Victarion begins the book en route to Meereen, and he ends the book... en route to Meereen. That's probably the most galling example.
As for Martin adding more stuff to the book, that actually depends how he wanted to do it. Like, all the dawdling we got in this book plus
new plots, not so much. Cutting down on the dawdling for new material perhaps better (and why AFFC was far less of a problem for me - a shorter read and the new content about Ironborn and the Dornish read well).
It's not that AFFC and ADWD had nothing happening in them, it's just that chapters where important stuff happened were mixed with lots of chapters that were basically a pointless filler, .
Basically, although I consider this a much bigger problem in ADWD than in AFFC. You could cut virtually the entirety of Tyrion's chapters from the book and not lose a lot - his talk to Griff and the fact he meets Jorah Mormont is about it. Hell, if they revealed that one of the dwarves Daenerys saw was Tyrion - and make that his first chapter - it would have been a much stronger introduction.
There's been a gradual bloating of the narrative, beginning with A Clash of Kings
, as a general rule whichever character's chapters serve more as travelogue than narrative are going to feel more extraneous (like Arya's material in books two and three). ADWD is as worse as it's got, though, with entire chapters more or less restating earlier plot points or dragging their heels about saying anything concrete about a plot at all.
Whenever I think of ADWD I keep going back to Bran's chapters, becuase in their brevity and impact they're one of the best structured things about that book.
Brendan Moody wrote:
I think it remains to be seen whether the people of Meereen are going to be better off with a dragon queen than those of Astapor were without one.
Benefit of hindsight, and Daenerys' poor judgement calls since
arriving in Meereen would factor in anyway.