Friday, March 13, 2015

The Maze Runner: Book vs. Movie Characters

     Due to the fact that every copy of "The Maze Runner" was checked out at my library and I really, really want to read this series, I finally just went to Wal-Mart and bought the whole series (all four books) in one set. I read the first book in two days and it was very good! I've already started the second one and that just throws you into a ring of fire from the first chapter.

     Like with most books-to-movies that I've read and watched, I had normally watched the movie prior to, which then leads me to read the books. Having now read the first the book, in the movie the plot was generally the same and although many things were changed around, they kept to the major storyline. What was different though, was many of the characters personalities, most especially the Gladers. The movie was definitely cleaner than the books; in the movie the Gladers were nice, generous, hardworking boys; bookverse...they are pretty much a bunch of crude, sardonic, pithy morons (I would use another word, but I never know whose reading). Other characters were spot on in spite of physical differences. 

      I'll rate the characters book-to-movie transitions on a scale of 1-10; 1 being least accurate and 10 to being spot-on.

~ ~ ~

     Movie-Thomas, pretty much stuck to the original book character. In both book and movie, he's insatiably curious, but also kind and very sacrificial. The book is told primarily from Thomas' POV, so the reader was able to gauge a better understanding of Thomas, whereas in the movie, it was left up to Dylan's acting (which he did a great job!).  In the book, Thomas is much more vulnerable and emotional; several times he breaks down and cries, regardless of who he's around. In the movie, Thomas is portrayed as having more control of his emotions. That being said, the movie did very well at bringing Thomas to life.

Thomas: 8.5
~ ~ ~

     Teresa is introduced in the second chapter of the book, but spends most of her time in a coma. The book allowed much more in depth characterization of Teresa, because she and Thomas have the ability to speak telepathically (something that was not shown in the movie). Obviously, due to time constraints and proper movie flow, on-screen Teresa had a limited amount of screen time, but the film made the most of it. In both book and movie, Teresa is strong-willed, compassionate and has a deep maternal instinct. She's not an alpha-bitch in any sort of way, but she will stand up to people whom she believes are being unjust and cruel. The only major difference is that the book describes Teresa as stunning beautiful, like a modern day Snow White. Kaya is pretty, but she's not stunning beautiful, but that worked in favor of the film, because they focused more on Teresa as a character to watch and not just a character to look at.

Teresa: 10
~ ~ ~

     He was exactly executed to perfection from book to movie. I mean I don't even need to go into any detail. He was perfect!

Chuck: 10.5
 ~ ~ ~ 

     Pretty much everyone's favorite character and for good reasons. In the book, Newt is the type pf guy you want on your side, no matter the situation. Like a typical Glader, he's sarcastic and flippant, but not nearly as crude as the others and does tend to be (what Thomas describes) a loose cannon; there are times when you can't be sure what he could be up to. The movie brought all those characteristics of Newt to life, but Thomas Brodie-Sansgter, seem to bring a little bit of his own charming of personality to the character. Movie-Newt was similar (maybe a little more practical), but the one major tearaway from the book was his physical appearance. In the book, Newt was described as looking like this while Thomas Brodie-Sangster is so skinny, you could snap him in half. Also, in the book, Newt has a limp, but that was hardly seen and never talked about in the movie.

Newt: 7
 ~ ~ ~

     This character was as far away from book-verse as a character could get! In the movie, Alby is portrayed as being strong and noble; he immediately befriends Thomas and gives him a tour of The Glades, he even throws a party for him. The book, however, Alby is cold and almost hateful toward everyone. He could really care less about Thomas, doesn't believe in partying and sure as hell wouldn't celebrate the arrival of a greenie. I mean I was absolutely shocked beyond belief at how much they had changed him in the movie. When I read the book, I couldn't believe that this was the same character that I saw as so kind and generous to everyone. Why they changed him, I don't know, but I definitely prefer the movie character over the book. Alby...was just not a good character in the book. He had his moments, like when Teresa arrives and the boys are fighting over who's going to be the first on top of her, Alby makes it clear that no one touches her or they face immediate banishment. And he did sacrifice himself at the end, but he had already gone crazy.

Alby: 1 
 ~ ~ ~

     Gally was kind of so-so in book/movie comparisons. In the book, he is described as a bully who will get what he wants, no matter what it takes. He is incredible cruel and a complete narcissist who has it out for Thomas the moment he arrives. There is a pure, undiluted evil to Gally, which made him a great villian in the story. They definitely kept a lot of Gally's brutish behavior in the movie, but made him more likable in the beginning and then watch his descent into utter madness. His storyline was changed dramatically, though. He never tried to take over the Glades in the books; he actually ran away and met up with the others at the former WICKED department. So either way, Gally was Gally. You can take him or leave him as he is.

Gally: 6.5
 ~ ~ ~

     Minho is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters in the series. He's intelligent, but speaks sarcasm like a second language. That was pretty much Minho's trademark attribute, his never-ending stream of sarcastic remarks. Book-verse Minho is a typical Glader that has the same belligerent attitude toward life, but is all business when it comes to the Maze. Similar to the movie-verse, only Minho (like Newt) is more serious and practical. I really would have liked them to add in more of Minho's sarcastic attitude to the movie, but I enjoyed him as a character in both book and movie.

Minho: 8
~ ~ ~

     So, the only real shocker was Alby. While the other Gladers kept their primary personalities intact, there were liberties that were taken with adjusting them and having them portrayed as more mature then they were in the books and to be honest, I liked them better in the movie. They were definitely less annoying and maybe unrealistic, but the major ones like Minho and Newt were well represented and that was good enough for me. Teresa and Thomas, I was glad they didn't change, I just don't know why they didn't add the fact that they were telepathic, because that is a huge discovery in the books and gave great insight into their forgotten pasts.

     Certain events were changed as well, such as Teresa throwing the rocks at the boys and the Glader's party for Thomas were made up for the movie and character storylines like Alby and Gally were practically rewritten. Like I've said with my movie reviewing, don't watch a book-based movie, expecting it to be word for word verbatim. Things are going to be changed, whether due to story flow or time; as long as the whole basis of the book (in this case being the Maze and eventually finding out about WICKED) is strongly intact and has remained the backbone of the story, then you can just watch it as a book inspired movie.


  1. You posted this right after I finished watching the movie! So awesome!

    Very intersting post; I've not read the books, but its really neat to hear what the differences were. I'm glad they changed Gally for the movie, I think, I liked him more as being a kinda-nice guy at the beginning and see him unravel into villain by the end.

    I think my favorite characters are Thomas and Mihno. Newt was also a nice character, I really liked him too. :)


  2. I think Newt was changed a bit more than that, be it dialogue or personality. He seemed a bit more sarcastic in the book to me and took things WAY too seriously in the movie. That said, he IS my favourite character, but he was portrayed as more consistent in the movies too, you always can kind of tell what’s on his mind, or at least what his intentions are, in the books it seems like he changes every few minutes, you can never really tell what’s going to happen next with him. Chuck seems to have a bit more of an attitude in the book too, and it appears like Thomas's view on Chuck is very different in the movie and books.


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