It wasn't about symbolism...
Game of Thrones ' eighth and final season climaxed in May. The response to it has been mixed: Over a million fans signed a petition for it to be remade, but it also scored 32 Emmy nods. One of those Emmy nominations is specifically for the season finale, The Iron Throne, which was nominated for Outstanding Writing For a Drama Series. As part of that process, the script for the episode has been made available to the public.
There are a bunch of takeaways from the script, but the biggest one is about Drogon. You'll recall that Drogon, Daenerys Targaryen's last remaining dragon, was enraged by Daenerys' death, and in a fit of rage he dracarys'd the hell out of the Iron Throne, melting it away to nothing. Why did he do that? Well, dragons are smart, so he was probably protesting against the symbol of the power-lust that led to Daenerys' death, right?
Wrong. The official reason, according to the episode's script, is just, well, because? Drogon's paroxysm of fire wasn't really aimed at anything, and the Iron Throne just happened to be where Drogon unleashed his flames. Really.
As you can see in the above excerpt, the script refers to the Iron Throne as "not the target of Drogon's wrath, just a dumb bystander caught up in the conflagration."
The criticism heaped against HBO for the final season mainly had to do with lack of both plot and character development. Plot twists like Daenerys becoming the Mad Queen could have been successful, the argument runs, but it wasn't built up to in any meaningful way, making it feel like ad-hoc fan fiction. The reveal that Drogon melted the Iron Throne for essentially no reason will probably do little to sway this criticism.
Another portion of the script that's stood out to fans is when Arya in the episode tells the rest of the Starks her plan explore unknown lands. She asks Jon and Sansa if they know what's west of Westeros. "Jon and Sansa look at each other" the script says. "They both failed geography."
This, like Drogon's apparently unintentional attack on the Throne, became fodder for fan mockery.
Originally published July 31.
Update, Aug. 1: Adds information from geography excerpt.