The barbarian warrior drew his great ferocity and strength from his tremendous humanity, not his inhumanity. How easily we idealize orcs, and project goblins onto men! (How tempting for men to become goblins.) Entranced by a "grim" reality, we imagine inhuman warriors so macho and hard they've lost the most resilient and vulnerable sides of themselves. This projection of invulnerability, of men with no human feeling left, cannot fathom the tremendous well-springs of humanity emanating from the tribal heart, that lent powerful strength to folk. These were not folk, like the Romans, bent on domination of the world, nor did they have a hardness that was brittle and schizoid. They hardened themselves at times for various engagements, but kept the whole range of human feelings intact, and from there drew reserves.
Modern heathens would do well to study the reports of Tacitus. If they did, they would realize how human these warriors of old were, and how much modern heathen project the modern, imperial soldier (more befitting of Rome) onto our wild and powerfully human ancestors.
(And that didn't make them perfect either. They were as corruptible as any of us, but so long as they stuck close to the tribal heart, it was able to regenerate from errors and reclaim those who were loyal to it.)