The Fault In Our Stars Nearly Had A VERY Different (And Gruesome) Ending

Thank god they went with Plan B.

This image released by 20th Century Fox shows Ansel Elgort, left, and Shailene Woodley appear in a scene from "The Fault In Our Stars." (AP Photo/20th Century Fox, James Bridges)

If you’ve seen The Fault In Our Stars, or read the book, or even spoken briefly to someone who has seen the film or read the book, you’ll know it’s a weepy like no other. Romance, terminal illness and coming-of-age… John Green’s story of teenage lovers Hazel and Augustus¬†will have you wiping away the tears from five minutes in.

If Green’s original plot plan had come to fruition though, the ending might not have been the tearjerker de luxe that we know so well. In a recent interview, the author revealed that he had imagined a very different fate for Hazel at the end of the book. His proposed ending was so bizarre, in fact, that his editor still jokingly refers to it whenever he tries to put a new twist in any of his books.

Green’s original ending? Rather than weeping along with Hazel as she reads the obituary Augustus wrote for her, we’d instead have seen her getting tied to a railroad track.

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“In the second draft of The Fault In Our Stars, the novel ends shortly after reclusive Dutch-American author Peter 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,” Green told podcaster Ben Blacker.

The trolley problem is an “ethical experiment” which asks if it is moral to change the course of a tram on a railroad track to save the five people tied up on the track ahead, if changing the course of the tram will kill the single person tied up on the alternate set of tracks. The problem was created by English philosopher Philippa Foot back in 1967.

“[My editor] was like, ‘I can’t tell if this is a joke,'” Green says of his second ending. “I was like, ‘No man, this is a really interesting way into the trolley problem.’ And she said, ‘I don’t think this book is about the trolley problem.'”


This isn’t the only alternate ending that’s out there, either. In a previous interview, Green revealed that he planned for Hazel to get shot down “in a hail of bullets” as she tried to kill a drug lord in an attempt to avenge Augustus’s death.