ByJancy Richardson, writer at
To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only a movie...It's only a movie...'
Jancy Richardson

Remember that time you read (or watched) and you did all that crying? Whether it was a solitary tear glistening on your cheek or you ugly-cried until your eyes hurt, there's no doubt that the end of The Fault In Our Stars was super heartbreaking.

Still, John Green revealed a very interesting rejected ending for The Fault In Our Stars to The Nerdist:

"In the second draft of 'The Fault in Our Stars,' the novel ends shortly after...Van Houten ties one of the characters to railroad tracks as an exploration of the 'trolley problem,' which is a really interesting idea to me in philosophy."

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If you're not familiar with the "trolley problem," it's a moral test that poses the following problem: Railway line A has five people tied to the tracks, while the neighboring line B has only one person tied to the line. A speeding train is hurtling towards the track with five people tied to it. Your options are:

  • Do nothing. Let the five people on Line A die.
  • Pull the lever that sends the train to Line B: only one person dies, but your actions caused that death.

It's a pretty hefty ethical problem about action and inaction, choices and consequences, but it would have made a kind of weird ending to The Fault in Our Stars, Green's editor certainly agreed, and he told The Nerdist:

"[She] was like, 'I can't tell if this is a joke.' I was like, 'No, this is a really interesting way into the trolley problem.' And she said, 'I don't think this book is about the trolley problem.'"

Listen to the podcast in full here (the relevant portion about the ending is around 49:00).


Which ending do you think was better?

[The Nerdist, All images: 20th Century Fox]

Watching the trailer for The Fault in Our Stars again, it's weird how much Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort look like they're related.


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