***WARNING: This is SPOILER-HEAVY on The Maze Runner Trilogy, so if you haven’t finished the trilogy and you don’t want to know what happens, then please don’t read!***
I just finished reading the final book of the Maze Runner trilogy, The Death Cure. So, let’s just get this out of the way. The Maze Runner trilogy was never about who Thomas would end up with. This isn’t a romance series. The end of the world was at hand in this book, and there’s a lot of things that happen to Thomas as well as his friends and the two main females that, in one way or another, find a connection with Thomas.
Being said that this isn’t a romance series, there’s still a bit of romance in there, which is what brings me to this post. Teresa and Thomas vs. Brenda and Thomas.
I’ve been scouting around and there are many people that, after reading the trilogy, are happy that Thomas ended up with Brenda because they ended up, like Minho, hating Teresa. Fine, you know, I’ll begrudgingly accept the fact that Thomas ended up with Brenda. But to hate Teresa? Here’s my problem with that logic. Thomas and Teresa grew up together, played together, worked together, even spoke together in their minds, because they were placed together to help WICKED. Thomas and Teresa were involved in creating the Maze. Thomas and Teresa had agreed to go through with it, knowing what was already happening, because they believed they were helping save the human race.
Now, here’s where things get tricky. Because of the memory swipe, Thomas is left to his own new thinking. See, in the third book, you realize that Thomas started having second thoughts, albeit it was more like an inkling in the back of his mind that maybe WICKED’s ways weren’t the best approach on how to fix the world, but he had already invested pretty much his whole life into it that he went along with it. That is, until he was put in the Maze and started becoming very involved with his group of gladers. He was able to be part of them, live with them, become friends with them.
Now there’s Teresa. Teresa is slightly different in the fact that she wholly believed WICKED was doing the right thing. She accepted it. She basically put all her hope into it. We don’t know what she saw before she got involved with WICKED, but obviously she knew the world needed to be fixed desperately and WICKED was where she put her hope it. She thought that Thomas had as well. When she was brought into the glade, she was in a coma for most of the time she was there, and for whatever reason WICKED had in their variables, she was given the opportunity to communicate with Aris in the other maze while in her coma. She eventually was able to communicate with Thomas, too. She did have more of her memories about WICKED than Thomas did, and when she woke up, she didn’t get to establish any kind of friendship with any of the gladers that Thomas got a chance to do. She was, to them, still an outsider. The only one who would give her a chance was Thomas, because they both knew they had something between each other. Best friends prior to the swipe, maybe lovers, who knew at that point.
The thing is that, as a reader, you get to see the relationship between Thomas and Teresa, and you start wanting it to develop into something good and close and happy. James Dashner always has Thomas bring her up, constantly. Even when they lose the telepathy communication between each other, or even when he’s mad at Teresa, Thomas still has her in the back of his mind. You’re led to believe they could be something great together.
Then things go really horrendously bad for Thomas in the second book that changes the way Thomas feels about her completely. Teresa is separated from him and the other gladers, and WICKED forces her to do things that she really doesn’t want to do because she knows it will hurt Thomas. You know what? She does them anyway. You might think, well, that’s a reason to hate her. Because why would someone who cares about you hurt you, both physically and emotionally, right? Well, how about if you thought that all your actions were for the sole purpose of saving millions of people, or saving the whole human race? This is the dilemma that Teresa is constantly struggling with. And she sacrificed, yes, sacrificed, the trust and relationship she had with Thomas for that purpose. She still had her hope in WICKED, and believed it fully because that’s what she wrote on her arm. Wouldn’t you trust what you wrote on your arm?
The thing is, she never wanted to hurt Thomas or kill Thomas. Her thought was that, if having Thomas truly believe he was betrayed by Teresa was going to help save the world, she was doing the right thing. I’m not saying her logic was not flawed, but yes, she was sadly misguided, probably by her own belief in what she wrote on her arm. Thomas understood after all, but this is where the first time my heart goes out to her, because she knew what she was risking when she pounded him and forced him into that chamber. She was risking a loving relationship with her best friend. And Thomas couldn’t find it in himself to forgive her for making that choice.
At this point, he’s already met Brenda, whom Thomas does admit to being a beautiful girl. Still Thomas is thinking about Teresa, even while being with Brenda. Thomas is a confused teenage boy, admit it. Throughout the whole time, like I said, even when he’s lost trust in Teresa, he still wants her with him. Maybe not in a romantic way, but he knew the connection between them was still strong. But now with Brenda there, he has found a connection with someone else, someone who, although quite a bit too forward for my liking, he does find an attraction for. It’s not outright said that he does, but it’s certainly strongly hinted at. So, now with Teresa having betrayed his trust, Thomas was able to transfer it to someone else, while Teresa had to deal with her consequences.
And I have to say that Teresa is a much stronger person than many of these characters in the book are. That’s why she takes my number 1 spot as favorite character of the trilogy. Even when we get into the third book, and you’re still not sure where Teresa lies, especially because she wants the swipe removed and Thomas doesn’t (c’mon, I know many of you think he should’ve had the swipe removed as well, and deal with the decisions he made previous to being put in the glade). Interestingly enough, Teresa finally sees that WICKED’s plans are far more destructive than helpful at this point, after all that she and the others have been through, because she has people she considers friends now, something that she didn’t have in the glade.
Teresa never betrayed Thomas after the Scorch Trials (and probably never did before then either), yet Thomas always had that doubt about her (another reason I wish Thomas had gotten the swipe removed, especially when at one point he communicated to Teresa how he wished he could remember how they were before). Now even though we pretty much see everything through Thomas’ POV, I believe Teresa’s actions mostly revolved around Thomas after her betrayal, with the exception of having the swipe removed. But after that, her thoughts were about Thomas, finding Thomas, helping Thomas, saving Thomas. She said she would do whatever she could to convince to earn his trust again – well, she said to make up for her mistakes, but honestly, I believe she ultimately wanted his complete trust back. Unfortunately, and in an unbelievably heartbreaking conclusion, it would lead to her sacrificing herself for him, not once, but twice – the second time being the fatal blow.
What kills me even more is that not everyone in the story knows or understands how much she did, and even the mourning for her just seemed so thoughtless. I mean, maybe Thomas never really liked Teresa like a girlfriend anyway. Maybe she was always just a friend to him, but the fact is he knew how she felt about him and in the end, when not even a whole day had passed, he accepted Brenda completely. Sure, it said he hurt for Teresa’s death, but honestly, if that was my best friend (and it is stated that he lost his 3 closest friends), I would’ve been mourning a lot longer than he had. But that’s Thomas, I guess (which is probably why he’s not in my top 5 favorite fictional male characters).
It’s odd how Teresa’s death hurts as much as an actual person’s death to me right now. Maybe not like the death of a family member, but somewhat like a friend’s death would hurt. I actually cared about this person, because her personality is so realistic in many ways. She admits to having made mistakes and accepts the consequences of her actions, even that of losing her closest, and probably only, true friend (being that they grew up together) and yet she tries with all her power to make up for it. Even now, I’m crying about her, which is very strange.
So, okay fine. Let Brenda have Thomas. Like Brenda more than Teresa if you wish. But try not to hate Teresa. How can you hate someone who only thought she was doing the right thing for mankind, with her best friend at that, and knowing that she saved his life by giving up her own? How can you hate her knowing that she didn’t hate any of them?
I can’t. It’s my hope that if you find this post and you did hate Teresa, that you will find it in your heart to learn to see things a little differently after reading this.
Oh, and by the way, I cried when Newt died, too. At least you all didn’t hate him.