Play games and be awesome!
As far as I'm concerned, the hero is just taking an extra point of damage, not taking a pre-combat point of damage. If the hero defends at one health, he's still defending the location. He'll be defeated, sure, but I don't think the timing is that specific that he can be defeated before defending.
This is correct.
Also, this is different than how the Dragon series works... They could eat the final tourist, then deal damage