Celaena had seen Rena perform only once before—years prior, at the Royal Theater, on a cold winter night. For two hours, the theater had been so still that it seemed as if everyone had stopped breathing. Rena’s voice had floated through Celaena’s head for days afterward.
Rena Goldsmith was beheaded by orders of the King after singing a song about an old poem and magic at the gala thrown in Hollin's honor.
When asked what her last words are, Rena replies that she has worked for ten years to become famous enough to gain an invitation to the castle to sing songs of the magic that the King of Adarlan tried to eradicate. She wants him to know that despite the fact that he outlawed magic and slaughtered thousands, those who keep the old ways are still there and can still remember. Rena describes her daughter, Kaleen who was murdered at the age of sixteen, as having eyes like thunderclouds and states that she can still hear her voice in her dreams. Her sister, Liessa, had two sons who were her joy. She also says that her seventy-year-old neighbor, Jon, and his wife, Estrel, were killed after they dared to protect Kalteen when the King's men came for her.
By the time that Rena was beheaded, she is still reciting her list of the dead.