are there for that same purpose?


Chapters 1-9     Read 27-April through 10-May. Submit Questions by 10-May. Post by 17-May
Chapters 10-19     Read 11-May through 24-May. Submit Questions by 24-May. Post by 31-May
Chapters 20-29     Read 25-May through 7-Jun. Submit Questions by 7-Jun. Post by 14-Jun
Chapters 30-38     Read 8-June through 21-Jun. Submit questions by 21-Jun. Post by 28-Jun
Chapters 39-51     Read 22-Jun through 5-Jul. Submit questions by 5-Jul. Post by 12-Jul
Chapters 52-End     Read 6-Jul through 19-Jul. Submit questions by 19 Jul. Post by 26 Jul

Other Participants to check out:

5 Responses to “Maze Runner by James Dashner, Readalong Week No.3”

  1. Sam

    I love your idea that the Griever’s injection implants mind control into the boys. I hadn’t considered that before but it makes perfect sense!

  2. katk303

    Good point about Thomas finally getting some answers… and running away. Also, interesting idea re: a girls’ Glade/Maze… never thought of that!

  3. Claudia {SparrowHawk}

    “I couldn’t believe that Thomas ran away during that scene with Teresa – finally someone who was not only willing, but wanting to talk with him, the potential source of answers and he runs away and hides! I wanted to slap him I was so frustrated.”

    Bah ha ha ha! Yes! I wanted to slap him too! I threw my book down on the floor when I came to this part, my poor baby looked at me all puzzled and confused (Oh the stories of a bookworm mom/wife). This Dashner sure knows how to push my buttons; that’s for sure! Isn’t it interesting though, that we can’t seem to put the book down at all? I’m hooked; despite the dim-witted decisions Dashner drives these characters to carry out.

  4. Ashlee

    You make an interesting point about Thomas and Theresa putting the boys their for their protection. How ironic would it be if this place that they hate and that they continuously try to escape is actual the safest place they could be. I like that plot twist!

    • lynnsbooks

      Well, I will admit that my ‘guesses’ are usually a bit hit and miss! But, you never know.
      Lynn 😀

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