Original Posts


Book to Trailer Breakdown: The Maze Runner

September 19th seems like a long time to wait (and it is), but in the meantime, that leaves plenty of time for those who haven’t gotten around to reading the book to do so. After a great WonderCon event, interviewing author James Dashner, director Wes Ball, and actors Will Poulter (Gally), and Dylan O’Brien (Thomas), we were inspired to connect the trailer to it’s related book moments. When you look carefully, so much is happening just in this one minute and fifty-eight second trailer. Warning: If you haven’t read the book, there will be Spoilers.

Synopsis: When Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) wakes up trapped in a massive maze with a group of other boys, he has no memory of the outside world other than strange dreams about a mysterious organization known as W.C.K.D. Only by piecing together fragments of his past with clues he discovers in the maze can Thomas hope to uncover his true purpose and a way to escape. Based upon the best-selling novel by James Dashner.

0:00 – 0:08

Metal ground against metal; a lurching shudder shook the floor beneath him. He fell down at the sudden movement and shuffled backward on his hands and feet, drops of sweat beading on his forehead despite the cool air. His back struck a hard metal wall; he slid along it until he hit the corner of the room.
With another jolt, the room jerked upward like an old lift in a mine shaft.
Harsh sounds of chains and pulleys, like the workings of an ancient steel factory, echoed through the room, bouncing off the walls with a hollow, tinny, whine. (pg. 1)




0:14 – 0:21

A loud clank rang out above him and he sucked in a startled breath as he looked up. A straight line of light appeared across the ceiling of the room, and Thomas watch as it expanded. A heavy grating sound revealed double sliding doors being forced open. After so long in darkness, the light stabbed his eyes; he looked away, covering his face with both hands. (pg. 3)



0:21 – 0:25

“Hope you enjoyed the one-way trip, Greenie.” Thomas was hit with a wave of confusion, blistered with panic. (pg. 3)



0:28 – 0:31

As he rotated in a slow circle, the other kids snickered and stared…They stood in a vast courtyard several times the size of a football field, surrounded by four enormous walls made of gray stone and covered in spots with thick ivy. The walls had to be hundreds of feet high and formed a perfect square around them, each side split in the exact middle by an opening as tall as the walls themselves that, from what Thomas could see, led to passages and long corridors beyond. (pg. 5)



0:35 – 0:40
After already an eventful day one, Alby takes Thomas on The Tour where he shows him the four sections of the Glade: Gardens, Blood House, Homestead, and Deadheads.

Alby nodded. “Me and you, shank. The Tour begins now.” (pg. 41)

TMR tour alby

TMR tour day 2

0:41 – 0:42
What could be going on here? Judging from other later moments in the trailer, studio might have eliminated when the sky remains gray (no more night) after Teresa “triggers the end.” This night shot where they hear an ominous roar outside the walls could be when the walls didn’t close, and Grievers were coming beginning of chapter 40. What do you think?

TMR still 2 edited

0:43 – 0:48
Right before the start of Day 2 (The Tour), Newt wakes Thomas before everyone else and takes him to the dust frosted window to show him a Griever in the Maze.

“Out there’s the Maze,” Newt whispered, eyes wide as if in a trance. “Everything we do–our whole life, Greenie–revolves around the Maze.” (pg. 38)


TMR newt edited


0:48 – 0:50
During Thomas’ tour with Alby, his curiosity gives him away. The Runners spark something in him he can’t explain.

“You think I sent Newt to ya before the wake-up just for kicks? Freak, Number One Rule, the only one you’ll never be forgive for breaking. Ain’t nobody–nobody–allowed in the Maze expect the Runners. (pg. 46)


The Map Room How cool is this? I really like how they approached it as a 3D model instead of just paper and pencils. In the book, we officially get to see inside on page 205.


0:54 – 0:55
Our first glimpse of the “large, bulbous creature the size of a cow but no distinct shape twisted and seethed along the ground.” “Wicked instrument-tipped appendages” that “protruded from it’s body like arms: a saw blade, a set of shears, long rods whose purpose could only be guessed. The creature was a horrific mix of animal and machine…”

And then something rounded the corner up ahead, and came toward them. Something he’d seen before, but through the safety of thick glass. Something unspeakable. A Griever. (pg. 125)

TMR griever edited

0:56 – 1:00
Newt entertaining Thomas’ many questions throughout the beginning of the book.

TMR newt and thomas edited

With Thomas’ look of fascination, could this be day one as a runner with Minho, Keeper of the Runners?

Thomas looked at Minho, matched his suddenly hard gaze. “I’m ready.”
“Then let’s go runnin’.” (pg. 209)


1:02 – 1:03 New Addition Alert
Gross W.C.K.D. 9643021 instrument. This is new. Minho and I assume, Thomas have found something from the Creators covered in Griever goo. Clearly, from Minho’s expression, this is new to him too.



Thomas’ resolve and boldness here could be either his suggestion to Minho to stay overnight in the Maze to follow and see where the Grievers go in the day, or after he retrieves his memories, and he shares the escape plan.
“I think it’s time we find out what we’re really up against.” -Thomas (trailer)

TMR still 3

1:05 – 1:07 New Addition Alert
OoOo! What is this hole with the creepy red scanning lights? In the trailer (couldn’t retrieve a decent still) we see Thomas almost fall off a Cliff which leads to the mysterious Griever Hole in the book, but this looks as though it could be a different alternative to the Griever hole. You think?


1:08 – 1:10
Gally is definitely not fond of Thomas. Specifically during a Gathering meeting with the Keepers, Gally wanted Thomas punished and locked up.

“There’s too many weird things going on, and it all started when this shuck-face Greenie showed up. And he just happens to be the first person to survive a night out in the Maze.” (pg. 157)

TMR gally and thomas

1:11 – 1:15
In the trailer she gives way to knowing Thomas off the bat from the Box instead of later in the Homestead. Will she also deliver the famous eerie message?

Newt looked down in the box one more time, then faced the crowd, gravely.
“It’s a girl,” he said. Everyone started talking at once; Thomas only caught pieces here and there. (pg. 54)




“Everything is going to change.”
Thomas stared in wonder as her eyes rolled up into her head and she fell back to the ground. Her right fist shot into the air as she landed, staying rigid after she grew still, pointing to the sky. Clutched in her hand was a wadded piece of paper.
She’s the last one. Ever. (pg. 57)

TMR awkward Thomas


1:16 New Addition Alert
Aw, is this a boy bonding moment? Did the boys build a Griever “Scarecrow” and ritually took a stand by burning it? That’s my guess. What’s yours?


1:17 – 1:19
Wes Ball has confirmed that there will be no mind communication between Thomas and Theresa. Makes you wonder when and how they will communicate all the things they shared together in the book.

“Wonder why we can do this”, he called out with his mind…
“I think someone altered our brains, put something in there so we could do this telepathy thing. Before we came here. Which is makes me think we already knew each other…I think we did something big.” (page 283)

TMR teresa and thomas


The walls are moving! Is this in the beginning, after Thomas breaks the Number One Rule, and Minho and him are returning to the Glade to check on Alby? (pg. 141-143)


1:23 – 1:24
Is Chuck being taken by a Griever? This looks like one of the nights in the Homestead, once the Griever’s starting coming, taking one kid a night, once the end was triggered. Chapter 39 was the first, then Chapter 46, Thomas did the unthinkable. Was Chuck being taken an incentive for Thomas to go through with his plan?



Ben running after Thomas from the Deadheads to kill him, after coming out of The Changing.

The boy burst through the trees before Thomas could finish. He saw only a flash of pale skin and enormous eyes–the haunted image of an apparition–and cried out, tried to run, but it was too late. (pg. 70-71)



1:25 New Addition Alert
Why is Gally in a high tech water tube? This new addition looks very interesting. This is definitely not taking place inside the Glade. The only other time in book one we saw anything high tech like this was in the end when they encounter the Creators. Any theories?


This seems to be the group leaving the Glade for the Griever Hole. I can even spot Teresa’s hair.

By the end of the day, the Gladers had turned into a small army. A very pathetic, ill-prepared army, Thomas thought, but an army all the same. (pg. 323)
Soon shouts and battle calls broke out, rising in volume, filling the air like thunder…Tonight, they’d fight. Tonight, they’d make their stand, once and for all. (pg. 328)


Newt’s attacking Ben? Does Newt come to Thomas’ rescue instead of Alby? (pg. 74) Or did something happen right before Ben’s banishment to cause Newt to attack him? (pg. 92-95)


If I could read lips, Minho looks to be screaming for someone to, “Run!”


Teresa looks like she’s being taken to the Slammer by blondie (either Billy or Jackson). (pg. 240)

TMR still 6

1:28 New Addition Alert
Why is the Maze falling apart? I repeat, holy moly, why is the Maze falling apart?


1:31 – 1:38
Thomas breaks Number One Rule.

“Don’t do it Tommy! Don’t you bloody do it!”
The rods on the right wall seemed to reach like stretched-out arms for their home, grasping for those little holes that would serve as their resting place for the night…Five feet. Four feet. Three. Two.
Thomas knew he had no choice. He moved. Forward. He squeezed past the connecting robs at the last second and stepped into the Maze. (pg. 112)



What are your theories from the trailer connecting to the book?

Desiree is 30, ‘flirty and thriving’ (well, not really) and lives in South Florida. Books—all the books, movies, and coffee—lots of coffee—make her very happy. When she’s not working part time content writing about organic hair products, you can find her reading, or working on her first fiction YA novel. A perfect day would be a sunny, fall afternoon, hanging all day at a coffee shop with an independent bookstore connected next door. Reading, writing, and fangirling shenanigans can be found on her twitter (@dreamymarie) and blog site. (MissDreamyMarie.Wordress.com) Feel free to stop by and say ‘Hi!’

  • Donte-Aro Voltaire McNeal

    Okay, I definitely need to read this book soon!

  • Linda

    I saw this in the book concerning the pod Gally is in:

    “They were in a huge underground chamber big enough to hold nine or ten Homesteads. From top to bottom, side to side, the place was covered in all kinds of machinery and wires and ducts and computers. On one side of the room – to his right – there was a row of forty or so large white pods that looked like enormous coffins.”

    That’s at the end when they reach WICKED headquarters. Where the scientist meet up with them. Maybe it’s connected to those pods.

  • Amalia Morgenstern

    Just maybe, those “pods” are where buys taken by grievers end up and are somehow restored, which would begin to explain how they don’t die.