King Uther Pendragon holds an annual tournament where Prince Arthur Pendragon is to defend his title against other knights of the realm. Sir Valiant comes with a magic secret weapon - a shield from which the painted poisonous serpents can come to life and attack (which Sir Valiant also used to murder its creator). By nursing snake-poisoned knight Ewan, Merlin finds out how this vile knight has been defeating adversaries as easily as Arthur. He informs the prince, but a servant's word is worthless against a knight's, and by the time the prince challenges Valiant, the only 'worthy' witness has died (via more serpentine magic). Arthur, furious to be humiliated and seeming scared, fires Merlin. Receiving enigmatic encouragement from the Great Dragon, Merlin decides against giving up, resorting to magic from the book Gaius earlier gave him. Written by
Did You Know?
When Merlin is in the armory with Knight Valiant, he claims that he is getting Arthur's armor, and even picks up and leaves with the armor on the table. However, the helmet on the table is clearly not Arthur's as the front is entirely closed with only eye-slits and Arthur's has an open T-shape on the front. Later, in Arthur's chamber, he has the correct helmet. See more
I save Arthur from getting killed and end up as his servant. How is that fair?