DescriptionIn the books, there are two Mazes, one for Group A and one for Group B. Both are built deep into the bedrock that lies under the main buildings of WICKED's headquarters. Since they are underground, the sun and sky are simulations and it is always sunny (until the Ending is triggered). The Mazes can be entered and exited through the Griever Hole.
The two Mazes are identical in design and described as giant labyrinths. They are divided into eight sections surrounding the Glade. Every night, the Walls of the Maze change, repeating the same pattern every month. This pattern is a code. In the book, the code consists of keywords which are formed by the walls of the eight sections at the rate of one letter a day. The Gladers had kept records on paper of the Maze patterns for a year or so, and they knew that each month the patterns repeated. Thomas discovered that letters could be found by placing the maps of the eight sections from the same day over each other. When a month's worth of maps were examined, they discovered that the letters formed the keywords FLOAT - CATCH - BLEED - DEATH - STIFF - PUSH.
Eventually Thomas realized that the keywords were a shut-down code for the Maze. Once the Gladers broke out of the Maze and made it into the Griever hole, Teresa entered the keywords into a computer. All of them worked except the last one. Chuck realized that "push" was not a word to be typed, but instead referred to a button below the computer console that read KILL THE MAZE. Thomas pushed it and successfully shut down the Maze.
In The Fever Code, Thomas and Teresa helped WICKED construct the Maze for Group A, working on it until it was complete before entering themselves. Aris and Rachel, two other teen subjects, worked on the Group B Maze. Due to Aris, Rachel, Teresa and Thomas's incredible intelligence, WICKED used them to help build the Mazes. After his friends were sent in, Thomas observed them using Beetle Blades before being sent in the Maze himself by his request (although his memory was wiped without his consent). In the epilogue of The Fever Code, it is revealed that Teresa and Aris kept their memories when entering their Mazes, coordinating everything telepathically on WICKED's behalf.
Portrayal in the movies
In the film, the Maze is not underground, and the sun and sky are the real ones. Hence, the Gladers experience fluctuations of weather (it rains, etc.) Also, instead of the keyword sequence mentioned above, the code is the opening sequence of the Maze sections: 71526483. In addition to this, the Griever hole as such does not exist; instead, there is a secret room in the Maze they happen to find.