I often talk with my writing groups about my strong belief that books should be character driven. That rather than mapping out plots and forcing characters to tag the milestones, one should develop and listen to their characters. I feel an author should pay attention to what motivates the characters. They should allow the characters to go where they naturally will go and then build the plot around that.
To me, what is happening to Game of Thrones now is a clear demonstration of the difference between the two methods. The earlier seasons, guided by Martin, are often shining examples of how beautifully characters can grow, change, breathe, and live. In comparison, some of these recent episodes are just staggering in how characters are forced like marionettes to do bizarre things because They Must End Up In Spot ZZZ By Time Moment ALPHA.