Follow TV Tropes


Headscratchers / The Maze Runner

Go To

  • So here's my headscratcher: the cranks. A number of times Thomas runs into cranks not yet pass the gone who are screaming at the protagonists to “KILL ME!” If these cranks are so scared and so willing to die, why can't they kill themselves? They seem to have no problem killing other people so why not themselves? Secondly, the cranks past the gone are constantly trying to kill the still sane/immune people. If they are so blood thirsty, why don't they just attack each other and have done with it? Zombie logic?
    • It's the difference between begging for death and suicide — it may not look like a huge leap from the outside, but it's much easier to be a Death Seeker than to commit suicide. Likewise, the Cranks still recognize each other as sufferers — it's those who don't have a slow death by excruciating dementia in their future that attract their ire.
  • Why didn't the Gladers improvise some ropes, climb up to the top of the doors (it's hard, yes, but can't be impossible) and use the them to pull up the poor Runners that didn't make it back before the door closed?
    • Ropes? How about some freaking ladders. There's wood everywhere in the glade, and the Gladers are obviously skilled with building. Okay, so you can't climb the walls themselves, or the ivy, but why not make something that can lean on the walls? The possibility is never even brought up.
    • Advertisement:
    • The movie failed to explain a lot of things very well. The people who made the maze are watching them, they have long blades in the walls that slice you up if you climb too high. In the book, someone tries climbing down the elevator shaft after the box. He gets cut in half.
  • In the end of the novel, the gladers are rescued by a group of people and taken to a dormitory. However, the memo in the epilogue states that it was part of the plan. Does that mean that the 'rescuers' were working for WICKED? If so, did it mean that the attack was faked? If not, how did WICKED plan everything in advance so that the timing was so perfect that the attack happened just as the everyone exited the maze?
    • Why can't they? They have cameras all over the place and can monitor the Gladers' process at all time. It can't be that hard to have a group of "rescuers" standing by just outside the door and charging in on cue.
  • Why did an organization capable of engineering entirely non-human creatures find it so hard to isolate a simple immunity? Not to mention that the techniques used were scientifically dodgy to begin with, given that their precious cure-carrying kiddies could have been killed by said inhuman monsters at any time.
    • What they were looking for were brain patterns. As far as i could tell, the immunity lay in the way their brains worked differently to non-immune people, since the virus' main symptom was insanity. They don't actually need the subjects alive to study these patterns, and in some cases them dying would give them patterns they may have never experienced. This is why Theresa betrays Thomas, because she understands the need to get these brain functions and thus cooperates in making him feel betrayal.
  • WICKED's plan to transfer the immunity, while intriguingly complex, is thoroughly impossible. They tried to derive an immunity to a disease from the brain: the immune system doesn't work like that. The immune system is self-governed, completely apart from the brain. You can't simply think your way to immunity to a disease. However, WICKED, supposedly composed of humanity's best and brightest, fails to realize that the neurological and immune systems are seperate entities. The question really is how did they miss that?
    • In retrospect, this makes chancellor Paige's interference less of a Heel Realization and more of a moment of her grabbing the Sanity Ball.
    • Not all forms of disease immunity hinge on the immune system eliminating the disease pathogen from the body. Depending on the nature of the disease and the biology of those exposed to it, their bodies may simply not suffer from the disease's effects (although in many cases they can still be carriers and infect other people). Presumably in this case it is not that those who are immune completely purge the pathogen from their bodies, but rather that they are resistant to the disease's symptoms. This is probably what has WICKED stumped. If there is no magic antibody being produced by those who are immune, and they are instead simply resistant to the disease's effects, then the cure would hinge on figuring out what it is about them that prevents the disease from attacking their nerve cells.
      • Though this does beg the question, how many people had they gone through already trying more reasonable explanations than "their thought process is different"? They probably didn't start out killing their test subjects, so their desperation to find a cure that may never materialize is that much more apparent.
  • Why did the Gladers want to leave in the first place? They constantly talk about surviving, but most of their time their lives are free from conflict or any real problems. They live comfortably and get supplies weekly, so the possibility of them starving to death or dying from thirst isn't a very likely one. Also, they all get their memories wiped, so none of them know what lies beyond the Maze, which effectively ruins the whole motivation they would have for wanting to get out of there. I'd understand if they remembered things about the outside world and wanted to get back to their friends and family — but the thing is, they don't. Plus there's the mess with the constantly changing Maze and the Grievers...why not just stay put in place? Is it really worth all the effort?
    • ...Let's imagine that you're a teenage boy. You wake up in a box at the bottom of a hole. When you climb out, you're somewhere you don't recognize, surrounded by people you don't recognize. You eventually find out that everybody's memories have been erased and you're forced into living like subsistence farmers despite at least having a general idea of what the modern world has to offer, and you're clearly being monitored by people who have sufficiently high technology to remove your memories and create robots/cybernetic monsters, the former of which they have helpfully labeled with the word "Wicked", and while they are giving you supplies, they deliberately choose to give you little to no luxuries. Your surroundings are clearly artificial (what with the zero precipitation), and you rely entirely on your apparent kidnappers for water and light, which they can shut off at any time. All around your new home is a shifting maze that has the aforementioned cybernetic monsters, all of which want to either tear you to pieces or dose you with a poison whose cure drives you temporarily psychotic and permanently depressed, randomly meandering/flooding it depending on the time of day, and you have to also rely on your captors to shut the doors at night to keep them from flooding in and killing you at their leisure. All in all, it's not surprising that one of Thomas' early theories is that they might all be horrible criminals who have had their minds wiped and the Glade and the Maze is their prison. There's a reason why the standard response to waking up there is to spend a few weeks bawling your eyes out and refusing to participate until you start working just to keep from thinking about the situation, or why they delegate their best and brightest to the task of running through the monster-infested maze looking for a way out.
      • Also, you're a teenaged boy who is in the middle of puberty and statistically most likely to be at least partially attracted to the opposite gender. The first girl arrives at the end of 2 years, drops into a coma, and triggers the shut-down of the life-sustaining fake sun and the monster-containing Maze doors.
  • Didn't WICKED know it's name was really bad publicity?
    • PR probably isn't that big an issue when most of humanity is praying that your research will save them. Even if that research involves torturing and killing children.
    • WICKED stands for: World In Catastrophe: Killzone Experiment Department.
  • So everyone discovered that these children were immune, and the world just started putting ALL of their resources into building multiple giant mazes? How long did that take? Wouldn't it have been hard to accomplish with the outside world being so dangerous? With there technology, why couldn't WICKED come up with a less time (and resource) consuming way to test the limits of those kids?
  • This is a movie only one, but if grievers only come out at night, and no one has ever survived a night in the maze, how exactly did Ben get stung by a griever? Made stranger by the fact that the gladers recognized it as a griever sting. Also, they specifically say no one has seen a griever and lived. He did die, but it wasn't as immediate as the phrase implies.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: