Born in 235, Sun Xiu was the son of Sun Quan who rose to the rank of emperor. History reminds him as the third emperor of Eastern Wu. His mother was Consort Wang and he was at the heart of the chaotic debate over who would be the best heir. He moved around quite a lot before the death of Sun Quan, and since he was a young prince, the governor of Danyang Commandery was not welcoming toward the Sun Xiu.
Later on in life, when Sun Xiu rose to power, his style of ruling was similar to that of the emperors who brought about the end of the Han dynasty. He was calm, scholarly, and found ways to understand different opinions, but he did not have the fire Sun Ce or Sun Quan did. He was not assertive and was largely unhelpful in military matters, which was why he delegated these duties to others. While he meant well with this delegation, those he chose to oversee military and domestic matters also were poor leaders who erred on the side of corruption.
He died at age twenty-nine after being struck with an illness that robbed him of his voice.