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The finale of series one. Merlin and Arthur encounter a ferocious beast whilst out hunting, it is conjured up by the old magic and only with the old magic can someone be cured when wounded by the beast. When Arthur organizes an attack against this creature he gets bitten and Merlin must save him, but he must give a life in return.
In the opening pre-title sequence, when attacked by the monster dropping your weapon in hand and running like a terrified ferret, like Arthur does, is not the action of either a trained warrior OR a trained hunter. Retreat can certainly be an option, but to drop his obvious defense or counter-attack, the spear, is just not something that should have been done. And being startled by your supposed prey is not an excuse. It's one of the things training prevents. As a matter of fact, the most likely response of a trained warrior is to jab at the monster's eyes or into its mouth.