The Top 10 Book to Movie Changes in “The Death Cure” (Spoilers Included)

Brittany Jarvis ‘19 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

The long awaited Maze Runner: Death Cure film has finally arrived in theaters, but how close is the movie to the book? Here are the top ten differences between the book and the movie. (Spoilers ahead.)

Death Cure
Photo Credit: Moviefone


In the Book: The book starts off with the gang in captivity of WICKED. Thomas is revealed to have been in solitary confinement for months before he is even reunited with the rest of the characters.

In the Movie: The film starts with an action packed rescue scene. Minho, who has been captured by WCKD, is on his way to WCKD headquarters where he will be experimented on.

Janson Revealing Who’s Immune

In the Book: Since the book starts with the gang already in WICKED’s clutches, Janson has the chance to inform them who is immune and who is not. This is when Thomas discovers Newt is not immune to the Flare virus and was put in the glade as a control group.

In the Movie: Midway through the movie Newt pulls up his sleeve and reveals to Thomas that he has been infected by the virus and is therefore not immune.


In the Book: Minho is never separated from the crew and remains with them throughout the entire book.

In the Movie: Rescuing Minho from WCKD becomes a main plot point in the movie. Ultimately the main reason Thomas and his friends break into WCKD’s headquarters is to rescue Minho.

Memory Surgery

In the Book: In the beginning Jason tells the gladers that they will be getting their memories back. Thomas, Newt, and Minho are suspicious of the offer and decline, only to later be forced into the procedure. Before they can get their memories back Brenda and Jorge (who are actually WICKED agents but have been plotting against them) break everyone out before they undergo the surgery.

In the Movie: The subplot is not included in the movie, except for Teresa who claims her memories have been restored in the previous film.

Death Cure
Photo Credit: Pinterest

Gally and the Right Arm

In the Book: When Gally is found alive, it is revealed that he has been working with the Right Arm. The Right Arm is a rebel group whose plan is to take back immunes from WICKED. In return, they want to use the immunes to break into WICKED’s headquarters and take the organization down from the inside.

In the Movie: Gally has allied himself with a group of extremists who want to destroy what remains of the city. The Right Arm is the group Thomas and his friends met up with in the previous film. Their plan is to gather the remaining immunes and sail them off to the safe haven.

Newt’s Death Scene

In the Book: Once Newt realizes he is infected he sneaks away from the group and heads to a Crank Palace (a place where cranks gather and live). The gang is on their way to WICKED headquarters when Thomas spots Newt. At this time Newt has already become a crank, but the ever-hopeful Thomas tries to convince Newt to come back with them. Refusing, Newt attacks and pleads with Thomas to kill him, saying the infamous line “Please, Tommy, please.” Thomas, with pain in his heart, agrees and pulls the trigger.

In the Movie: As Thomas, Newt, and Minho are escaping WCKD headquarters, the Flare finally overcomes Newt. However, they believe that by getting Newt the serum they can delay the virus. Thomas stays with Newt while Minho and Brenda are racing to get the serum. Unfortunately, Newt transitions to a crank and begins fighting Thomas. Thomas tries to subdue him, but Newt pulls out a knife and accidentally stabs himself during their fight. He dies in Thomas’ arms as Brenda arrives with the serum.

Chancellor Ava Paige

In the Book: Ava Paige never actually appears in the books, she is more of a presence that guides the WICKED operation, and in the end Thomas. After Thomas escapes from Janson, and the surgery where they try to remove his brain, Paige claims it is her that stopped the operation. She then instructs Thomas to gather the rest of the immunes and lead them to the safe haven she has created for them.

In the Movie: Ava Paige is much more present in the film. She is the lead scientist of WCKD and is working with Teresa and Janson so develop a cure. She believes Thomas’ blood is the key to their success, but before he can go with her Jason shoots her and takes Thomas for himself.

Teresa’s Death Scene

In the Book: After the gang has returned to the Maze they begin their escape. The Maze however, is falling apart and it is Teresa who pushes Thomas out of the way. She saved Thomas, but she is crushed by the debris.

In the Movie: Thomas and Teresa attempt to flee from the crumbling WCKD headquarters. They are on the roof of the burning building when Jorge appears with a ship. Teresa’s helps the injured Thomas to safety, but before she can help herself the building collapses and she falls.

Death Cure
Photo Credit: The Maze Runner Twitter

Newt’s Letter to Thomas

In the Book: Early in the book, once Newt discovers that he is not immune, he hands Thomas a note with instructions not to open it until the time was right. Thomas finally opens it shortly after Newt has left for the Crank Palace. Newt has asked Thomas to kill him in the note: “Kill me. If you’ve ever been my friend, kill me.”

In the Movie: In the movie Newt gives Thomas a small capsule when their escape from WCKD headquarters begins to look grim. In the final scene of the movie Thomas opens the capsule, finding a two-page letter from Newt. The letter essentially praises Thomas for being such a loving companion and a good leader. He reflects on everything that they’ve been through together since he arrived in the Maze. Lastly Newt tells Thomas to take care of their friends and to be happy.

WCKD is NOT Good

In the Book: The book’s epilogue is written by Chancellor Paige, revealing the plot’s final twist: Brenda and Jorge were actually working directly with Paige. She realized that they would never succeed in finding a cure and informed Brenda and Jorge to find the remaining immunes and bring them to a secure place she had created and called the Safe Haven. Here the immunes would be able to live in piece, far away from the cranks and the dying world. This would allow them to restart civilization and eventually repopulate the earth. Paige also reveals that the Flare virus was created by the government as a method for population control. They were unable to control the disease, so WICKED was created as a way to preserve the human race. In the end, Brenda and Jorge completed their mission in leading the immunes to the Safe Haven, therefore proving Paige’s belief that WICKED is good.

In the Movie: The saying “WCKD is good” is stated several times in the movie, but it is never explicitly stated why the organization is good. It is more implied that they are good because they are trying to preserve the human race, but the ending memo with Paige is removed from the movie’s plot.

There you have it. There are clear differences between the source material and its adaptation. It is up to the reader and viewer to decide which they prefer.

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