Why The Maze Runner Celebrates Friendship Instead Of Romance

There's been a spate of high-profile science fiction romances recently. But in The Maze Runner, it's friendships that are at the story's center. Author James Dashner explains to us why — and just why he thought it was important (and realistic) to focus on friendship instead of romantic love. Spoilers ahead!

Dashner stopped in today to answer our questions about his trilogy and its soon to be released on-screen adaptation, including one on whether there were any characters from the books that he shipped. As Dashner explained, though, the demands of the story made friendships the most important relationships in the story, not romance:

I've only been cool enough to know what "ship" means since my fans told me a couple of years ago. I'd have to say that I must let my work stand for itself. Another cop out! :)

Oh, but this is important: The Maze Runner was never intended, in any way, to be a romance. There's barely a hint of it and that's on purpose. I've never believed that people have time to fall in love when the world is crumbling around their feet. Only bonds of loyalty and friendship. And I'm honestly kinda proud of this: there is literally no romance in the movie, not even one kiss.

You can read the whole Q&A — where Dashner also explains the inspiration behind the Grievers — right here.