In the 2nd movie in The Maze Runner series, The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials, it was revealed that the kids that escaped from The Glade are immune to a disease called The Flare and their blood contains an enzyme (an enzyme that can not be man made) that's produced by their brain that can help fight that disease. It was also revealed that WCKD believed that enzyme in the immune kid's blood was the key to curing The Flare which made their blood very valuable to them. If all that is true and the kid's blood was so valuable to WCKD why were they allowing the Griever's to kill the kids off one by one in the maze in the first movie in the series? I very well have missed an explanation for this in the movie. Any thoughts or insights on this or explinations of what I missed in the movie that would answer this question would be greatly appreciated!

  • I don't think that it was just their blood. Otherwise they could have just strapped the kids up and harvested them. No; WCKD is up to something else.
    – Möoz
    Commented Nov 20, 2016 at 21:39

2 Answers 2


The killzone enzyme is only in the brain. Only active survivalist thinking causes immune teenagers to produce it in large quantities. Those gladers who are more than happy to stay in the glade won't produce it. So killing a few to get the others to go through the maze, is a worthwhile tactic for WCKD.

Of course, the movie diverges from the books. The movie has multiple groups of gladers and WCKD is getting the enzyme from all the passing groups, like blood bags. In the book there is only two maze groups, and WICKED is dissecting their brains to find out how that part of the brain that produces the enzyme works. They also believe only one will have the key to unlocking the cure. So killing a few is okay as they will dissect them anyway.

The movie has the griever attack because the book had it, while ignoring the context in which the attack is okay. That said, the movie had plenty of kids to spare, so killing a few is not a total loss for WCKD.

  • 1
    Thanks for the explanation! I didn't realize that the gladers only produced the enzyme under survivalist conditions. It all makes sense to me now.
    – Melanie
    Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 0:52

I will rephrase that, they killed the kids off one by one in the Glade because they were weeding out the unwilling and the ones that gave up easily, they did this because they only wanted the ones that were the best of the best (namely Minho, Thomas and Frypan) to get out and experiment on them later to test their brain patterns. It was all to analyse their emotional patterns and see their reaction to different variables such as kids dying, that is just one of many variables to stimulate and analyse their thinking and see if they give up because if the loss of Gladers. Only the very intelligent teenagers or kids went into the Glade because it was the hardest test of all. But the Grievers killing the kids was just another variable to analyse brain patterns and to see if the kids that get trapped in the maze at night have the willingness to survive and intelligence would state that they would try to outsmart the Grievers (like Thomas did when he went into the maze to save Alby and Minho). But yes, the immunes blood was very valuable to WCKD but they wanted only the immunes to re-establish humanity and those that happened to survive the virus (the Flare). Instead they used the unwilling and the ones that give up easily as lab rats and used them to get the cure which of course as mentioned in other answers is an enzyme in the blood that is produced by a gland in the brain that fights off the disease. This is why WCKD didn't just hog-tie all of the immunes to the ground and harvest the enzyme form all of the immunes, because they wanted to restore humanity.

  • You realize your answer is not true for the movie universe right? They absolutely are strapping them to a bed to harvest the enzyme
    – cde
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 3:36
  • Your comment is not true, in fact, they mentioned they wanted the best kid of the best to go through the trials and then they could dissect the brain afterward once they were absoulutely sure of it. They were testing the behavioural patterns in the Killzone (The Brain) to stimulate and cause the immunity gland in the brain to give off the enzyme. They are certainly NOT strapping them to a bed and harvesting the enzyme as they cannot without killing the kids. I'm afraid your comment was irrelevant. Do not take offence to this comment as none was intended.
    – natural
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 3:41
  • In the scorch trial movie, Thomas sneaks into the compound and has to hide among all the kids being drained... imagesmtv-a.akamaihd.net/uri/mgid:file:http:shared:mtv.com/news/… earlier they find one of the kids strapped to a gurney being prepped for draining.
    – cde
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 3:43
  • There is two completely different stories, one in the book and one in the movie, I did see the kids in the WCKD compound, and I did see Thomas sneak in with Aris, I did see the kids hanging while being drained, but what they don't know is that, you can't harvest the enzyme without actually removing the brain as well, and if you want the enzyme to work, the kid has to be alive. So in reality, they can't actually harvest the enzyme at all.
    – natural
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 3:52
  • All evidence in the film shows that the enzyme works without killing the kid. Thomas had some taken from him and it was given to the girl at the red arm camp , curing her...
    – cde
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 3:57

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