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- "I just... feel like I need to save everyone. To redeem myself."
- — Thomas to Newt, The Maze Runner
In The Kill Order, Thomas undergoes an operation for the Swipe so he can be sent into the Maze with the other Gladers. Through the entire operation, Teresa is by his side, scared about what will happen to her and Thomas, but calm, believing that WICKED will find a cure for the Flare for the sake of humanity. Thomas is then put into the Box and lifted into the Maze.
In the epilogue, it is revealed that Thomas was named after Thomas Edison because a WICKED agent pointed out a hanging light bulb in his mother's house, saying, "You know who made that, right? We should call this one Thomas."
In The Fever Code, Thomas is referred to as Stephen early on in the book. Two days have passed since Stephen has been taken from his family by WICKED, the same organization that wants Stephen to accept a new name: Thomas. However, Stephen continues to prove adamant until a man named Randall Spilker takes him to a chair, then injects a pain stimulator into Stephen's neck, Stephen tries to stay with his old name, then at the touch of a button Randall activates the Stimulator, causing excruciating pain, Seconds after the first wave of pain, Thomas wakes up, strapped with leather to the chair. Randall is in front of him with the button, Stephen starts to cry, and then Randall presses the button. This happens several times, after four waves of pain, Stephen gets used to the torture's never-ending pain. Stephen tries to fake accepting his new name, Randall then responds saying "I don't believe you." and presses the button, causing more and more pain. Randall then continuously asks Stephen his name, giving up hope, he responds with 'Thomas' and accepts his new name. Randall administers a final wave of torture to remind Stephen (now Thomas) that he can always inject a new stimulator if he even mentions his old name. After this, Thomas does not see Randall for years, which he is thankful for, as he hated him.
Throughout the course of several years, Thomas spends much of his time attending advanced classes with different teachers. He meets and develops a fondness for Dr. Ava Paige, as she treats him with the most kindness out of all the WICKED staff members. Three years after the incident with Randall, he is allowed to meet a girl named Teresa, whose room was next to his. They form a close bond, and as they grew older, they were promoted to designing and building the Maze. That night, Thomas decides to sneak out of his room and find Teresa to talk to her about this new development. But the same night, a boy called Newt comes to introduce him and Teresa to his friends Alby and Minho. They become close friends who secretly meet every night. But the first time their new friends show Thomas and Teresa the way outside the building, they get caught by Randall. They are led to the Crank pits (all except Newt, who isn't immune) and forced to walk along a narrow corridor with Cranks pressing against the fences to their left an right. They also meet the former Chancellor John Michael, who is infected. He holds up a sign which says "WICKED is good". He tells the kids that he had been essential to the organization and that he wanted a more dignified ending than being thrown into the pits. He begs them to save him or at least others. Randall finally shoots him dead. Thomas and Teresa are now working for WICKED. Their job is to program optical illusions for Maze A. Months after the Crank pit evening, Teresa finds a way to enable them to meet their friends again without being caught by guards. They also meet a new boy, Chuck, who is younger than them. To them, he's like a little brother. But Minho still plans to escape, no matter the advantages of staying with WICKED his friends point out. Together with a kid named Gally, he attempts to flee. They get caught, and Randall forces Thomas to watch the cruel punishment. After that, Minho is traumatized. Only when their friends are about to be inserted into the Maze, they learn that Thomas and Teresa will not join them, and feel betrayed. Thomas spends most of his free time watching his friends in the Maze. One day, Dr. Paige needs the help of the four elites (Thomas, Teresa, Aris and Rachel): The Flare has infected several WICKED staff members. It needs Immunes to go to them and kill them. After this so called Purge, Thomas feels guilt and avoids his friends. When he goes to the control room for the first time after the Purge, he sees Alby supporting Newt, who can't walk by himself. He finds out that Newt has tried to kill himself in the Maze. Some time later, it's Chuck's turn to be inserted to the Maze. This causes Thomas to develop a plan to finally help his friends. He wants to go into the Maze himself.
In The Maze Runner, Thomas wakes up in a lift with no memory except for his name. When the lift opens, he is surrounded by other boys, who also have no memory except their names. This place is called the Glade. The Glade is surrounded by a gigantic Maze with the Walls moving and changing every single night. Every morning, the Doors to the Maze open, and every night, they close. The Gladers do not want to be stuck in the Maze when the walls close, for they could be "stung" by the slug-like monsters called Grievers that lurk in the Maze. As Thomas adjusts to life in the Glade, he befriends a younger boy named Chuck.
When Thomas sees the Runners go into the Maze to try to find a way out, he feels that he should be a Runner. Then, when a girl comes up in the Box, Alby and Newt call Thomas over because they feel that the girl and Thomas have a connection. Thomas denies having any memory of her, but he does feel like he knows her. The girl is in a coma and the Med-jacks take care of her.
In the morning, Alby and Minho go into the Maze to inspect an apparently dead Griever Minho found. At night, just as the walls begin to close, Thomas sees Minho dragging an unconscious Alby towards the Glade; the Griever had been playing dead and Alby had been stung. Thomas wants to go and help and, ignoring the rules, dashes into the Maze right before the walls close. Minho is angry at Thomas for doing something so pointless, as he believes all three of them will die. At the sound of Grievers in the distance, Minho leaves Alby and Thomas and runs off, believing their chances will be better if they split up. Thomas drags Alby to the wall and starts tying him to the vines, working him higher and higher above the ground. When a Griever finally appears, Thomas lures it away from Alby by running deeper into the Maze. When he finds himself surrounded by several Grievers, he runs away and then, turning around, he leaps over the one chasing him before it can slow its momentum.
Thomas later meets up with Minho and the Grievers chase them. Minho tells Thomas to follow him and they go to the Cliff. The Grievers are still chasing them, but Minho has an idea based on what Thomas did with his run-and-jump maneuver. They both stand at the edge of the Cliff, and when the Grievers charge at them, they jump away and the Grievers fall over the edge. Several feet beyond the Cliff, there is an invisible hole seemingly suspended in mid-air, which is where the Grievers usually return after roaming the Maze.
In the morning, Thomas takes Alby off of the wall vines. Thomas, Alby, and Minho are the first people to survive in the Maze for a whole night. Alby is given an antidote for his Griever sting. When Thomas visits him, Alby tries to tell Thomas what he saw during his Changing. However, Alby grabs his own neck and starts choking himself. Thomas calls for Newt, and together they get Alby to stop hurting himself. Newt says that Alby is crazy, even though Alby says that he was being controlled and he didn't know what he was doing.
When Thomas visits the girl, she speaks in his head. Thomas is frightened and in denial about this at first. He learns that her name is Teresa. Teresa tells him telepathically that she triggered "The Ending." Thomas does not know what this means, but soon, the walls do not close and bad things begin to happen.
When Teresa is fully recovered, she rushes to Thomas. They talk and begin to form a bond, with Thomas definitely having a crush on her. They also realize that they must have known each other before coming to the Maze.
With the Walls no longer closing, The Grievers begin to enter the Glade each night, taking one kid at a time. Thomas and Teresa eventually figure out a code to the Maze. Thomas gets stung purposely by a Griever so he can remember his life before the Maze. He learns that there is only one way of escape: through the Griever Hole. The Gladers make it through the Griever Hole, losing half of their members, including Alby. They are greeted by someone who works for WICKED and Gally. Gally takes a knife and throws it at Thomas, but Chuck takes the hit by jumping in front of Thomas. Broken by this, Thomas goes berserk and attacks Gally until he is pulled away by his friends. Then a rescue team comes in and seemingly kills the WICKED members, rescuing the Gladers.
In The Scorch Trials, Thomas and the other Gladers are rescued and brought to a safe dormitory, only to find out that it was all a hoax, they were never rescued and WICKED has been behind the whole thing. Teresa is taken and given to Group B, an all-girl experiment that has been run exactly the same as the Gladers (Group A). Phase 2 of the Trials begins as 'The Rat Man' (known as Janson in The Death Cure) from WICKED tells them they have two weeks to travel 100 miles of wasteland, in order to reach a safe haven and be given a cure for the Flare. On the way, the Gladers meet Brenda and Jorge, who say they are infected with the Flare and make a deal to reach the Safe Haven together.
Thomas's relationship with Teresa deteriorates drastically throughout the book, as Teresa is told by WICKED that unless she makes Thomas feel utterly betrayed (presumably to stimulate Killzone patterns in his brain), they'll kill him. Thomas does not believe her explanation, and there is a distinct coldness in his attitude towards her. Added to that is his budding relationship with Brenda, which seemingly makes Teresa somewhat jealous more than once.
In The Death Cure, Thomas awakes in a white enclosed room and is stuck in there for weeks until it is revealed to him that he and his friends will be able to get their memories back. The group is informed that some of their members, Newt included, are not immune to the Flare and are ultimately dying. Thomas, Newt, Minho, and Frypan refuse to regain their memories and are sent back to their rooms. Later, Frypan changes his mind, deciding to have his memories returned, and leaves the group.
Thomas and his friends then formulate a plan to escape with the help of Brenda and Jorge. Newt, realizing that his days are numbered due to the Flare, writes a note and gives it to Thomas, telling him only to read it when the time is right. The group manages to escape, finding along the way that Teresa and the others have all escaped without them. Thomas and his posse escape to Denver, a supposedly safe city that has not been badly affected by the Flare. However, things turn out horribly and Newt, being Flare-infected, is taken by some quarantine workers to the local Crank Palace (the place where infected people live out their remaining days). Thomas, Minho, Brenda, and Jorge try to get him out, but Newt refuses to go with them, aiming a Launcher at them until they finally leave in despair. Thomas reads the note Newt gave him earlier, finding that it reads, "Kill me. If you've ever been my friend, kill me."
Thomas and his friends then meet up with a group called the Right Arm, who are opposed to WICKED. The Right Arm has been kidnapping Immunes (Teresa and her group among them) as part of a ploy to take down WICKED. Thomas joins forces with them. A short time later, as he and a couple of Right Arm members are driving to where the bergs are located, Thomas sees Newt among a group of Cranks on the road. He runs over to his friend, only to have Newt yell angrily at him because he did not follow the note's instructions. Newt then jumps him and pins him to the ground. Frightened by his friend's attack of madness, Thomas slowly reaches for his pistol out of self-defense, only to have Newt notice and grab Thomas's hand, forcing the pistol to his own forehead. Newt yells at Thomas, to kill him and make everything right, and Thomas horrified but seeing no other choice, pulls the trigger.In an exploding final journey, Thomas leads an evacuation of hundreds of Immunes from the WICKED compound just as a series of bombs are being set off by the Right Arm. A concrete slab falls from the ceiling directly over him, but Teresa throws herself in the way and is crushed instead. Thomas says that he is very sorry, and Teresa says that she is, too. She tries to tell Thomas that she only ever cared about him, but she dies before she can finish her sentence. 200 of the Immune get out with Thomas, which include about half of Group A and Group B, before they make it to the Flat Trans that leads to a Safe Haven, which is apparently an island. They emerge in 'paradise', and it is implied that they will repopulate the earth with their immune genes. In the end, Brenda kisses Thomas as they watch the sunset together.
In the Maze Runner film, Thomas wakes up in an underground lift without his memory and gets sent to the Glade, a place full of teenage boys. Gally, at this time not even hostile, is the first to welcome him and get him out of the Box. Thomas meets Alby, the kind leader of the Glade, and Newt, the Second-in-Command of the Glade. Chuck, the last Greenie before Thomas, somehow sticks to him, clearly looking for a friend. Thomas finds himself in a big square clearing, surrounded by gigantic walls. Right in the middle of each side, there's an opening as high as the walls themselves. When he attempts to explore these doors and the way beyond on his first evening, Gally prevents him from walking into the Maze just a moment before the doors close for the night. Next day, Thomas helps out in the gardens, coming up with all kinds of escaping the Maze. Newt tells him that whatever he can think of, they have tried that before. Thomas walks in the wood and discovers George's grave at the deadheads. Suddenly, Ben, a Runner, attacks him. Ben has been stung by a Griever in open daylight, which has apparently never happened before. Thomas tries to defend himself, hitting Ben with a skull, managing to run away and cry for help. Ben catches up to him, but is knocked unconscious by Newt. Suddenly, the alarm rings, the Box appears and delivers the first girl, Teresa, together with the note "She's the last one, ever." Newt, who has jumped down to get the new Greenie out of the Box, first assumes she is dead, but she suddenly wakes up, utters Thomas' name, and goes back to sleep.
One evening, the boys are waiting for the return of Minho and Alby, who have not yet returned from the Maze. Just when the doors are about to close, the missing Runners appear at the far end of the corridor. Minho half carries the Griever-stung Alby along. The Gladers hurry them on, but when it becomes clear that the two won't make it in time, Thomas squeezes through the closing doors to help them survive the night in the Maze. Minho knows that it's clear that they are already dead. But, having no idea of the horrors of the Maze, Thomas still hopes and makes plans such as hiding the unconscious Alby in the ivy thicket up the wall. Minho assists him, but when a Griever comes, he runs away. Thomas can hide under the ivy. Later, the two boys are reunited and chased by a Griever. Thomas manages to get it crushed between two closing walls of the moving Maze.
In the morning, the doors open to reveal a very hopeful Chuck and a very skeptical Newt looking for the three boys who spent the night in the Maze. Just when Newt turns away, bereft of all hope, Chuck sees them turning around the corner. Most of the Gladers are impressed and happy that they made it alive, but Gally claims that Thomas needs to be punished for breaking Rule No. 1. In absence of Alby, who is cared for by the Med-jacks, Newt calls a Gathering to discuss the matter. Before they come to a conclusion, Chuck interrupts the Gathering: "It's the girl!" The Keepers rush out and see the girl sitting on the platform, throwing stones at the Gladers, lest the come closer. Only Thomas is allowed to get up to her and they talk. Later, they continue the Gathering, and Newt appoints Thomas as a Runner after one night in the Pit as a punishment for breaking rules. Gally is clearly unhappy with this solution and leaves them in an angry mood. Thomas, Minho, Frypan, Zart, and Winston enter the Maze together to find the crashed Griever in the hope to learn something useful. They can retrieve a metal cylinder with a number 7 on it. They return to the Glade and examine the device, but are called to Alby, who goes through the Changing. When he is flailing around wildly, Teresa produces a syringe with a serum of unknown purpose. They manage to inject it to Alby and he calms down immediately. At nightfall, Gally brings Thomas to the Pit. Chuck appears and talks to him, confiding in him how he longs for his parents. Chuck is convinced that Thomas will finally make it out of the Maze and he gives a small figurine to Thomas as a lucky charm and asks him to tell his parents that he loves them. But Thomas refuses and insists that Chuck will tell them himself.
The next day, Minho takes Thomas into the Maze. They explore a section Minho has never been to before: The Griever Hole. Thomas inserts the device and a door opens. Then the walls start to move and Thomas and Minho run back, taking the device with them. That night, the doors do not close, and the Grievers attack the Gladers. Alby saves Chuck's life by hacking a Griever's limb off, only to be killed seconds later. Many Gladers are killed in that night. When the attack is over, Thomas stings himself with the hacked off Griever sting, hoping that he will regain some memory to help them finally escape. In his memory dream, he can see himself working beside Teresa for WCKD, experimenting on his friends. Thomas wakes up in the Pit, afflicted by feels of guilt. Newt tells him that none of the past matters any more. The only thing that matters is who they are now and what they do now.
The next morning, Gally takes command and has Thomas and Teresa tied up at poles right in front of the open doors as an offer to the Grievers. He means to offer the troublemakers in order to pacify the Grievers/Creators in the hope that the peace of the Glade will be restored and they will be safe again. But Thomas knocks his capturers out, his friends free Teresa and two parties form. Thomas, Teresa, Newt and Minho are determined to go for the Griever Hole and find the exit. A number of Gladers join in, among them Frypan, Chuck, and Winston. while Gally and his allies stay behind.
Thomas and his group make it to the Griever Hole unharmed, but right there, numerous Grievers attack them. Teresa punches in the code while the Gladers fight off the Grievers, suffering many losses. When the hole finally opens the survivors find themselves in an endless corridor with many doors. One that is labelled exit.
They pass it and stand in a control room. It is devastated, and corpses lie everywhere. On screens and monitors they can see images of the Glade and their own faces, along with data. Thomas switches on another one, thus starting a video message from Chancellor Ava Paige who tells them about the Sun Flares that had struck the earth, about a disease called the Flare, and the necessity to find a cure. Finally, she directs a gun at her own head and closes her eyes. Everyone averts their eyes as the gunshot is heard.
Gally, who has been stung by a Griever, arrives, telling them that they will never be free, He aims a gun at Thomas. but Minho throws a spear into Gally's chest, killing him. while Gally shoots a bullet into Chuck's chest, killing him. While the Gladers cry in shock over Chuck's dead body, masked and armed men arrive and usher them to a waiting helicopter, telling them that they are safe now.
In a flashback set before the Scorch Trials film, Thomas is being dropped off by his mother and taken in by Ava Paige and WCKD. Thomas snaps out of this flashback-dream when Minho yells at him to wake up, since the helicopter they are in is about to land. When they arrive, Thomas grabs Chuck's Relic, and the Gladers are sent to a facility run by Janson.
At night, Thomas wakes to Aris coming into their dorm through the ventilation shaft. The boy beckons him to follow because he wants to show him something. The two boys observe nurses wheeling bed with a covered person into a room.
The next day, Thomas incites a fight with the guards in the canteen, saying he wants to see his friend Teresa. He has no chance of getting through, but in the brawl, he manages to retrieve the key card off one of the guards. That night, he and Aris break into the room where the nurses had brought the covered person the previous night. They discover rows after rows of teenagers, alive but unconscious, hung up on stands with lots of medical devices. Still shocked by that sight they overhear a conversation between Chancellor Ava Paige and Janson.
In the opening scene of the Death Cure film, Thomas and Vince get on board a train that transports the Immunes to the WCKD main complex, while Brenda and Jorge distract the berg which came to aid the guards. Thomas manages to decouple the wagon while Brenda and Jorge hijack the berg. With the help of Newt and Frypan, they use the berg to lift the container with the Immunes off the wagon and fly to a place near the sea. They intend to finally leave and go to the safe haven. But Minho is not among the rescued. So Thomas resolves to leave the rest of them and try to rescue Minho on his own accord. Newt and Frypan insist on accompanying him. They reach an abandoned checkpoint.
Physical Appearance and Personality
In The Maze Runner, Chuck tells Thomas that he was around five foot nine and also describes him (probably jokingly) as being as "ugly as fried liver on a stick". He tells Thomas that he looks like sixteen years old. Thomas is shocked, because he feels older than that. He is, however, younger than Newt, who is repeatedly referred to as "the older boy". In The Kill Order, Thomas is described as having sandy brown hair. In the films, Thomas is portrayed by actor Dylan O'Brien, who is known for his role as Stiles Stilinski in the TV series Teen Wolf.
Thomas has always been an inquisitive person, before and after being sent to the Maze. He has a habit of becoming frustrated when answers are kept from him, something he experiences on a regular basis. In The Maze Runner, Thomas starts off as timid and somewhat aloof, but steadily grows more bold and sociable throughout the series. He does not easily give up on anyone and would rather rush back and help them than leave his friends behind.
- "Because we've had to grow up fast, we deserve to be treated like adults. Not like babies, not like mice in a cage, not like idiots. We all want the same thing. Why can't we be treated like partners instead of... subjects? Minho, Alby, Newt – everyone I know in here would be a lot more cooperative if you'd just show a little respect." The Fever Code
- "You'll have to go a while without seeing my beautiful face every day. You better be whining and crying. I'm talking puffy eyes, wet face, snot pouring into your mouth, the whole bit. I don't see that in the next three minutes, I'm gonna be offended." The Fever Code
- "I just... feel like I need to save everyone, to redeem myself." The Maze Runner
- "Even in my klunky memories, I'm pretty sure stuff like that doesn't happen normally." The Scorch Trials
- "Whoa, slim it nice and calm there, old fella. You look three steps away from a heart attack." The Death Cure
- "Whoa, Newt. Things suck, yeah, but slim it. What's wrong?" The Death Cure
- "No way. Worst idea in history. It's dark, it could be a trap, it could be a lot of terrible things. Let's just get some sleep and keep a better eye out tomorrow." The Death Cure
- "Go let them play with your brain." The Death Cure
- "Teresa, I know your not stupid. But I also know you're in love with WICKED. I'm not sure what you're up to, but I'm not buying it." The Death Cure