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Brenda is a character first introduced in The Scorch Trials. Eventually, it is discovered that she is part of the group of Immunes. She becomes close to Thomas during The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure.
Prior to the events in The Scorch Trials, Brenda lived in northern Canada with her parents. They were one of the first families to make it to the camps set up by the coalition of governments that would eventually form WICKED. At some point, Brenda lost her mother - the cause or reason is never stated. WICKED later attempted to take her away from her father, who attacked them with a wooden rolling pin before being shot dead in front of his daughter.
She eventually met Jorge, with whom she grew close. Sometime afterwards they both went to work for WICKED, despite the fact that they didn't agree with the organization - it was merely a matter of survival.
In The Fever Code, Brenda is first mentioned as a girl with dirty-blonde hair (contradicting her description in The Scorch Trials). She and Jorge go with a team to the Scorch to "conduct research" for WICKED, and Thomas comes along. During the Berg flight there, Brenda and Thomas have a friendly conversation, with Brenda saying at one point that Thomas and Teresa are clearly more than friends and that Thomas should make a move. Upon reaching the Scorch, Brenda and Thomas part ways: Brenda and Jorge head towards a city of Cranks, while Thomas accompanies a team in the other direction.
In The Scorch Trials, Thomas and the group of remaining Gladers find themselves in an abandoned building where they are confronted by Jorge, the leader of a group of Cranks residing in the Scorch. After a tense confrontation between Jorge and Minho, Thomas persuades Jorge to give him ten minutes to explain everything. Jorge makes a deal with Thomas stating that only he and Brenda, one of the Cranks and a "genius", will join their group on their journey to the Safe Haven promised by WICKED to Thomas and the Gladers. After Jorge announces that Minho will be punished for attacking him earlier, the latter attempts to lash out at Jorge, only to be stopped by Brenda placing her blade at Minho's neck, drawing a small amount of blood. She takes notice of Thomas and inquires if he is the leader of the group. Flustered, Thomas denies that he is the leader and she asserts that she felt he seemed more like the leader before kissing him on the cheek. Thomas, Brenda, Jorge, and the Gladers, make their way to the Underneath, a series of underground tunnels that lead through the whole city. The group is attacked while they are finishing their meal, which separates Thomas and Brenda from the others and forces them to travel together in the Underneath by themselves. Brenda leads the way through the tunnels, while flirting a little with Thomas. Thomas feels guilty for being with Brenda instead of Teresa.
The pair run into Cranks way past the Gone, particularly one who has lost his nose. Brenda leads Thomas to a crawlspace under an old wooden table and they are forced to hide in close proximity to each other. The Crank with the missing nose finds them and they both fight him. Brenda manages to pin the Crank down and insists that Thomas has to stab the Crank in the heart. Thomas hesitates until Brenda yells at him for the third time to just do it.
Thomas and Brenda are able to escape from the Underneath and start their way through the rest of the city above ground. They sleep in an abandoned truck in an alley and Brenda reveals that she was forced to watch WICKED shoot her father when he tried to fight them for trying to take her away. Later, Thomas wakes up and reads a sign that states 'Thomas, you're the real leader', and Brenda tells him that there are more signs all around the city.
They stumble on a Crank club, and are captured by three Cranks who drug them. Thomas and Brenda start reacting to the drink, and Brenda tries to kiss Thomas. He resists, saying she is not Teresa and that she could never be her, before they both pass out. When they awake, the two find themselves tied up. They converse with the three Cranks who caught them. Brenda and Thomas are saved by Minho, Newt, Jorge, and the Gladers, but there is tension between Brenda and Thomas. Brenda does not confess if she made the move because of the drug or not.
Brenda continues with the Gladers on to the Safe Haven as they trail behind Group B. When the two groups meet up, they are stunned to see that what they were searching for was a stick with a flag that says "safe haven". The groups wait it out until their time is almost up when they are attacked by massive Bulb Monsters. They fight their way past each of them with a lightning storm brewing above them. Once they are all defeated, everyone makes their way to the pods the monsters previously emerged from.
Thomas, Teresa, Brenda, and Jorge all squeeze into one coffin-like pod. As time ticks on they hear a Berg flying in. They get out of the pod and make their way to the Berg, which is their real Safe Haven. Everyone is pampered and fed. As everyone begins to fall asleep, Thomas falls asleep next to Teresa until he is woken up by someone speaking telepathically to him. At first he believes it is Teresa, but he then realizes that the voice sounds different and determines it is Brenda, who warns him that something bad will happen. Thomas then awakens in a stark white room and realizes that he has been separated from the group once more.
In The Death Cure, Brenda reveals that she was not supposed to become friends with Thomas, and was supposed to pretend like she was. However, she tells Thomas to trust her and Chancellor Paige, and later helps Thomas, Minho, and Newt escape with the help of Jorge. Over the course of time, she and Thomas grow close again. The book ends with them sitting very close, arms wrapped around each other, on a small sturdy ledge on an island unaffected by the Flares, staring at the last wink of the sunset. Brenda tells Thomas, "There are over two hundred of us and we're all immune. It'll be a good start" - implying that she is one of Paige's two partners whom she secretly placed among the Immunes.
In Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, the Gladers take refuge in a warehouse outside the city during the storm in the Scorch. After they revive Minho from the lightning strike, they discover that they're trapped in the front room with chained Cranks lunging at them. While the group panics and huddles closer, Brenda appears from a room off to the side, chuckling that the group alerted their presence, thanks to their "watch dogs". She takes them to meet Jorge, who is curious about the group and their sudden appearance.
As Jorge tries to pry information from them, she sits back on a couch and watches. When Minho and Thomas try to fight Jorge's crew, she grabs a scanning device from the table and tells Thomas to shut up before scanning the back of his neck. The scanner reads that he was tagged by WCKD and that he is to be killed by Group B. Shocked, she hands the scanner to Jorge, saying that he was right.
Once the Gladers are tied up and left to dangle over an open area, Brenda talks to Jorge about the Gladers. He is giddy, stating that these kids are their ticket to the Safe Haven promised by The Right Arm. Brenda expresses doubt about finding them, stating that he'd be giving up his secure position as the leader of the refugees in the warehouse just to chase after a theory. When WCKD shows up, looking for the Gladers, Jorge instructs her to free the Gladers and get them out of here while he rigs an intricate bomb that will detonate after a song played on a record ends.
Brenda finds one of the refugees trying to smuggle the Gladers out at gun point, hoping to turn them into WCKD for a reward. As he tries to shoot at Thomas for attacking him, Brenda shoots the refugee, killing him. She takes the Gladers to a zipline and yells at them to get out now, as they have little time. She lingers behind to dig around for a trinket in Jorge's desk drawers and tries to make it back to the zipline with Thomas, only to find multiple WCKD armed soldiers closing in. She leads Thomas across support beams in the warehouse to escape, sliding down poles leading to a sub-basement area as Jorge's bomb detonates. She locates a grate leading to the underground tunnels and leads Thomas to find an exit.
As they walk through the area, she points out a strange webbed vine pattern on the walls. Both get jumpy at the sound of something coming towards them, only to discover it is a rat coming out of the pipe near them. She kicks the rat, which lands near one of the Gone Cranks, coming to life and grabbing the rat. Once it realizes that it has company, it moves towards the pair, prompting other Gone Cranks to chase after them. Both find their way out of the tunnels and begin to climb up into a collapsed building. Due to the angle of the building, Brenda loses her balance near the top and slides into an abandoned room, landing on the glass with a thud. Thomas rushes to help as the glass begins to crack and break away. Meanwhile, a Gone Crank finds them, sliding into the room and trying to rip at Brenda's face and body. She manages to dodge the assault until Thomas finds a wire and offers it to Brenda for support as the glass finally breaks and sends the Crank down several stories.
After they escape the building, Brenda stops by a trash dumpster, tearing off a strip of cloth when she discovers that the Gone Crank scratched her while falling out of the building. She dismisses that she's okay for now and tells Thomas that they need to blend in and find Marcus, Jorge's contact who knows about The Right Arm. They pass a building where a loud party is taking place and a blonde woman asks if they're here for the party. Brenda addresses a blonde man in a suit, asking for Marcus. The man lies, telling her that Marcus used to be in this building but is no longer alive. Thomas asks if the man has seen a group of teens and an older man, prompting the man to hand over a bottle of liquor. The man tells them that in order to enter the tent to look for their friends, they need to take a sip each. Brenda drinks first and Thomas is forced to down a long sip by the blonde woman.
The pair split up to look for their friends and meet back up on the dance floor. Brenda, in a daze, states that she can't find them and resists Thomas's idea to look elsewhere, saying that its too late and maybe they just need to let go and accept their fate. Brenda kisses Thomas and for a brief moment, he hallucinates that he just kissed Teresa. He moves away from her, saying that he can't do this because she isn't her, before blacking out.
As Thomas comes to, he discovers Brenda sitting and watching as Jorge beats up the man in the suit, who is revealed to be Marcus. Brenda watches and listens as Marcus confesses that he's switched sides and works for WCKD, hosting the party to get them a little drunk so they're passed out when WCKD comes to collect them. Eventually, Jorge manages to get Marcus to confess where he last heard of The Right Arm's location and movement and he takes Marcus's car, Bertha, to get to the mountain area where The Right Arm is operating.
Brenda starts moving slower, due to her injury from the Gone Crank. Eventually she collapses in front of Vince when Harriet and Sonya take the group to the base. Vince threatens to shoot her until Mary Cooper intervenes, instructing Thomas to help carry her to the medical tent. Mary draws blood from Thomas to construct a temporary treatment for Brenda. She administers the mixture to help Brenda's injuries but warns Thomas and Jorge that it is a temporary fix, merely a patch that will slow the progression, not fully cure it. As she lies on a cot, Thomas discovers the trinket box she went back for and she explains that the boy in the picture was her brother George. She recalls that WCKD picked them up when they were younger, running multiple tests on them. WCKD determined that George was fit to stay as they researched the cure but Brenda was dismissed. Thomas leaves her to rest in the tent as he regroups with the Gladers.
Later, The Right Arm base is ambushed by WCKD, thanks to a tip from Teresa who is convinced that they shouldn't have left the facility due to the bad state of world thanks to The Flare. Brenda fights alongside the Right Arm volunteers until Jorge deems the situation bleak. Both pull Thomas aside, trying to persuade him to leave with them so they can get to safety. Thomas refuses and sends both of them away, saying that he won't leave the Gladers behind.
As volunteers and escaped Gladers and Icers are rounded up, Thomas reveals that he has Jorge's handheld grenade and threatens Ava Paige and WCKD with it, stating that he will detonate it if WCKD proceeds to take the Immunes. In the midst of the standoff, Jorge and Brenda commandeer a Right Arm vehicle, crashing it into the soldiers, which buys some time for the volunteers and Gladers. Both fight alongside Vince to ward off WCKD as they take whomever they can get onto their Berg for the tests.
The next morning, Vince concludes that it would be best to send Harriet, Thomas, Newt, and the remaining kids to the Safe Haven before WCKD tries to get them too. Thomas resists, stating that he needs to go after Minho and won't hesitate to do it alone. Newt agrees to help and Brenda chimes in, with Jorge also in agreement. Eventually, Harriet and Vince conclude that they would like to exact revenge on WCKD for their losses and ask Thomas for the plan.
In the movie tie-in Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials: Official Graphic Novel Prelude, Brenda is shown before the Scorch Trials, wandering with her brother George and avoiding Cranks. WCKD then took her brother in a helicopter. Jorge, who was going to rob her and her brother, decides to take the lone girl under his wing. He promises to keep her alive one night. Brenda argues that he has to leave her somewhere safe, so Jorge takes her to a Right Arm outpost.
Greeted by Marcus, they quickly make their way to safety. Mary, the creator of the Flare virus and founder of The Right Arm, welcome the pair. But Brenda barely has time to make herself comfortable before WCKD helicopters raid the outpost. Brenda quickly learns how to fight, and makes up her mind to "be unforgettable" to WCKD. Before they can leave the outpost, Mary stops them. Brenda and Jorge are horrified to learn that Mary is draining immune children of their blood to create a cure. While trying to convince the two that what she is doing is good, WCKD soldiers storm the place. Mary, badly injured by a gunshot wound, is seen grabbing for a gun before being left. Jorge decides that they should stick together, and are seen walking away from the outpost, together.
Physical Appearance and Personality
Thomas described her as "pretty" and an "older teenager" with long brown hair and dark eyes that "made the whites seem to glow brightly". She has a slightly scratchy, almost husky voice. It is suggested that she was shorter than Thomas, as he thought that she had to be standing on the tips of her toes to put her head on his shoulder.
In the film adaptation, Brenda has short dark hair cut close to her head. She is, by a few inches, slightly shorter than Thomas.