Shein Chunla was an Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah. She was raised to the Amyrlin Seat in the year 578 NE when she succeeded Alvera Ramosanya and held the position until 601 NE when she was succeeded by Gerra Kishar (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 24).
Although she started out strong, Shein was overall a very weak Amyrlin. She squandered the power of the Amyrlin Seat and alienated many of the Aes Sedai in the Tower (TPoD, Ch. 15). She tried to run the Tower with an iron hand and with no compromises (KoD, Ch. 24). By the end of her reign, she was a puppet for the Hall of the Tower (TPoD, Ch. 15) and the Hall forced a penance on her whenever she tried to issue an order (KoD, Ch. 24).
Nearly four hundred years ago, Shein Chunla was deposed, although the world believes that she died in office, as most Amyrlins do. She was exiled for life and finally killed after several plots to restore her to the Amyrlin Seat were uncovered (TPoD, Ch. 15).
- Shein Chunla is raised to the Amyrlin Seat in the year 578 NE (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 24).
- Shein supposedly makes some mistakes that lead to the Third War of Garen's Wall, though Egwene argues that she was under the control of the Hall by then and therefore didn't make any mistakes. The dates for the Third War of Garen's Wall are unknown (KoD, Ch. 24).
- Tired of the way that the Tower is being run, the Aes Sedai rise up against both Shein and the Hall in one of the six mutinies in Tower history (KoD, Ch. 24). Shein is deposed in 601 NE, although the world thinks that she has died (TPoD, Ch. 15).
- Four different plots are made to restore her to the Amyrlin Seat (TPoD, Ch. 15).
- After the fourth plot is uncovered, fifty-one years after her exile, the sisters guarding her smother her to death with a pillow while she is sleeping (TPoD, Ch. 15; KoD, Ch. 24).
- Egwene wants to avoid the fate of Shein Chunla (TPoD, Ch. 16).
- Siuan hisses Shein's name as a warning at Egwene when she meets with the Andoran and Murandian nobles and opens up the novice book to women of all ages (TPoD, Ch. 18).
- Egwene wonders whether she will be another Shein, or if she will be a strong Amyrlin, like Gerra Kishar (TPoD, Ch. 19).
- In a private lesson once Egwene is a prisoner in the White Tower, Bennae asks Egwene what mistakes Shein Chunla made that caused the Third War of Garen's Wall. Egwene replies that Shein did not make any mistakes because by then, she was being controlled by the Hall of the Tower (KoD, Ch. 24).
- Her reign was marked by wars all over the map (KoD, Ch. 24).
- The secret information about Shein's reign, such as the fact that she did not die but was exiled, and the information about the mutiny, is located in the Thirteenth Depository of the Tower library. The Thirteenth Depository itself is a secret, so only the Amyrlin, the Keeper and the Sitters have access to it (KoD, Ch. 24).
"Shein Chunla was another matter, one who had squandered the power of the Amyrlin Seat, alienating most of the sisters in the Tower. The world believed that Shein had died in office, close on four hundred years ago, but the deeply hidden truth was that she had been deposed and sent into exile for life. Even the secret histories treaded lightly in certain areas, yet it was fairly obvious that, after the fourth plot to restore her to the Amyrlin Seat was uncovered, the sisters guarding Shein had smothered her in her sleep with a pillow." (Egwene; The Path of Daggers, Chapter 15).
"But as you've reminded me, I have to make sure I don't end up like Shein Chunla." Shein had begun as a strong Amyrlin, firmly in charge of the Tower and the Hall, and ended as a puppet doing exactly as she was told. (Egwene to Siuan; Crossroads of Twilight, Chapter 30).
"Well before the Third War of Garen's Wall," Egwene said, returning to her chair, "Shein was doing exactly as the Hall told her and nothing they didn't." (Egwene to Bennae; Knife of Dreams, Chapter 24).
"Shein tried running the Tower with an iron hand, never a compromise on anything, running roughshod over any opposition. The Hall grew tired of it, but they couldn't settle on a replacement, so rather than deposing her, they did worse. They left her in place and forced a penance on her whenever she tried to issue an order of any kind. Any kind at all. [...] The Hall ran Shein and the Tower. But they mishandled a great deal themselves, largely because each Ajah had its own goals and there was no hand to shape them into a goal for the Tower. Shein's reign was marked by wars all over the map. Eventually, the sisters got tired of the Hall's bungling. In one of the six mutinies in Tower history, Shein and the Hall were pulled down. I know she supposedly died in the Tower of natural causes, but, in fact, she was smothered in her bed in exile fifty-one years later after the discovery of a plot to put her back on the Amyrlin Seat." (Egwene to Bennae; Knife of Dreams, Chapter 24).