The Case For Teresa Agnes

I originally posted this on my own blog, but thought maybe it should be expressed here as well.

***WARNING: This is SPOILER-HEAVY on The Maze Runner Trilogy, so if you haven’t finished the trilogy and you don’t want to know what happens, then please don’t read!***

I just finished reading the final book of the Maze Runner trilogy, The Death Cure. So, let’s just get this out of the way. The Maze Runner trilogy was never about who Thomas would end up with. This isn’t a romance series. The end of the world was at hand in this book, and there’s a lot of things that happen to Thomas as well as his friends and the two main females that, in one way or another, find a connection with Thomas.

Being said that this isn’t a romance series, there’s still a bit of romance in there, which is what brings me to this post. Teresa and Thomas vs. Brenda and Thomas.

I’ve been scouting around and there are many people that, after reading the trilogy, are happy that Thomas ended up with Brenda because they ended up, like Minho, hating Teresa. Fine, you know, I’ll begrudgingly accept the fact that Thomas ended up with Brenda. But to hate Teresa? Here’s my problem with that logic: Thomas and Teresa grew up together, played together, worked together, even spoke together in their minds, because they were placed together to help WICKED. Thomas and Teresa were involved in creating the Maze. Thomas and Teresa had agreed to go through with it, knowing what was already happening, because they believed they were helping save the human race.

Now, here’s where things get tricky. Because of the memory swipe, Thomas is left to his own new thinking. See, in the third book, you realize that Thomas started having second thoughts, albeit it was more like an inkling in the back of him mind that maybe WICKED’s ways weren’t the best approach on how to fix the world, but he had already invested pretty much his whole life into it, so he went along with it. That is, until he was put in the Maze and started to become very involved with his group of Gladers. He was able to be part of them, live with them, become friends with them.

Now there’s Teresa. Teresa is slightly different in the fact that she wholly believed WICKED was doing the right thing. She accepted it. She basically put all her hope into it. We don’t know what she saw before she got involved with WICKED, but obviously she knew the world needed to be fixed desperately and WICKED was where she put her hope. She thought that Thomas had as well. When she was brought into the Glade, she was in a coma for most of the time she was there, and for whatever reason WICKED had in their variables, she was given the opportunity to communicate with Aris in the other maze while in her coma. She eventually was able to communicate with Thomas, too. She did have more of her memories about WICKED than Thomas did, and when she woke up, she didn’t get to establish any kind of friendship with any of the Gladers like Thomas had. She was, to them, still an outsider. The only one who would give her a chance was Thomas, because they both knew they had something between them. Best friends prior to the swipe, maybe lovers, who knew at that point.

The thing is that, as a reader, you get to see the relationship between Thomas and Teresa, and you start wanting it to develop into something good and close and happy. James Dashner always has Thomas bring her up, constantly. Even when they lose the telepathy communication between each other, or even when he’s mad at Teresa, Thomas still has her in the back of his mind. You’re led to believe they could be something great together.

Then things go really horrendously bad for Thomas in the second book that changes the way he feels about her completely. Theresa is separated from him and the other Gladers, and WICKED forces her to do things that she really doesn’t want to do because she knows it will hurt Thomas. You know what? She does them anyway. You might think, well, that’s a reason to hate her. Because why would someone who cares about you hurt you, both physically and emotionally, right? Well, how about if you thought that all your actions were for the sole purpose of saving millions of people, maybe the whole human race? This is the dilemma that Teresa is constantly struggling with. And she sacrificed, yes, sacrificed, the trust and relationship she had with Thomas for that purpose. She still had her hope in WICKED and believed it fully because that’s what she wrote on her arm. Wouldn’t you trust what you wrote?

The thing is, she never wanted to hurt Thomas or kill Thomas. Her thought was that, if having Thomas truly believe he was betrayed was going to help save the world, she was doing the right thing. I’m not saying her logic was not flawed. Yes, she was sadly misguided probably by her own belief in what she wrote on her arm. Thomas understood after all, but this is the first time my heart goes out to her, because she knew what she was risking when she hit him and forced him into that chamber. She was risking a loving relationship with her best friend. And Thomas couldn’t find it in himself to forgive her for making that choice.

At this point, he’s already met Brenda, whom Thomas admits is a beautiful girl. Still, Thomas is thinking about Teresa, even while being with Brenda. Thomas is a confused teenage boy, admit it. Even when he’s lost trust in Teresa, he still wants her with him. Maybe not in a romantic way, but he knew the connection between them was still strong. But now with Brenda there, he has found a connection with someone else, someone who, although quite a bit too forward for my liking, he is attracted to. It’s not outright said that he does, but it’s certainly strongly hinted at. With Teresa having betrayed his trust, Thomas was able to transfer it to someone else, while Teresa had to deal with her consequences.

And I have to say that Teresa is a much stronger person than many characters in these books. That’s why she takes my number 1 spot as favorite character of the trilogy. Even when we get into the third book and you’re still not sure where Teresa lies, especially because she wants the swipe removed and Thomas doesn’t (c’mon, I know many of you think he should’ve had the swipe removed as well, and deal with the decisions he made previous to being put in the Glade). Interestingly enough, Teresa finally sees that WICKED’s plans are far more destructive than helpful at this point, after all that she and the others have been through, because she has people she considers friends now, something that she didn’t have in the Glade.

Teresa never betrayed Thomas after the Scorch Trials (and probably never did before then either), yet Thomas always had that doubt about her (another reason I wish Thomas had gotten the swipe removed, especially when he at one point he communicated to Teresa how he wished he could remember how they were before). Even though we pretty much see everything through Thomas’ POV, I believe Teresa’s actions mostly revolved around Thomas after her betrayal, with the exception of having the swipe removed. But after that, her thoughts were about Thomas, finding Thomas, helping Thomas, saving Thomas. She said she would do whatever she could to convince to earn his trust again – well, she said to make up for her mistakes, but honestly, I believe she ultimately wanted his complete trust back. Unfortunately, and in an unbelievably heartbreaking conclusion, it would lead to her sacrificing herself for him, not once, but twice – the second time being the fatal blow.

What kills me even more is that not everyone in the story knows or understands how much she did, and even the mourning for her just seemed so thoughtless. I mean, maybe Thomas never really liked Teresa like a girlfriend anyway. Maybe she was always just a friend to him, but the fact is he knew how she felt about him and in the end, when not even a whole day had passed, he accepted Brenda completely. Sure, it said he hurt for Teresa’s death, but honestly, if that was my best friend (and it is stated that he lost his 3 closest friends), I would’ve been mourning a lot longer than he had. But that’s Thomas, I guess (which is probably why he’s not in my top 5 favorite fictional male characters).

It’s odd how Teresa’s death hurts as much as an actual person’s death to me right now. Maybe not like the death of a family member, but somewhat like a friend’s death would hurt. I actually cared about this person, because her personality is so realistic in many ways. She admits to having made mistakes and accepts the consequences of her actions, even that of losing her closest and probably only true friend (being that they grew up together) and yet she tries with all her power to make up for it. Even now, I’m crying about her, which is very strange.

So, okay fine. Let Brenda have Thomas. Like Brenda more than Teresa if you wish. But try not to hate Teresa. How can you hate someone who only thought she was doing the right thing for mankind, with her best friend at that, and knowing that she saved his life by giving up her own? How can you hate her knowing that she didn’t hate any of them?

I can’t. It’s my hope that if you find this post and you did hate Teresa, that you will find it in your heart to learn to see things a little differently after reading this.

Oh, and by the way, I cried when Newt died, too. At least you all didn’t hate him.

NOTE: This is the express viewpoint of TFGeekGirl only, and does not express any other admin’s viewpoint of this character.

About Author

Southern California native who likes movies (Star Wars, Marvel, Love Simon), books (Shadowhunter Chronicles, NA, YA fantasy, Red Rising series), TV shows (Supernatural, The 100), food (sushi, seafood, steak, all kinds really), and San Diego Comic-Con. I also like to write, but don't get to do much of that aside from on here.

9 Comments

  1. I just finished reading the trilogy myself and I found it surprising that there are so many people that seem to hate Teresa. While reading The Scorch Trials I thought her betrayal was obviously fake after all, when she was capturing Thomas she was glaring hatefully at Brenda. I took that as proof it was all an act. In any event I was saddened by her death, not to the point of tears but I am bothered by it. While reading The Death Cure I guessed that either Teresa or Brenda would have to die in order to resolve the romance issue. I had hoped it would be Brenda, after all she betrayed Thomas as well and without even the motavation behind it of saving his life. It turns out Brenda was working for WICKED during the second book and Thomas just lets that go. I am getting ready to read the two prequel books and I hope some light will be shed on things, I just wanted to say you are not alone…..I agree with you.

  2. Thomas, the dumb potato, hated or mistrusted Teresa because HE IS DUMBER THAN A TRASH CAN.
    I mean, its plain obvious, that she ‘betrayed’ him, to SAVE his sorry behind from WICKED. And Thomas cant even suffer a little kick and embarrassment to have his own life saved. I GET IT, betrayal sucks, but ONCE you know that there is a genuine reason behind it, ANY SANE PERSON would have forgiven their betrayer. And I hear some people saying that she OVERDID IT. incredulous!!! THAT WAS THE WHOLE POINT. TO MAKE HIM FEEL BETRAYED!! THOMAS, YOU MIGHT WANNA GET A NEW BRAIN.
    As for Brenda, she just comes and ruins it all. WHO IN TARTARUS IS SHE to ruin Teresa’s and Tom’s friendship? Brenda holds his hand and tries to get too close with him even after she knows Teresa is there. Ay decent person would have stayed out of it then. and to top it all, teresa dies..EXCUSE ME, MR. DASHNER. ARE U KIDDIN ME?
    At least Thomas should not have gotten together with dumb Brenda sooo soon after Teresa died. He should have respected her like Four in Divergent.

    SINCERELY,
    A frustrated fan.

    • Omg omg I have no words expected are you my twin? Like that’s exactly what I tell my friends but there like NOO BRENDA BRENDA I LOVE YOU YOUR AWESOME I HATE TERESA HAHAHAHA! I’m like ok then.

  3. Omg in the fever code THERESA DOES NOT GET THE SWIPE which just shows that even when they were growing up together she was on wickets side

    • If you have to write not one, but two prequels in order to explain yourself, that’s just proof you didn’t write your world and characters well enough. It’s reactionary instead of premeditated writing; in my opinion, those follow-up books don’t even count.

      I’m crying foul on Dashner’s obvious goal of trying to make the reader hate Teresa. I don’t buy it.

      • Absolutely agree with you OORU, the prequels are proof James just wants to stretch this longer than necessary he should of just left it at TDC

  4. Very succinct explanation on why Teresa shouldn’t be hated.

    I’d like to add that Thomas is supposed to be a freaking genius, yet he can’t seem to:
    1. Have any kind of emotional fortitude to weather his trials and have faith in his obvious best friend, Teresa. Can’t manage to keep her friendship in the back of your mind?
    2. Figure out that there’s something fishy about Brenda. Looks too nice…breath not rotten…
    3. Put together the pieces that Teresa’s behavior is all an act or she’s being controlled. The minute I saw that she was labeled “the traitor” by WICKED, I knew what was going to happen between them.
    4. Thomas barely knew Brenda, yet all of a sudden, she’s his freaking world. Yeah, really believable. /s

    Teresa, you deserved better. Your only flaw was caring about that doofus.

  5. The book series is about the end of the world, but Teresa is a character that makes a big impact

    Teresa was originally a strong independent character, now James seems to be obsessed with making the readers hate her. I guess since it’s all written by Thomases POV, it might be easy to missjudge her, but in TST it’s so easy to tell she “betrayed” him to save his life. The fact he stays butt hurt anoys me because she never hated him, ‘oh you betrayd me and broke my heart’ yes to save your LIFE. She’s even big about it and ADMITS she hurt him, it’s so sad to see her basicaly begging him to forgive and trust her again, and in a final act to prove it she sacrafised her self to save him, geting absolutly crushed by stone to the point where only her bloody head and arm is sticking out, and yet she still says sorry and admits the whole time she only ever carde for him. That proves that even in The Feaver Code, when she ‘betrayed’ him again, she always carde for him. You don’t just die for someone for no reason. They way James was writing Thomas how ever got on my nerves. All he ever did was run, run away from WICKD from Newt after he just shot him, from Teresa because he didn’t want to listen to her now that he had Brenda. He obviously didn’t care for her as much as she always did, since 1 minute later in the book Brenda made her move again and the book ended with them kissing in the sunset right after she died .-. That breaks my heart the poor girl.
    No one ever experience anything like Teresa did, two people sacrafised them selfs for HER when she was 4? Her mother died (and it says how and what she went through in the movie) she was going to be killed beacuse she was immune, they saved her bringing her to WICKD making her promis to find a cure for this. She just wanted it to be over, she belived whole heart that WICKD was good and they could save the world (and in the movie she basicaly did)
    Now, James is backtracking and writes she ALWAYS had her memories and she betrayed him AGAIN, but the thing is the world dosnt revolve around Thomas, only the book does. She has to coopoerate with them, she’s GIVEN the betrayer roll. She does what she thinks is best, and it turns out all for nothing. James posted that her past had always affected her, and she became desprate after Thomas didn’t want her anymore. She always loved him, so sad he gave up on her just because he didn’t want to understand.

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