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Barbaric Battleaxe

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Kull likes to use Axe Bloody Spray.

"As his axe split a charging enemy from shoulder to hip, Grom Hellscream felt the joy and rage swirling within him, dulling his mind, charging his senses, threatening to sweep him away on a tide of raw exultation. He wanted to surrender himself, to give in to the song of combat, to lose himself in the thrill of death and destruction and victory."

Characters that are wild, brutal, and savage often tend to be associated with wild, brutal, and savage weapons. Any kind of weapon that requires a modicum of Super-Strength to effectively wield tends to be in the hands of people who forsake any kind of subtlety and simply wish to destroy their opponents with a level of sheer force that can only be described as overkill. These characters often tend to be hot-headed and impetuous, and tend to usually have a strategy of endless attacking until the enemy is dead.

For one reason or another, this is a very common depiction of characters associated with battleaxes, to the point that for many it has become the main association with the weapon outside of notable subversions. In TV, film and other such media, an axe-wielder will be portrayed as large and in charge (for example, as Boisterous Bruisers or Proud Warrior Race Guys) but also usually coming from very savage or chaotic backgrounds or backstories that had them constantly on the offense and always applying the most barbaric solution to their problems. This is where the Barbarian Axe trope comes in; it's for axe-wielding characters that are associated with barbarous, wild or unruly traits or characteristics. It doesn't necessarily have to be a cultural or ethnic background, it can just as well be a character who lives on the fringes and outcasts of society and has a Hot-Blooded demeanor all the same. You'll never find any royalty or other "refined" characters among this trope unless they are the king of a Barbarian Tribe and/or kicked asses on their way to being crowned such.

There's actually some degree of Truth in Television to this trope; historical war axes often had different dimensions than wood axes, but many fictional designs do double-duty as both tool and weapon. Because axes are tools and fairly simple to make note  they tended to be familiar to peasants, making them a viable close combat weapon of infantrymen in a variety of ancient cultures. In places with lots of metal and enough wood for a hardy enough stick, they were frequently made among tribal or other "savage" communities in great quantities. The nail in the coffin for its common association in pop culture is a genetic memory from The Viking Age, where it was common for many ancient vikings to raid other places by seas often with giant battle-axes to pillage or invade, leading them to be unilaterally associated with barbaric cultures in the consciousness of European culture. This isn't even counting other prolific axe-using cultures, like the tomahawk-using Native Americans which only further added to the stereotype. Due to the mass exportation of Western European culture in the last two hundred years, this has become a common trope in media of other cultures that had no real history with this stereotype, such as Eastern RPGs in Japan.

Do keep in mind that merely using an axe as a weapon or being The Big Guy doesn't necessarily get them associated with this trope. The character has to be barbarous in either culture, fighting style or temperament to qualify for this trope; that is, the broadly pseudo-German or pseudo-Norse wandering barbarian or savage northern/forest/mountain barbaric tribe of fantasy. As such, axes are associated with the following character archetypes:

Subtrope of Brutish Character, Brutish Weapon. In the case of the more evil brutish sorts, this can overlap with Good Weapon, Evil Weapon and Savage Spiked Weapons. Has overlap with Heavy Equipment Class. See also Clothing Reflects Personality and Barbarian Hero.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ah! My Goddess: Lind is a feared Valkyrie and War Goddess who has a befitting authoritative and strict stance, making her respected by even the Norns and the go-to person when Heaven wants something destroyed. Her weapon of choice is a halberd. However, outside of her duties as a Valkyrie, she displays a more friendly disposition.
  • Future Diary has Yuno Gasai, with an axe as the most iconic weapon in her arsenal. Her sweet, feminine facade around Yukiteru hides her true dominating self, who is willing to go to psychotic and violent lengths for the object of her affections.
  • In the various Getter Robo series, the Getter-1 linage has the Getter Tomahawk as its main weapon, though the design of the weapon changes with each iteration. Seeing as its usual pilot is Ryouma Nagare, a hot-blooded (and sometimes even crazy) martial artist, it fits him perfectly.
  • Asuka Langley Soryuu from Neon Genesis Evangelion is an abrasive, hot-tempered girl who takes great pride in being an Ace Pilot in an Eva. She has her Unit-02 equipped with a massive battle axe when the Evangelions fight Leliel.
  • Saint Seiya: In the anime-only Asgard Saga, one of the enemies is Phecda Thor, a giant of a person who hunts animals in the frosty wilderness of Asgard, and wields a pair of axes that he can throw like a boomerang. The anime-only Asgard characters are based on motifs from Scandinavia and Norse mythology.
  • Seven Mortal Sins has Satan, the Demon Lord of Wrath, with a love for fighting, a short temper, and a giant axe to match.

    Comic Books 
  • Avengers Arena: British teen Aiden somehow inherits the power to inhabit the body of a Celtic warlord, who is tall, large, burly, and wields a large axe. Eventually, he gets stuck in the body of the Celtic warlord and his normal behaviour becomes more aggressive.
  • Princess Ugg: Princess Ulga is rudely called by her more traditionally feminine classmates a barbarian princess, ostracized for her brash, bold, warrior, and 'uncivilized' personality. Her preferred weapons in war are battleaxes, which multiple of the series' covers show off.
  • Wonder Woman: Artemis is a brash and violent Amazon with a dislike of men who contrasts the more moral, scrupulous Diana. Post-Rebirth she has a giant battle axe named Mistress. Nevertheless, despite her flaws, she's a heroine who defends innocents.

    Fan Works 
  • Pokémon: Brain and Brawn (link): The Fakemon Bearserker is based on berserkers, and as such, is said to have quite the Hair-Trigger Temper and will often enter a trance-like fury when in battle. As such, its Forge Form is a battle axe similar to the ones berserkers used to use. Unlike most examples, though, instead of wielding the axe, Bearserker is the axe, being able to Transforge into an axe for its trainer to wield.

    Film — Animation 
  • How to Train Your Dragon has Astrid, a female Viking who is always seen with her hatchet. She's a fearless and hot-tempered warrior who enjoys the villagers' respect for her strength, making her the Masculine Girl to Hiccup's Feminine Boy. She mellows out significantly in the sequel films.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Conan the Barbarian, the eponymous Cimmerian sticks to using his sword most of the time, but he does use a big battleaxe for brutal One-Hit Kill blows on Thulsa Doom's unsuspecting riders in the Battle of the Mounds. Earlier, Rexor wields an axe during Conan's raid on Thulsa's den.
    • In Conan the Destroyer, Bombaata (the barbaric Number Two of Big Bad Queen Taramis) carries a battleaxe during the sacrificial ceremony in the climax, but he ditches it for his trusted spiked mace for the final fight as soon as he sees Conan.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves: Holga is a barbarian (implied to be a member of one of the Uthgardt tribes in a deleted scene), and steals an executioner's axe during an early fight scene which becomes her go-to weapon for the rest of the film.
  • The hero of Kull the Conqueror, a foreign barbarian from Atlantis, is scolded early on by a nobleman for using an axe, a "barbaric" weapon, and convinced to switch to swords. At the climax of the film, he picks up an axe again to deliver the deciding strike against said nobleman.
  • Ready or Not: All of the proper ladies of the clan use melee weapons while the men use guns. The spinster aunt, the most unfeminine female character, uses an axe.

  • Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency: Michael Wenton-Weakes usually referred to his mother as an old battleaxe. Wenton-Weaks was The Eeyore and the narrator didn't agree with his assessment completely: "if she was fairly to be compared to a battleaxe it would only be to an exquisitely crafted, beautifully balanced battleaxe, with an elegant minimum of fine engraving which stopped just short of its gleaming razored edge. One swipe from such an instrument and you wouldn't even know you'd been hit until you tried to look at your watch a bit later and discovered that your arm wasn't on."
  • Zigzagged in The Eye of Argon. Barbarian Hero Grignr begins the story with a sword, but loses it after being imprisoned by The Evil Prince. When he escapes his cell, he picks up the battle axe of one of the prison guards, and seems very comfortable using that for the rest of the story.
  • The Hunger Games: Johanna Mason, a former Tribute, famously won her Games by pretending to be weak and helpless at first and then cutting down everybody else when there were only a few opponents left. Her use of the axe as a weapon is justified as she grew up in District 7, the lumber district, but she also fits the personality associated with the trope by being standoffish, unfriendly, tough, and intimidating. In the second book, she acts as The Big Guy in the alliance to rescue Katniss, being the best physical combatant among them.
  • Kull: There's a noticeable emphasis to Kull's usage of the Battle Axe over the Sword. It's that despite being a king and being more honorable and philosophical than his descendant, he's still every bit the Barbarian Hero you'd expect the Precursor Hero of Conan the Barbarian to be. Kull would happily rather go out to fight Snake People than have to deal with the stress of ruling his kingdom.
  • Legend of Zagor: Of the four available player characters, Anvar the Barbarian and Stubble Dwarf begins their quest with a battleax, compared to Braxus the Swordsman and Sallazar the Wizard (who uses a Magic Staff). It's also worth noting that Stubble forfeits his ax after obtaining a magical war-hammer halfway through; Anvar sticks to axes for the entire duration of his adventure and can obtain an even bigger battleaxe.
  • Asha Greyjoy of A Song of Ice and Fire is the strong-willed and independent Princess of the Iron Islands, a culture of seafaring raiders who favor battle axes. She fights hard with hand axes and leads bands of her countrymen to battle.
  • Spells, Swords, & Stealth: When the party initially assumes the part of a group of adventurers, the mayor's daughter, Gabrielle, claims the role of wizard due to being the only member of the group with the formal education that would presumably be needed to decipher their book of spells. However, between regular kidnappings by goblins, during which she befriended them, learned their ways, and came to regard them as family, a lot of pent-up resentment towards the proper lady life she was expected to lead back home, and the fact she couldn't figure out the spellbook, Gabrielle quickly picks up an axe which becomes her weapon of choice and finds the role of Barbarian far better suited to her skillset and temperament.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Carrie Nation and her hatchet make an appearance in an episode of Murdoch Mysteries, and she's every inch the hag you'd expect of the woman "Battleaxe" was coined to describe. She's immediately bunged in jail for storming Inspector Brackenried's favorite pub and smashing up their liquor supply with her axe. The funny part? She's his guest, as his wife had invited Nation to stay over. At the end of the episode, she crosses herself, snarls "May God have mercy on your soul," and storms out, nose in the air. Mrs. Brackenreid bursts out laughing the second she's out of earshot, as Nation's the least pleasant person she's ever met. Presumably, her axe is still in the Toronto Police's lockup...
  • Sleepy Hollow: A large single-bladed Battleaxe is the main weapon of the Headless Horseman, which has the power to heat up to five hundred degrees, meaning it can cut through pretty much anything like a hot knife through butter. It overall fits his wild and furious style of battle, regularly slaughtering all those it encounters, acting as the main physical threat throughout the series.

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech: The hatchet was the first melee weapon ever mounted on a battlemech, belonging to the appropriately-named Hatchetman. After some examples of the mech and its later, larger brother the Axman were captured by the Draconis Combine, it was found that Combine mechwarriors (who stylized themselves as true samurai) consequently refused to pilot the captured mechs because they viewed the hatchets as a barbarian's weapon. This led to the development of mech-sized swords for them to use instead.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: The traditional barbarian stereotype has them waving axes about as large as themselves. In fifth edition in particular, the greataxe's damage (1d12 where most two-handed weapons do 2d6) synergizes with the barbarian's brutal critical ability adding a single extra damage die of the sort the weapon does.
  • LEGO Games: In Heroica, the Barbarian's weapon is a double-headed axe.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Chainaxes were popular close combat weapons used by assault troops during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras. Some particularly archaic and/or barbaric assault troops still use them during the main 41st Millennium era; furthermore, they are popular with Khorne worshippers, as the axe is considered a sacred weapon to the god of blood and slaughter. In the Ciaphas Cain novel The Traitor's Hand, Cain faces off against a World Eaters Chaos Space Marine who wields a chainaxe against Cain's chainsword.
    • Logan Grimnar, the Wolf Lord (chapter master, though in Fenrisian the correct title is Jarl) of the Viking-inspired Space Wolves chapter, who frequently decorate their Powered Armor with battle trophies and animal pelts, favors as his primary weapon a gigantic double-bladed battleaxe called the Axe of Morkai that he took as a trophy from a World Eaters champion he slew during the First War for Armageddon.
    • Orks, a culture of ferocious and brutal warriors, are usually depicted wielding an assortment of axes and cleaver-like blades called choppas.
  • Warhammer Fantasy:
    • The Warriors of Chaos generally use heavy metal axes. They are no-nonsense warriors and brutal vikings, so ferocious close combat is what they're all about.
    • Beastmen tend to use the same kinds of hefty axes as the Chaos Warriors do.
    • Orcs, a culture of ferocious and brutal warriors, are usually depicted wielding an assortment of axes and cleaver-like blades called choppas.
  • Shadowrun: a combat axe in the Street Samurai Catalogue supplement notes the designers were watching too much Neil the Ork Barbarian.

  • In the Masters of the Universe franchise's early days, He-Man's weapon was actually a battle axe. While figures of him still boast the weapon as an extra, virtually every other continuity has him exclusively use the Power Sword.

    Video Games 
  • Age of Empires II: Berserkers, the Viking Unique Unit, are armed with Dane axes and round shields.
  • Atelier Series: Throughout the series, the big, physically-imposing party members also tend to wield large, heavy weapons like axes, though given the series' lighthearted tone, this tends to emphasize their strength, rather than outright brutality:
  • Baldur's Gate III: Player characters of the Barbarian class start with a greataxe as their weapon. Karlach, the Barbarian Origin Character, also starts with one, whether chosen as the player character or recruited as a companion.
  • Bravely Default II: Characters with the Berserker class deal more damage when attacking with axes than other weapons, have an axe called "Hysteriax" as their class-specific Infinity +1 Sword, and can unlock the "Axe Lore" passive skill with sufficient training.
  • Played straight in Conqueror's Blade...but not in the way you might expect. The game features three Viking axe-wielding units: Berserkers, Huskarls, and Varangian Guard. Berserkers and Huskarls are fairly typical barbarian warriors with fur and horned helmets and such. However, their axes are small one-handed weapons - far less impressive than the giant two-handed Dane axes wielded by Varangian Guard, who are far more cultured, better-equipped, better-trained, and overall less "barbarian" than Berserkers.
  • Dark Souls:
    • Two of the starting classes in Dark Souls and Dark Souls III respectively is the Bandit and Warrior class. The former is a typical marauder who was a highwayman before the Zombie Apocalypse of the first game, and the latter is described as, well, a warrior from Grim Up North who obviously is a Fantasy Counterpart Culture to Horny Vikings. Both are built for Strength-builds and wield Axes as their first weapon.
    • The demons of Chaos all use massive, brutal weapons that convey their inhuman strength. Get your hands on one and the strength requirements to use one are massive, often requiring one to invest their entire build around wielding one properly.
  • Deltarune: Susie starts off as a Barbaric Bully, with one of her first interactions with Kris being her threatening to bite their face off. When the two enter the Dark World, she finds herself wielding a battle axe—and she's quick to put it to use. While she mellows out into a Jerk with a Heart of Gold over the course of the story, she remains the most rough and aggressive member of the party.
  • Diablo:
    • Diablo II: Choosing the Barbarian from the character select screen will prompt him to let out a yell and start grinding an axe while you choose his name, and his starting inventory also includes an axe. Diablo II also introduces one-handed axes that the Barbarian can use with a shield or in each hand, while the first game only had two-handed axes. Axes have more consistent damage output, with higher minimum but lower maximum damage than swords and maces.
    • Diablo III: Enforced in the case of Mighty weapons, which obviously include axes, and can deal massive amounts of damage but have very slow attack speeds. Due to their size, the Barbarian, who for either sex is built like a tank, is the only character that can wield them.
  • Dota 2:
    • Mogul Khan, the Axe, is a brutal strength hero. He's an Oglodi (the Dota 2 equivalent of orcs) warrior whose Blood Knight tendencies were so intense that he was promoted to the rank of Red Mist General—not only due to his savagery on the battlefield but also because he also killed his superiors so he could take their place. Fitting for such a vicious and barbaric combatant, and as evidenced by his title, he wields a large axe, which he uses in a Spin Attack or to inflict a One-Hit Kill execution on weakened enemies.
    • Bradwarden, the Centaur Warrunner, belongs to a race defined by their love of fighting. He wields a huge axe, with one of his moves having him swing it so hard that he hurts himself in the process.
    • The Troll Warlord's weapons of choice are two axes, which he can throw or use in melee. His default weapons are made of stone and are rather crude-looking, emphasizing his savage nature.
  • Dragon Age: Being a Standard Fantasy Setting, it’s not uncommon to find examples, specifically with Berserker Class characters, or Chasind and Avvar warriors.
  • Elden Ring:
    • Godfrey the First Elden Lord wields a massive double-headed axe that had one head broken off during a battle. As his ideology states that the strongest rule, it is pretty telling that he uses this massive war-torn weapon. And that's just in Phase 1. In Phase 2, he discards his axe and most of his armour to fight you with only his bare hands. It doesn't get much more barbaric than that.
    • The second boss of the game that the player fights is Godrick the Grafted who serves as the master of Stormveil Castle. Godrick's title of "The Grafted" refers to his practice of tearing off the limbs of ours and grafting them onto himself in a attempt to become stronger. Godrick also uses a massive axe in battle in an attempt to imitate his ancestor Godfrey.
  • The Elder Scrolls: Barbaric and physically powerful factions and beings, such as orcs, minotaurs, and the Nord barbarians, are traditionally depicted as wielding large, ornate axes into battle.
  • EverQuest II: Berserkers are fighters who run into battle with reckless abandon. Their philosophy is to gain the attention of their enemies by swinging axes to do as much damage as possible. As such, the class's Epic Weapon is the Dragon's Temper, a three-headed axe whose blades vibrate like a saw.
  • Fallout 4 has Grognak's Axe, which is a replica of the one used by the comic book character Grognak the Barbarian. The player can play into the myth of Grognak as well through some cosplay.
  • Downplayed in Fear & Hunger: Ragnvaldr is a Barbarian Hero who enters the dungeons to fulfill a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. Whilst he's normally shown wielding a bow and arrows, his backstory starts with him as a child having to choose his weapon — a hand axe coupled with a wooden shield is one of his two options... and even then, unless you enchant your hand axe, you're much more likely to pick up a stronger weapon from the dungeons instead of that.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Just like with its Spiritual Successor Bravely Default, older Final Fantasy games that had the Job system had the Viking class, which debuted in Final Fantasy III and wielded axes as their main weapon, being unlocked with the Water Crystal.
    • Final Fantasy V: Axes are a weapon type heavily associated with the Berserker class — a class whose only option in combat is to keep swinging their weapon until either all the enemies are dead or they're knocked unconscious.
    • Final Fantasy IX: Lani is an arrogant and disrespectful bounty hunter whose weapon is an oversized bardiche. Before her name is revealed she's even known as Boisterous Woman in-game. She shows a softer side of herself once she's stranded on a remote continent though.
    • Final Fantasy XIV:
      • The Warrior job wields war axes with heads that are sometimes larger than their wielder's torsos. Founded by a secluded mountainous tribe in Abalathia's Spine, warriors harness their "inner beast" to achieve incredible feats of superhuman strength at the risk of going berserk and attacking friend and foe alike. They wear armor made from the hides and furs of the beasts they slay and enchanted to make it easier to control their inner beast.
      • Lyon the Beast King is the leader of the IVth Legion's beastmaster division and one of its greatest combatants. A shirtless Blood Knight willing to defy his own strategies solely to seek out worthy foes, he wields an axe and shield to challenge the strongest members of the Bozjan Resistance to battle. He's also accompanied by an enormous menagerie of animals he's trained to fight just as ferociously as he does when faced at Castrum Lacus Litore.
      • The man-eating and bestial minotaurs faced at various points in the story almost always wield axes. They share many of their attacks with the equally ferocious cyclops, swinging wildly in large arcs to deal enormous damage and knock back any players who fail to get out of the way in time.
  • Fire Emblem has the axe as one of the three types of melee weapons in the game; they are the strongest weapons compared to swords and lances, but also the most inaccurate. In the game's Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors, they beat lances, but they're beaten by swords. Usually, as per this trope, axe-wielders are often associated with being Hot-Blooded and characters from the fringes of society, like woodcutters, mercenaries, and possibly even bandits. It's because of this that often the first enemies you fight in any Fire Emblem game tend to be brigands. Several stand-out examples include:
  • Gauntlet: Thor the Warrior has a battleaxe that he can use for close combat or throw at distant enemies.
  • Genshin Impact: Within the tribalistic Hilichurl race, the bigger Mitachurls sometimes wield battleaxes, which they can "swipe" with Pyro or Electro Slimes to give their axes a temporary elemental edge.
  • God of War (2018) has Kratos swap out the Blades of Chaos for the Leviathan Axe, but ironically, he's actually less pissed off and violent than in previous installments due to a Time Skip's worth of Character Development. He'll still bring on the hurt, but he's not as quick to do so.
  • Golden Axe has an axe as a weapon for both one of the heroes and the villain. One of the heroes, Gilius-Thunderhead, is a dwarf armed with an axe as his weapon of choice, while his partners, Ax-Battler and Tyris-Flare, are both armed with swords. The villain, Death Adder, is armed with the titular Golden Axe, which he uses to attack the heroes.
  • Golden Force: The three characters, Gutz and Spina, both use swords, while Old Master Elder uses a Power Fist. Meanwhile, the team's Token Non-Human, a gigantic Draconic Humanoid named Drago, carries heavy axes.
  • Gladiator: Sword of Vengeance has large enemies using large weapons; in fact, the second enemy introduced in the game, the Hoplomachus gladiators, are much taller and stronger than the default Secutor-class gladiators. Fittingly they all swing heavy axes as weapons.
  • Guardian Tales: Geminus, the Exclusive Weapon of The Berserker Amy, is a giant battleaxe.
  • Hero of Sparta has gigantic minotaur enemies who prefer using axes or maces. Meanwhile, Hades the powerful Tin Tyrant who towers over your hero uses an axe almost as large as himself.
  • Indivisible: Ajna uses her mother's axe as her primary weapon, though she's good with her bare hands and uses the other weapons she obtains as well. Although her heart's in the right place, Ajna has a bad habit of smashing through problems without considering the full consequences, and the heavy, destructive axe that serves as her main weapon reflects this.
  • Jotun: A large, two-handed axe is the only weapon of Thora, a Viking trapped in Norse purgatory. The axe proves more than sufficient to deal with the magic, elemental giants she needs to defeat in order to escape.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Lexaeus is the epitome of strong and silent, both his bulk and his earth magic being used in straightforward assault. The massive "Axesword" that he carries complements this: you know exactly what you're up against, and that won't make it any easier for you.
  • Kingdom Rush: The second unlocked Tier 4 Barracks in the first game, the Barbarian Mead Hall, has barbarian soldiers using massive double-headed battleaxes as their primary weapons. They can be upgraded to perform a Spin Attack as a counter-attack, throw axes to attack enemies from afar or in the air, and dual wield axes to increase their damage output.
  • League of Legends:
    • Olaf the Berserker is a very cut-and-dry, stereotypical depiction of a Viking, complete with buckskin clothes and a horned helmet. And his weapons of choice are a pair of hand axes that he relentlessly cleaves at his opponents with in combat, being rewarded for risky and prolonged combat.
    • Sion the Undead Juggernaut wields a massive, crudely-formed battle axe with enough power to split the ground beneath him. And in his revenant state, he constantly zigzags between self-aware horror and bestial rage, fighting with nothing but force and fury.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, Iron Knuckles are a type of enemy that wear heavy armor and wield large double-headed axes. They also move slowly and are quite resistant to Link's physical attacks, taking many hits before they are defeated.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: When battled in the Bulblin Compound and at Hyrule Castle, the hulking leader of the barbaric, orc-like Bulblins fights Link using a huge two-handed axe swung in broad, powerful blows.
  • In Mortal Kombat 1, General Shao carries a massive two-bladed axe as his default weapon, as opposed to the Humongous-Headed Hammer used by versions of Shao Kahn in older timelines. Despite ostensibly being on the heroes' side, Shao is still an imposing General Ripper in heavy armour with a brutal fighting style that puts his axe to work, and his massive horns further add to his barbaric aesthetic.
  • Medieval: Total War:
    • Starting in the game's early period many of the Danish units carry axes, from the lightly armed Viking Raiders up to the more heavily armoured Huscarls (both calvary and foot). The game's introduction to the faction empathising how they have yet to fully move on from their brutal past as raiders, and don't lack any of their Viking ancestors' ferocity when it comes to war. These units making up the backbone of the Danish forces. In the later stages, it's possible to recruit Norse Axemen, heavily armed warriors that weird two-handed battle-axe's as one of their strongest units.
    • The starting and stable unit of Scotland the Highlanders also wield a one-handed axe, with the game's description describing them as fierce, reckless, and ill-disciplined warriors recruited from the untamed regions of Scotland.
  • Onimusha: Warlords: The huge, minotaur-like Genma known as Oowassha are armed with humongous single-bladed axes, which are as slow as molasses but can hit like trucks. A variation carries double-bit axes they can throw away as a special attack, after which they rely on massive cleavers to finish the job.
  • Persona:
  • Ruphand: An Apothecary's Adventure: The leader of a group of undead raiders wields a giant axe.
  • Skylanders: Voodood is an orc warrior with a dragon skull as a helmet wielding the Axe Reaver, a double-headed axe with the ability to detach its head as a grappling hook and be charged with magical electricity. He was originally part of the Ooga Warrior tribe, having a rather barbaric attitude that made him the leader of the tribe.
  • Slashout: Axle is the game's sole Barbarian Hero and carries an ax called the Balder as his preferred weapon. Everyone else uses swords or daggers instead.
  • Star Fox Adventures: The warmongering and antagonistic SharpClaw Tribe arm themselves with maces and double-headed axes.
  • A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky: Diego is a bandit and wields "Diego's Axe", which is a component of the Brigand's Axe, where brigands and bandits are violent people operating outside of civilization.
    • The "Berserker's Axe" exists at the end of a long crafting chain.
  • World of Warcraft: Orcs, the Warcraft universe's quintessential tribal-shamanistic Proud Warrior Race, are generally depicted wielding axes as weapons. Until Warlords of Draenor, orc players gained bonuses from wielding axes.

    Visual Novels 

  • El Goonish Shive: Q&A #8 has Barbarian Amanda with a double-bitted axe.
  • The Order of the Stick: Thog of the Linear Guild is a classic Dungeons & Dragons half-orc barbarian who wields a greataxe. A mailbag comic notes that both the barbarian hit die and greataxe damage are d12s, which are otherwise little-used.

    Web Video 

    Western Animation 
  • Vicky from The Fairly Oddparents is a fiery, violent Babysitter from Hell whose purpose in the show is to torment Timmy. Unsurprisingly, she uses axes and a running gag is her preparing horrors for Timmy while unnoticed by his parents, including grinding an executioner's axe.
  • Gravity Falls: Zig-zagged with Wendy. Her usual weapon of choice is an axe, and while she's often calm and laid-back, she's also a Lad-ette Mighty Lumberjack who has been shown to have an enthusiasm for fighting on a number of occasions.
  • Maya and the Three: The Puma barbarians, like Pichu, are skilled with giant battle axes, condescending their battle-loving nature.