| Spoiler Alert!|
This page contains details about the plot which may lower your enjoyment of the books and/or movies. Discretion is advised.
There’s no Thomas-Teresa telepathy Edit
This change was introduced in the first film. Thomas and Teresa are supposed to be able to communicate telepathically. However, when the filmmakers began outlining the first movie, they decided that they weren’t going to include this storyline in the movies. In the book this connection between Teresa and Thomas is pretty important, but it’s completely absent in the movie.
The Gladers’ rescuers are never hanged Edit
In the book, after waking up to a bunch of Cranks, Thomas and the rest of the Gladers find their rescuers from the first book hanging from the ceiling, dead. In the movie, this entire plot is omitted. Instead, the rescuers are quickly revealed to be part of WCKD.
Aris and Rachel Edit
Like Thomas and Teresa, Aris and Rachel are supposed to have a special telepathic bond in the book, with Aris informing the Gladers that Rachel was killed during the Maze Trials. In the movie, however, Rachel makes a very brief appearance; Aris recognizes her unconscious body and realizes that she is one of the people that WCKD is trying to harvest a cure from.
In the book, there were only two groups: Group A and Group B. In the movie, there are more than two groups. It is unknown how many groups there are, as it was never mentioned. Since Groups A and B had a specific ratio for gender, Group A having all boys and one girl and Group B having all girls and one boy, it can be assumed that some of the extra groups were mixed.
Janson–a.k.a. Rat Man–is a prominent character in the movie Edit
In the book, Rat Man (his real name is not revealed until The Death Cure) is only at the beginning of the story and is there to give the Gladers their next task: survive the Scorch. In the movie, Rat Man becomes one of the main two antagonists and spends his time chasing the Gladers through the Scorch.
The Scorch is supposed to be the next trial Edit
This was without doubt one of the most drastic changes to the story. In the book, Rat Man explains to them that they must travel through the Scorch as part of their next trial. However, in the movie, Thomas and the others escape WCKD and enter the Scorch seeking refuge.
The Gladers aren’t infected with the Flare Edit
In the book, in order to motivate the Gladers to complete the Scorch Trials, Rat Man explains to them that they have been infected with the Flare and that a cure awaits them at the end of this phase. In the movie, however, this does not exist at all. The Gladers are apparently healthy and immune to the Flare (or most of them, at least).
There are fewer Gladers in the group Edit
In the movie, the group that escapes WCKD is made up of seven individuals. In the book, however, they’re a much larger group.
Teresa isn’t avoiding Thomas Edit
In the original book, Teresa is upset about something. She tells Thomas that he and the others need to stay away from her. She isn’t present very much after that. She spends her time communicating with Thomas telepathically, pretending to betray him. She is actually being forced to work with WICKED and Aris. In the movie this doesn’t happen.
The Cranks are straight-up zombies Edit
In the books, the Cranks are living at various stages of insanity. Most of them don’t want to tear people's flesh off. In the movie, this is completely the opposite. The Cranks are straight out of ‘World War Z’. There’s no talking to them. You’ll be eaten alive.
Winston isn’t supposed to be killed by the Flare Edit
Winston doesn’t get attacked by a Crank in the book, although he is attacked by a molten metal ball. He does, however, die–but he doesn’t die because of the crank bite. Rather, when the Gladers are running away from the lightning storm, he’s supposed to disappear, assumed to get struck and die. In the movie, Winston kills himself in order to avoid becoming a crank.
Nobody dies in the thunderstorm Edit
Speaking of that thunder storm, seven Gladers are supposed to be killed off during this sequence. However in the movie, Minho gets struck by lightning and survives.
The Right Arm isn’t supposed to show up until ‘The Death Cure’ Edit
The Right Arm, the organization fighting WCKD, plays a huge role in the movie. The gladers’ main motivation is to find them in hopes of escaping their past. But like it was already said, the book has the gladers racing across the Scorch for a cure. The Right Arm doesn’t make an appearance until The Death Cure.
Jorge isn’t a crank Edit
Like it was said earlier, Jorge is supposed to be a crank in the book. But in the movie’s he’s completely healthy and is dedicated to making sure that Brenda doesn’t catch the Flare. What’s more is that the community that Jorge lives in is supposed to be full of cranks. In the movie, Jorge mentions that the people they live with are mostly from gangs who have wandered in to seek refuge.
Jorge and Brenda help the Gladers escape Edit
This was a very large addition to the plot. In the movie, one of the men living in Jorge’s community calls in WCKD, hoping to sell the gladers back to them. Jorge and Brenda help everyone escape and then blow up their shelter. In the book this doesn’t happen at all. The original version has the gladers eating dinner with Brenda when the roof caves in and Thomas becomes trapped with Brenda.
Thomas never gets shot Edit
Thomas and Brenda do get tricked into entering a sketchy club in the book. However “Blondie” essentially kidnaps them and plans to keep them. It isn’t until the Gladers come and rescue Thomas and Brenda that they’re able to leave. As they try to escape, Blondie shoots Thomas. The wound becomes infected and that eventually leads Thomas into the hands of WICKED. In the movie, Jorge comes to the rescue and then interrogates Marcus about the whereabouts of The Right Arm. Thomas never ends up getting shot and thus never falls into the hands of WCKD.
Healing Thomas, WICKED, and the Berg Edit
In the book, after Thomas becomes infected, WICKED finds him and takes him into a berg–a sort of aircraft that they use to get around. They want to heal Thomas. While this is happening, Thomas overhears someone mention that him getting shot wasn’t part of the plan, suggesting that something about their experience has been staged. They eventually take him back to the rest of Gladers. This entire plot is non-existent in the movie.
Group B isn’t supposed to be friendly Edit
Again, another major Scorch Trials difference. Like in the movie, the book shows us that there were multiple groups of teenagers in the maze. However a major plot line didn’t get translated into the film. In the book, Thomas and his friends were in Group A. Aris, on the other hand, was in a maze filled with girls–Group B. While in the Scorch, Group B approaches Group A and attacks them. Teresa is with them. Thomas ends up being capture by them. After deciding not to kill him, they move forward hoping to get to the end of the trial. Group B is hardly in the movie. Only a few of them make an appearance, like Aris who’s present during the entire movie.
Teresa’s Betrayal Edit
Teresa does, in fact, betray Thomas in the book. But it’s very different from the movie. In the book, Teresa reveals that she’s been working with Aris and that they had been in a romantic relationship before the maze. They then force Thomas into a gas chamber. After Thomas passes out, Teresa then reveals that she was being forced to betray Thomas by WICKED and that it was all part of their larger plan. However Thomas is having a hard time buying it. This is the point in which Thomas loses his romantic feelings for Teresa. This doesn’t happen at all in the movie.
Meeting the Right Arm Edit
Like we said before, the Right Arm isn’t supposed to make an appearance in the movie. However the movie leads up to the gladers catching up with the rebels and preparing to leave for a safe haven, away from WCKD. Before they can leave, Teresa betrays them by contacting WCKD with their coordinates. Of course, this isn’t in the book at all.
No Bulb Monsters Edit
In the book, when the Gladers reach the “safe haven”–the place where their cure is said to be waiting for them–they encounter large monsters created by WICKED. After this ordeal, WICKED takes the Gladers (along with Jorge and Brenda). The book ends there.
Chancellor Ava Paige Edit
Ava Paige never appears in the books. She’s referenced several times throughout them, but the Gladers never encounter her. In the movie, she becomes the main antagonist and is present when WCKD attacks the Right Arm.
The Ending Edit
All of that leads up to a huge ending fight that doesn’t appear anywhere in the books. It results in WCKD capturing the Gladers. Just as they’re being loaded into the aircraft (berg?), Thomas grabs hold of a detonator that Jorge built. He threatens to blow everyone up. WCKD isn’t expecting this. Their shock gives the Right Arm and the Gladers just enough time to fight back. In the fighting, Minho is electrocuted and knocked out. WCKD takes Minho and retreats into their airship with Teresa by their side.
The movie ends with Thomas declaring that he intends to save Minho by taking down WCKD and killing Chancellor Paige.