In the dark of an elevator, a teenaged boy awakes with no memories other than that his name is Thomas. When
the elevator comes to a halt, the doors open and Thomas finds himself surrounded by around fifty teenaged
boys. Their leader, a boy in his late-teens named Alby, welcomes him to the Glade. Surrounded by extremely
high stone walls covered in thick ivy, the Glade is a large square piece of land with a few wood and
concrete buildings. In each of the surrounding four walls, there is a narrow opening.
Over the course of the next few days, Thomas learns that behind the walls is the Maze – a labyrinthine
structure full of Grievers. Grievers are violent mechanical creatures that only come out at night. Since the
openings to the Maze, what the Gladers call Doors, close at night, the Grievers cannot get into the Glade.
During the day, a few of the boys, the Runners, navigate the Maze in order to find an exit. On the same day
every month, the elevator brings a new male arrival. But on the day after Thomas arrives, the elevator
returns with a teenaged girl in a coma.
The next day Alby and Minho, a Runner, go into the Maze to investigate a report about a dead Griever. A few
minutes before the Doors close, Thomas sees Minho dragging an unconscious Alby towards the Door. With no one
else around to help, Thomas enters the Maze right as the Doors close behind him. Inside, Minho tells him
that a Griever stung Alby. Thomas and Minho lure a group of Grievers away from Alby and towards the Cliff –
a place in the Maze where the path ends and overlooks an empty expanse. As the Grievers charge at them, the
boys dive out of the way, causing the Grievers to disappear off the Cliff.
It’s morning and the Doors are open by the time they are able to return to Alby’s location. Newt, Alby’s
second-in-command, cures Alby by giving him the Grief Serum, which causes him to go through the Changing.
Newt tells Thomas that the Changing is a painful side effect of the Serum that makes people recall some of
In the following days, the girl, whose name is Teresa, wakes up and tells Thomas that the Maze is code. The
sun also suddenly disappears, which causes the Doors to remain open at night. On the first night the doors
stay open, the Grievers come into the Glade and carry off a boy named Gally into the Maze. The Gladers hope
that the Grievers will only take one boy per night.
The following day, Thomas uses the maps that the Runners made of the Maze to figure out that the Maze’s
shifting walls have been spelling out the phrase, “Float. Catch. Bleed. Death. Stiff. Push.” To understand
the code’s meaning, Thomas purposefully gets stung by the Grievers so that he can go through the Changing
and recover some of his memories. After the Changing, Thomas remembers that to escape the Maze, they must
put the code into a computer that is inside an invisible portal. To get to the portal, they must jump off
After convincing them to follow his plan, Thomas helps lead an armed band of Gladers into the Maze. At the
Cliff, a group of Grievers are waiting for them. Thinking that they will only kill one person a night, Alby
sacrifices himself to the Grievers. But his sacrifice fails and the Gladers must attack the Grievers as
Thomas and Teresa make their way into the portal. Inside, Teresa plugs in the code, which shuts down all the
The surviving Gladers meet Thomas and Teresa in the portal. They find a slide that brings them to a giant
facility where they meet the creators of the Maze. A woman with the word WICKED stitched into her lab coat
and a man in a hood approach the Gladers. The woman congratulates them but says there is still one more
test. The man takes off his hood, revealing himself as Gally. Seeming to be mind-controlled, Gally throws a
knife at Thomas, but a fellow Glader, Chuck, jumps in front of the knife. As Thomas cradles Chuck’s lifeless
body, a group of men and women come into the facility and shoot the woman. The Gladers follow them onto a
bus and they all drive into the night.
On the bus, the unnamed leader of this group tells the Gladers that in the world outside the Maze, there has
been a devastating ecological disaster that has caused a widespread outbreak of disease. WICKED hoped to
raise children in the harsh environment of the Maze so that they would be better prepared to face the
challenges of the real world. The leader says WICKED’s actions are inhuman and that her group fights to save
children from their experiments. They bring the Gladers to a safe-house and give them a place to eat and
sleep in peace.