Right, I’ve seen a couple of thought piece articles about how this show is anti-trans since there are male powers and female powers but no scale in-between.
If this first season had been all white, which between EF, Caemlyn, and Shinar it could have been then it would have been destroyed even with a girl power angle and the world opening up to more colors as the show went on.
In the first book the closest to even a Mediterranean skin tone would be on someone like Bayle Domon and his crew. Elias’ race doesn’t mater so he could be dark skinned but he’s a wild man and having one of your few black guys be a savage who is close to beast is probably a no go. Min would have been a good opportunity to be black but she has a very minor role in book 1. Thom’s race doesn’t mater though he is from Caemlyn so it would be hard to drift too far if you want to be able to tell them by sight. I would have made the boarderlanders Asain but I’m not sure that is far enough from white for diversity purposes.
So, it would be difficult until they move on to the great hunt and the Aiel to have good people of color on the show. It makes total sense then to just make things more diverse rather than wait for the world to open up organically.