Earlier this year I watched the finale of Game of Thrones. In one of the most important scenes, the character of Tyrion Lannister decides that the new king should be Brann Stark, because he believes Brann has a story that can unite people. Tyrion says “What unites people? […] Stories.” Now, I didn’t particularly like the ending of the series, or that scene, I think the finale overall was quite -checks notes- bad. But as bad as I think that dialogue under the context in which it was presented, I agree with the statement being made.
When we watch a piece of media it affects us, if we are entertained by it, bored by it, or if it makes us think and reflect on our lives or if we disagree with a certain message being transmitted; every singe piece of media leaves and impression of us that we interpret in some way. Marketing constantly takes advantage of this, and that’s how they make people be interested in their products. If you are a company that sells babywipes, nobody will find a commercial interesting if it only talkes about how well your wipes clean the skin. However, if that very same commercial comes accompanied by a short story about how a young family is struggling with managing time between work and chores and taking care of the baby, and then the new wipes come into play and make their daily routine better, now that’s a story that can resonate with people.
A good story is more important that the story itself. It’s about the people it reaches, and how it affects them.