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I just finished The Death Cure, and I don't think I can say that the end of any other trilogy has left me feeling more resolved. I loved it. But

Teresa's death almost seemed unnecessary. I found her to be a really natural character, one whom I grew close to very quickly. I don't think I ever distrusted her, though she could be angering at times.

I don't understand why James Dashner chose to kill her off. Has he ever explained why, or might anyone have an idea as to why she was killed?

Here are my main arguments:

Con-death:

  • Teresa was easy to become attached to as a character.

  • She seemed good all along, just a little misled.

  • Thomas and Teresa finally re-establish their bond at the end of the book.

  • Her death was so... disappointing. No special words, just a quick goodbye that made her seem irrelevant, when really, she was quite important, or so I thought.

  • There were already enough deaths that posed WICKED as the bad guy. There didn't need to be a last straw. Chuck and Newt were enough, plus all of the terrible things Thomas had witnessed or had done to him by the organization.

The only things that make me understand why she died, and so unceremoniously, are the following points:

Pro-death:

  • There seemed to be a triangle of sorts between Thomas, Teresa, and Brenda (whether a love triangle or a friendship triangle). As with when Thomas had to choose between Brenda and Jorge on the Berg at the end of book two (though he was faking it that time), he had to choose this time, and he was much closer to Brenda, so Teresa had to go.
    • That rid of the last few marks of the past for Thomas, and allowed his new life to be free and balanced, with no more reminders but faint pangs of sadness.
  • She was important, but often very detached from the point of view the story was told in, and so the reader could easily distance him/herself from her.

That's the one point that feels unresolved. Sure, as mentioned in the pros, Teresa's death did bring some nice closing to the book, but left me hanging in a way, wishing she were still there.

To summarize, does Dashner seem to think that this was a necessary death? And given the above statements, why? If he hasn't explicitly stated anything, is there anything in the trilogy (or prequel) that might explain his logic?

One final point that I'd like to explore if possible:

Is it possible that Teresa's death was meant to rectify Janson's claim that Thomas was always solely self-centered and not willing to give to science? She sacrificed herself for him, showing once more, as Janson describes it, that everything revolves around little old Thomas.

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  • As I like to say, because we all hate her... – AJL Feb 7 '16 at 22:21
  • @AJL What makes you hate her? She seemed like a nice person, just put into an unfortunate situation in the book. – jmindel Mar 1 '16 at 6:26
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According to this interview with Dashner, Teresa's death seems to have been prompted by his editor's desire to remove the character from future books. We can speculate why, but generally characters are killed off when there's a need to simplify things.

Have you ever struggled between what you would like to happen to a character and what you considered more sensible to occur? Can you tell us when, and what you did about it?

Most definitely. It usually involves my brilliant editor, Krista Marino, convincing me that there might be a better option for a character or a plotline. We always go through several rounds of brutal revisions, and 99 percent of the time she ends up being right. One of the biggest is the ultimate fate of Teresa in The Maze Runner. I’ll say no more. . . .

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  • Interesting. I hadn't thought about that. I had hoped it was a little deeper, but I guess it makes sense that she was making the story lag a little. Thanks! Any thoughts on why else, thematically, she was killed, or do you think it was merely a move, like you said, to simplify things? – jmindel Mar 1 '16 at 6:28
  • @Jenguinie - Dunno. Sometimes you kill a female character to make a space for a new love interest or simply for emphasis (e.g. if it's been too long since someone died and there's a feeling that everyone is getting a bit too comfortable) or if the main character is just too damn happy. It might be a mix of all three. – Valorum Mar 1 '16 at 7:12
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Teresa was one of the most important characters as said above her death was unnecessary and She was my second favorite character (Chuck is first) Dashner just did not want all the readers to end the main trilogy happy,but satisfied.In Conclusion Teresa’s death was only put in place so that the fans were shocked and heartbroken at the fact that Teresa had to end her life to save Thomas’s which resulted tear dropping ending.

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