That's not how it works. They'd be protected by a formation of men with shields and then jump in when the enemy looks exposed. The two-handed axes could smash apart enemy shields, which would turn the tide of a push.
Also, they most likely wore shields on their backs and swords or axes at their waist. The dane axe (two handed axe) was too slow to hold up in a melee. They'd do a few strikes with it and drop it when it was time to get out of dodge. But it was a very useful utility weapon.
I suppose if the man was lucky, he would have turned around and hoped the arrows impacted his shield. Because this is a fictional artwork, sheer luck keeps him protected against arrows while the shield is simply dangling on his back.
Also, if he were a true-to-life huscarl, he probably would have crouched down where the archers couldn't see him until it was time to strike. The power of fictional representation makes this guy influence fate through being 'hardcore' though.
I am, likewise, a sympathizer of the good Anglo-Saxons. It is interesting to note that at the battle of Dyrrachium in 1081, between the invading Siculo-Normans of Robert Guiscard and the defending Romans under Alexios I, the Varangian Guard of the Roman Emperor was composed mostly of Anglo-Saxon exiles. They fought with such a vengeance against the Normans that they succeeded in throwing them back into the Adriatic Sea; alas, the Guiscard's wife, Sichelgaita, lead a courageous charge which broke the attack of the Varangian Guard.
You can't look at the past without looking at the way things actually were back then and how incredibly different they were from now. Generalizing isn't a good way to teach history. Nationalism only got started in the 1800s.
Oh yes, that I know. But history is analysed differently by peoples, according to faith, ideology, nationality, etc, etc. And so...
Oh, Nationalism big N as an ideology is maybe recent, but the idea, the roots of it, they are old... even the ancient Greeks had a - vague, 'pantheistic' idea of Being Greek, by example... and so, chauvinism ain't new. That idea of the Normand Yoke was I believe quite popular from Reformation-Lumières on..
And so, I was reflecting on peoples more or less teaching, analysing history and not MY view.